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AFL footy is a different game in the current clime. It started with outlawing the bump to protect the head. Players were told if you choose to bump you are likely to be suspended if you make contact with the head. Now, if you tackle too ferociously and bring the player to ground and he hits his head you can get rubbed out for 3 weeks, in many instances. 26 players have been suspended in 2023 for these kinds of things. AFL footy is a different game these days. Looking ahead the evolution of the game is probably morphing into a non-contact sport like soccer. The contact will not survive the civilising of our recreational activities in the future, I bet. There are very real issues emerging in both the men’s and women’s’ games in regard to the wellbeing of the players going forward.

the ugly sound of booing during AFL matches

AFL Football Is Arse About Now

These days forwards play more defensively than those who play in the backline. Whilst most defenders have to play more attacking than the forwards. Most AFL defenders do less defending than their counterparts in the forward line. Defenders break the lines and run and carry out of defence. Forwards try and apply pressure to keep the ball in their forward zone. Forwards are tackling more than their defenders. Defenders have to be better kicks because they are setting up attacking moves. Meanwhile, many forwards are less accurate kicks if you go by all the behinds they register instead of goals during a season.

red theater chairs

What Happened to Holding & Dropping The Ball?

These days umpires rarely reward tacklers with a free kick for their opponents not getting rid of the ball according to the rules. Tackled players drop balls and more commonly don’t release the ball and a ball up results rather than a kick going to the opposition. The ball carrier is supreme in AFL these days. The consequence of this interpretation of the rules is the increase in dangerous tackles, as players attempt to dislodge the ball from the ball carrier.

We have never seen so many injuries and concussions in the game prior to these shifts in umpiring. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

grayscale photo of people sitting on chair

Manipulating AFL as a game to reduce congestion around the ball is understandable and the 6-6-6 rule at centre bounces is a good one. I would like to see it extended with at least 1 player having to remain in their forward or defensive zone at all times – this still leaves teams with 17 players around the ball in the rest of the field. I find it ridiculous when a team makes a quick break from their defence and has to wait because they have no players forward of the ball to receive the attack. The game would flow better if there were forwards ready to receive the ball.

AFL recruiters generally focus on athletes at the expense of footy nouse in the type of players being brought into the game these days. Lightning fast runners who can run all day are the favoured beasts on the paddock. Lithe and lean body shapes are everywhere.

This fits with the sport transforming into a non-contact sport within 10-15 years, which is my prediction.

high-angle photo of round stadium at nighttime AFL

Are most AFL payers too exhausted to kick straight in front of goals? Is this the predominant reason why so few players can reliably kick straight to score goals from set shots? Or is it the fact that super athletes are not mentally equipped with the consistency factor as types of human beings. Were the dead eye Dicks from bygone days that way because they were not running machines? AFL footy is a lot about decision making under pressure. One of the many admirable aspects of the game is that players get to decide where to distribute the ball during plays. Obviously, they are coached to do certain things if and when possible but in the moment each individual player must decide and execute distribution of the ball to a team mate.

Each AFL team is akin to a beast with 18 heads and 72 arms and legs.

AFL footy is a different game these days and will continue to change, I reckon. I hope that football match attendees stop booing too.

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Clio

Clio was the ancient Greek muse of history. so we all thought that she would be an appropriate entity to run this site.
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