The AFL’s rushed behind penalty is likely to remain as a free kick on the goal line in 2017, according to reports.
The league has been trialling a new penalty throughout the JLT Community Series. Whereby, in the event of a deliberate rushed behind, the umpire will throw the ball up five metres in front of the goal square.
Fox Sports’ Tom Morris is reporting that the rule is “almost certain” to be parked for round one, with a free kick being awarded instead as per the 2016 rule.
Club feedback is going to be critical in determining whether the rule will be changed for good. However, as the rule was only used once during it’s trial, there is limited data to assess. Only five rushed behind free kicks were paid in 2016.
Many in the AFL world believe a free kick on the goal line, resulting in almost a certain goal, is too harsh a penalty for a rushed behind, forcing the league to rethink the penalty.
The AFL has clarified the rules around a rushed behind, with umpires set to penalise a player if:
– he rushed a behind from beyond the goalsquare
– he had time and space to dispose of the ball
– he was not considered to be under pressure
– a player in a ruck contest hit the ball on the full over the line