AAP AFL

AFL coaches look for edge with new rules

By AAP Newswire

Even before the AFL's proposed rule changes are introduced, the coaches are looking for an edge.

West Coast coach Adam Simpson was candid when asked for his opinion about the 6-6-6 player positioning at centre bounces and the 18m goal square.

The AFL competition committee has recommended the two rule changes, along with eight rule interpretations and a crackdown on team runners and water carriers.

The AFL Commission will now decide what is introduced, with any changes announced next month.

"I will say 'yes' (to the changes) until I pick the eyes out of it and try to strategise how we've got to make it work for us," Simpson said.

"There'll be ripples on the back of that and then we'll see what happens in 12 months."

Simpson's reaction highlights the challenge facing the AFL - that any rule change will be scrutinised ruthlessly by players and coaches.

AFL officials have spoken often about unintended consequences this year as they look at ways to reduce congestion in the game.

The 6-6-6 rule and the larger goal square are designed to free up play.

"One thing you can't criticise the AFL about this time around is they've done their due diligence on this,"' Simpson said.

"So I'm assuming if that's what's come out of it, we'll back it in and see how it goes."

One of the rule interpretations covers the controversial area of incorrect disposal.

"That's interesting. That's the one I'd be interested to see how they police that," Simpson said.

"It's been really difficult at stages for the umpires this year, not only in AFL, but watching WAFL footy is the same, and even local footy.

"Some clarity around that would be good."