AFL football operations member Brad Scott has claimed that players who make attempts to delay the game are set to face penalties in 2022.
While the former North Melbourne head coach has suggested that there will be no major rule changes - such as the elimination of the stand rule - under his watch at AFL House, delay of game strategies are set to be adjudicated harshly going forward.
Although there have long been rules and regulations designed to stop players from impeding their opponent's forays forward, Scott suggested that illegal tactics of this type would be punished with 50-metre penalties paid against the offenders.
Speaking on SEN Radio, the dual premiership-winning Lion claimed that simplifying language for umpires was the key to cleaning up interpretations.
“Not rule changes as such, but we did talk about some interpretations and probably just bringing back the umpire interpretations back to the way the rules were originally written,” Scott stated.
“As an example of that, a really simple one which is time-wasting, which seems like a really frivolous thing to talk about, but when we’re trying to get free-flowing footy and we want to get teams to move the ball on quickly."
Having led the Kangaroos for 211-games, Scott is more than adept at understanding how the minds of those in the coach's box work.
However, stewards will now need to find a new method of stymying scoring under Scott's watch.
“Any coach will tell you that when they don’t have the ball, the first weapon in defence is to delay the opposition playing the ball on," he continued.
“We want to tighten that up and we showed the committee some examples yesterday of 2021 time delay tactics that won’t be tolerated in 2022.
“That’s not a rule change, but that’s just tightening up an existing rule and making sure everyone is aware of that."
Scott also pointed to the success of similar campaigns across other sports in halting negativity.
“We see it in other sports like the rugby codes where the delaying the playing of the ball is a coaching tactic," he explained.
"All clubs talk about it and all clubs do it, it’s probably time we caught up with it and the umpires were stricter on it.
“It feeds into the umpire respect piece. Players getting the ball back to the umpire rather than kicking the ball away. Those sorts of things have crept into the game in the last couple of years and we’re keen to sharpen that up.”
When prompted by Gerard Whately to paint a picture as to how this "tightening up" would appear next season, the 168-gamer provided the following case:
“If you think about the way footy is played if there’s a free kick paid for holding the ball at a stoppage and players are milling around the ball, quite often the player who has had the free kick paid against him will just sit over the top of the ball and not let the opposition player get access to the ball," Scott expounded.
“We just won’t tolerate that next year. If the player impedes the opposition player who has won the free kick it will be a 50 metre penalty.
“That’s something that has just slipped over the last couple of years.”