Bartel says there should be no player confusion around new rules


Listen to Bartel’s comments in full here:

Bartel said the 50m penalty rule was clear and designed to speed up the game.

“People are complaining ‘oh, it’s too big a punishment’. A 50m penalty is supposed to be a huge punishment,” he said.

“It’s pretty clear. If you give away a 50, you can’t impede the guy trying to take his 50. And [the player who wins the 50m penalty is] able to play on at any stage. They [the AFL] want the game just to get moving. So instead of bringing [the player on the mark] back the 50 [metres], and then the umpire blows the whistle – the amount of time that takes just allows the opposition to park everyone back behind the ball.”

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Bartel also said rather than worry about runners being allowed on the ground for longer, coaches should start picking players with more footy smarts to have an impact on the game.

“You hear coaches say how hard it is to affect the game from the coaches’ box – so then what’s the runner going to do?

“And then you’ve got 10 coaches on your staff – what are you doing during the week with the 10 meetings you’re having and the 10 staff and the development coaches? Why don’t you pick players who actually have football IQ, who learn the game?”

Bartel said the AFL’s new rules – including the six-six-six set-up at centre bounces and rules around taking kick-ins – would work. But he added that the changes have yet to be truly tested.

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“I think they’ve been really attractive on the eye, but football is, this time of year. The grounds are fast, perfect conditions, and we see that in these pre-season games, where sides play a little bit freer and a bit more open. It’ll be a good test of how the rules are in the middle of winter and come finals time, when the track gets a little bit heavier and sides have had a little bit of time to research and actually put in defensive mechanisms.

“Whenever we see a rule change or someone do something different in attack, there’s a big scoring spike and then we find ways to defend it. So we actually haven’t found ways to defend it yet so the rules haven’t been truly tested yet.”

When asked whether the rules should have been tested for longer before being brought in, Bartel said the league preferred the shorter testing period.

“I think they didn’t want to test [the rules] too long because then you don’t get that big jump in scoring, which then [makes it look like] like everyone’s done a fantastic job and you do the typical backslapping as they do at headquarters.

“They’ll go ‘how great’s this, scores are 120 v 110,’ so if we’ve had too much of a sample of JLT, we’ve got 10 coaches at every club trying to find a way to stop this, [having an opportunity to] get around [the new rules].”

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