The AFL has tweaked the ‘third man up’ rule ahead of round one, as a passive player hit by a throw-in will now not be penalised.
From round one, umpires will be told to call play on “if the ball strikes the non-designated ruck, who is passive and has no intention to contest or impact the ruck contest.”
The new rule came under fire during the third week of the JLT Community Series, as Adelaide midfielder Dean Gore was hit in the back after a shallow throw-in and was penalised for the infringement.
Because Gore was not the designated ruckman at the time, the free kick was given against Gore for interfering, but under the new interpretation, play on would be called should that situation occur during the home and away season.
Clubs were asked for their advice on the Gore incident, with the AFL deciding to tweak the ruling following their feedback.
All 18 sides were also asked for their thoughts on the penalty for a deliberate rushed behind, with the AFL trialing the new punishment of a ball-up 14 metres out from goal during the pre-season.
The AFL decided to keep the penalty for a deliberate rushed behind to a free kick from the goal line like it was in 2016, as per the feedback from clubs.