The AFL have made a number of changes to the current MRO system, with intentional high shots set to be graded differently in 2019.
Hits like Andrew Gaff on Andrew Brayshaw will still be sent to the Tribunal as it was graded severe, although impact that is now graded as intentional and high will attract an automatic three-match ban.
One instance of this from last season involved St Kilda defender Nathan Brown, who was sent to the Tribunal and was handed a three-match ban for this bump on Essendon’s Adam Saad.
— AFL (@AFL) August 10, 2018
Despite taking the intentional conduct, high impact charge from the Tribunal, the AFL have decided to add stomping and eye gouging to the list of offences that can be sent directly to the Tribunal.
The AFL Commission have also decided to pay more free kicks for prohibited contact by striking, and have a new offence for strikes which can be now deemed as negligible.
Players will be more liable for bumps that cause head clashes, which will now see incidents like Ryan Burton’s bump on Shaun Higgins punished.
The AFL have also confirmed a crackdown on umpire contact, as well as players using their studs in marking contests, a la Toby Greene.