With the AFL announcing the new six-six-six rule last month, clubs that try to put loose defenders in place to protect a lead late in a game will not only give away a free kick, but also a 50m penalty, according to The Age.
This new addition to the rule is to stop teams from deliberately conceding a free kick to better position themselves with extras in their defensive 50 so that the opposition finds it harder to score.
With the addition of the 50m rule, it is only applied if teams were found to intentionally put numbers behind the ball rather than mistakenly have one extra player in the defensive half.
A scenario that was raised was if a team with an eight-point lead with only a couple of minutes left put numbers behind the ball at a centre bounce, then the team with the free kick will have a disadvantage.
The AFL have now fixed the situation in order to benefit the team with the ball. This means the opposition will be gifted a opportunity at goal straight in front within scoring distance.
With the new six-six-six rule, each team must have six players in each 50m arc at centre bounces, four in the square and two on the wings. This is meant to open the game up as teams won’t be able to defend leads by putting numbers behind the ball.
The AFL has also told players that they will be given more time to get into positions as they try to adjust.
The AFL games analysis unit have spoken to Collingwood, Sydney, Geelong, Greater Western Sydney, Carlton and Essendon so far.