MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 04: An umpires whistle is seen during the round two AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the Fremantle Dockers at Etihad Stadium on April 4, 2010 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

The AFL has confirmed that the protected area around a player who has taken a mark will increase from five metres to 10 metres from this season.

The protected zone was trialled during the NAB Challenge and has received support from the clubs.

“It is the general view that the ability of teams to move the ball has improved with the larger protected area,” AFL football operations manager Mark Evans┬ásaid.

“The focus of the umpiring department will continue to be to ensure it is adjudicated consistently.”

Season 2016 will also see the introduction of an interchange cap set at 90 rotations and the reintroduction of four interchange players, as opposed to three interchange and one substitute which was in place from 2011 to 2015.

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