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AFL to continue 10m protected home-and-away season

The AFL will continue to set a 10m protected area around the mark after trialling the rule during the pre-season.

The protected zone is designed to make it easier for the player with the ball to assess his options and it will now be used in regular season matches.

"It is the general view that the ability of teams to move the ball has improved with the larger protected area," said AFL operations manager Mark Evans.

Umpires have also had a stricter interpretation of illegal tackles and deliberate out of bounds decisions during the NAB Challenge.

AFL football boss Mark Evans on Tuesday told the Herald Sun the rule was not brought in to stop players ­trailing through the area ­following their opponent.
He is hopeful the larger ­restricted zone will allow sides to quickly play on and surge down the centre corridor.
It believes clubs were ­“double-guarding” the mark, putting a player just 5m away to prevent a player quickly playing on.
The AFL last year brought in a 90-rotation cap with four interchange players for the 2016 season.

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