Joel Selwood tries to break a Travis Varcoe tackle. Picture: Scott Barbour/Getty Images AsiaPac.

AFL to crack down on ducking for frees

The AFL is looking at ways to discourage players from leading with their heads, resulting in head high free kicks.

Director of umpiring Wayne Campbell said that the league would consult with all the necessary parties, including the clubs, coaches and the laws of the game committee.

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“It’s where the players have their head over the ball and deliberately lead with their head and contribute to the contact … that is the one we are looking at,” Campbell said.

“(We) need to disincentivise someone trying to draw a free kick through searching with the head for contact.”

The average head high free kicks per game for 2015 is 5.2, slightly higher than last season’s average of 4.9.

Geelong captain Joel Selwood leads the league in free kicks drawn from head high tackles, since the stat was first recorded in 2013, but Richmond’s Anthony Miles, who only debuted in round 12 last year, has been given 39 head high free kicks from tackles in just 23 games, averaging 1.7 per game compared to Selwood’s 1.52.

Leading head high free kicks drawn from tackles from 2013 – 2015:

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