Affiliated Leagues


2017 AFL Victoria – Two new law interpretations

Two new interpretations have been introduced for immediate implementation across all country Victoria Regions and these Laws relate to:

1.        The adjustment of the High Contact Law.

In the opinion of the Umpire where a tackle is reasonably applied and the ball carrier is responsible for the high contact via a shrug, duck, arm lift or similar action, play on will be called.

The following considerations should apply when assessing the reasonableness of a tackle:

·         The starting point of the tackle

·         The degree of force

·         The nature of the tackle.

The adjudication of players who drive into a tackle is unchanged from 2016, ie deemed as prior opportunity.

2.       The new Law that prevents any player who is a non-designated ruckman contesting any ruck contest – around the ground or a boundary throw in. This Law should be referred to as the non-designated ruckman Law – the terminology “3rd man-up” is no longer used.

 Rule 15.5 – A field Umpire shall award a Free Kick against a Player where a Player:

a)       Who is not a designated Ruck contests a throw up or boundary throw in;

·         Players must be designated to the field Umpire prior to the ruck contest.

·         Ruck men need to continue to ensure 1 metre separation at all ruck contests.

·         In the case of a boundary throw in that the field Umpire deems to be not contestable, the field Umpire will direct the boundary umpire to throw the ball in again.

·         If 2 players nominate from the same team at the same time, players will be given one chance to re-nominate, if 2 continue to nominate, the field Umpire will choose one.

·         Only the 2 designated ruckmen are to contest the ruck. The ball must hit the ground or be touched by the designated ruckmen before it can be contested by other players.

Please refer to

Please note that the Deliberate Rushed Behind (DRB) Law will again NOT be enforced in football played in Vic Country Regions.

Dean Goodridge 
Director of Coaching 
Bendigo Umpires Association


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