Carlton and Adelaide players gather around the ball during a game in 2012. Photo: Sebastian Costanzo. Source: The Age.

Coaches support zones

There is growing support among coaches for the introduction of zones on AFL grounds in order to curb growing congestion at stoppages.

Gold Coast coach Rodney Eade became the latest coach to throw his support behind revolutionary new solutions to reduce the number of stoppages and the number of players around the ball.

“Maybe it will evolve, but I don’t think the game is going to evolve out of what’s happening at the moment,” he said.

Teams might do it differently, with the skill level of a Hawthorn, but generally now, if there’s a stoppage in a back pocket, you’ll have everybody in one quarter of the ground, and that’s a constant across the competition.

“You’d just say that at every kick-in, ball-up or throw-in, you had to have, say, three players from each team inside both 50s, so you’d immediately be getting 12 players out of the way, and you’d probably have more than that besides.

“Aesthetically, I don’t think you would notice an enormous difference with players scrambling to get back because it’s just a starting point. And if the coaches want to test the boundaries, you pay a free kick to make sure they’ve got three in there by the time play starts again.”

St. Kilda coach Alan Richardson said last week that he also supported solutions such as introducing zones to reduce the amount of congestion around the ball.

Read more at TheAge.com.au

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