AFLW set to adopt 10 rule changes
THE AFL is confident rule changes to the AFLW competition for next season will assist in a more free-flowing and high-scoring game.
Head of women's football Nicole Livingstone announced the rules changes for the 2019 season after a meeting of the AFLW competition committee.
The AFLW will adopt eight of the nine AFL rule changes next season along with two specific rule adjustments of its own.
The two rule changes specific to AFLW are for last disposal between the arcs, and throw-ins will be brought in by 10m.
The last-touch rule now applies between the 50m arcs, and when the football crosses the boundary line within the 50m arc it will be thrown in.
All boundary line thrown-ins will take place 10m from the boundary line. The AFL found during trials when the ball was thrown in deeper into the corridor, more space was created around the ruck contest and there were fewer stoppages.
Of the nine AFL rules changes for 2019, the only rule the AFLW will not adopt is for runners and water carriers. With the competition starting in February, AFLW will still allow runners and water carriers to enter the playing surface during live play due to warmer weather conditions and the extra instruction the players require during the match.
The only other adjustment to the AFL rules changes is for the traditional playing positions at the centre bounce, with the AFLW to adopt a five-six-five set-up.
Livingstone said the league hoped the changed the changes would help create a more "free-flowing" game and higher scoring.
"We are still at the very early development stage of this league and our objective is to create free-flowing play,'' Livingstone said.
"Together with the game analysis team we have looked very carefully at date and trends of our first two season to try and help us with making these informed decisions and adjusting the rules.
"We hope that it will encourage further scoring, but the thing that we are really looking for is for our players to showcase their skills and showcase their ability to play football.
"We think that it will move the ball more freely and if its moving more freely, we think that it will result in higher scoring.''
Livingstone said the rules that have been adopted had been trialled at the under-18s championships, the exhibition match and the VFLW matches, with the findings already communicated to clubs.
The rule changes were formally approved by the AFL Commission last month and were tabled to the AFLW competition committee.
Livingstone said the MRO was also discussed but any changes would not be ratified until they went before the AFL Commission in December.