It’s not quite a throwback to the days of white lab coats and wide-brim hats, but AFL goal umpires will operate in a slightly more traditional manner this season.
Instead of scurrying back to the middle of the goal line to signal a score, goal umpires can now do so from anywhere on the goal line.
You might have noticed this during Friday night’s state of origin match as the goal umpires gave goal signals from close to the posts at certain times.
Unlike glory years gone by, the umpires won’t be able to signal a goal from anywhere on the goal line, including in between the points posts, only between the big sticks.
The reason, according to a source at the AFL, is to make things easier and quicker for goal umpires.
There have been some on social media noticing the change over the weekend with the state of origin and then a few Marsh Community Series matches.
Some like the subtle throwback and others, presumably more particular types, seem unsettled by the more random nature of the positioning.