An interchange cap of 80 per game to be trialed.
The AFL are planning to implement an 80 per game interchange maximum for the second round of the NAB cup.
The NAB cup has been the trialling ground for many rule changes over the years – some successful and others not. The new interchange rules will be focused on solving the congestion issue in current AFL matches.
Data collected from these trials in the NAB cup will help the AFL decide whether an interchange cap would make a positive improvement on the congestion issue. Interchanges would be limited to 20 per quarter.
However some coaches are not impressed with the interchange proposal. North Melbourne coach Brad Scott is worried that the game of AFL will become ‘unrecognisable’ if rules are constantly changed reports Fox Sports.
Scott believes that the rule change would not help ease the congestion but rather fatigue the players, thereby slowing down the speed of the game.
“If we cap rotations and fatigue players and make it difficult for them to get around the ground, we’ll just adapt, we’ll just change the game again.”
The North Melbourne coach is also worried that the data collected from the NAB Cup games will misrepresent the current AFL situation as the NAB Cup uses shorter games and quarters where interchanging tactics are different from a full length AFL game.
“But the reality is we’re playing shortened games and, when you cap interchanges at 20 (each quarter), the quarters go for seven or eight minutes less than the regular season and you find most interchanges happen late in the quarter. So are we going to get an accurate set of data? I doubt it, but I don’t know what the alternative is.”
While the implementation of the rule variation in the AFL is not a certainty the trialing of the rule in the NAB Cup is a sign that it is being seriously considered and could potentially appear in the near future.