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New Rule

10.05.2011 | Posted in Commentary by Michael Malthouse | 10 comments

We are constantly made aware of the importance of protecting our player’s heads and necks from high contact. We have also ensured that injuries to our ruckman’s knees are limited by creating circles in the middle of the ground for the bounce down contest. Both of these rules were created for a very good reason. However, serious leg injuries are still be sustained by players sliding into the ground ball, taking out the opposition player who has kept his footing in the contest.

I recently did an article for The Australian on a new rule that I believe needs to be developed and introduced into the AFL. I am well aware that most of us love our game as it is and dislike seeing it constantly changed by new rules, however this suggestion is not on a whim.

It wasn’t 10 years ago- when I first brought attention to this issue. Nor was it two weeks ago- when I wrote about it following an injury to Ben Stratton of Hawthorn. It was only a week ago - when news broke of a young West Australian footballer injured playing in the WAFL- that people started to take notice.

Jamie Graham gave up the life of an AFL footballer to play in the WAFL, so that he could help care for his younger sister living in Perth. He has now suffered such a horrific injury, from being hit by a “sliding” player ,that many can’t even bring themselves to watch the footage captured of it. It looks as though his playing future at any level is in jeopardy, as the terrible injury sustained makes it unlikely that he will ever play again.

We are expecting a wet winter this year and with that I expect more players will slide into the ground ball. I just hope that no further injuries are sustained. This is one new rule that needs to be created.

Thank you for your support.

Mick
 

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May 10th, 2011 at 7:49pm
Matt
Well said Mick but you will never stop players trying to win the football. There first instinct is to win the footy at any cost. what rule would you bring in to stop this from happening.
May 10th, 2011 at 7:58pm
Richard
What's funny though is that in the same contest without the sliding player, the player on his feet goes in with his head down and earns a free kick for high contact! So it could be said that sliding actually reduces the chances of head injury and puts onus on the opposition to avoid injuring their legs. Beyond this its about finding a method to take possession of the ball from the sliding player as the slide has taken away from going into a contest with the head down.
May 10th, 2011 at 8:06pm
Mark Mack
The kalgoorlie boy Jamie Grahams injury was so horific to look at and such a terrible injury could well have been avoided. Very well said Mick !! Hopefully they do look into this and possibly bring a new rule in place to protect the man standing his ground.
May 10th, 2011 at 8:08pm
Dave
I'd suggest Matt that you would make the rule no sliding into legs. Any front-on slide longer than a metre threatens serious damage and should be considered illegal, unless two players are both sliding toward ball in the same direction. If a player arrives late to slide and is impacted, that's not illegal, but if player is already standing there, it is illegal. Just some ideas.
May 11th, 2011 at 12:24am
Tina Paspaliaris
yes mick well said just ask your old student Blake Caracella, lucky and unlucky, but in the end he was plain lucky...I felt sick that night
May 11th, 2011 at 10:00am
damian W McNamara
Here Here Tina was also at that game with Blake Caracella's injury... as i was at Neil Saches game in the 70's his head was down over the ball and o'Keefe came in legs first .... my first thought was that incident... and so glad the precautions were taken Yes Mick A very valid point you raise and it must be seriously addressed
May 14th, 2011 at 12:45am
Graham
thanks for this Mick. I read your article in the Australian and then say the Jamie Graham incident. What you said made sense and we need to see work on this issue.
May 14th, 2011 at 12:42pm
Richard
P.S. I think there is a rule for this kind of collision. If you take out a persons legs in the act of sliding then it's a form of "tripping". Tripping, as we know, is also a reportable offence so it's a serious act not to be careful! It's simply a matter of interpretation as you would say Mick!
May 23rd, 2011 at 6:34pm
Carmen
A man of great wisdom
June 16th, 2011 at 9:53pm
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thanks for this Mick. I read your article in the English. What you said made sense and we need to see work on this issue

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