Most lower levels of Australian Rules football have send-off rules for serious incidents, and red cards are well established in soccer and rugby.
Calls are growing for it to be implemented into AFL ranks following several big hits in recent years.
Perhaps the AFL could introduce a video system, situated on the bench
near the emergency umpire, and those calls could be made within the
space of a couple of minutes so that no team has to endure such a
disadvantage, while the offending player awaits any further sanction
from the match review panel (MRP) or tribunal.
But today's umpires
already have a difficult enough time adjudicating on new rules and
interpretations without having to consider such things on the run and
get their head around yet another video review system - things that only
serve to slow the game down.
In recent times, the focus seems to
be on taking decisions out of the umpires' hands, limiting the amount of
'on the spot' reports and giving higher discretion to the MRP.
Occasionally, teams are going to have a situation where they are down
a player - a reality typical of any contact sport - through injury or
any other contact on the scale between innocuous and reckless.
AFL might consider the implementation of a 'concussion sub' or similar -
but again such a rule would need to be carefully considered to avoid it
being exploited by coaches wanting a fresh pair of legs on the ground
late in the game.
Australian Rules football, particularly at the
highest level, is as safe as it has ever been, especially with the
heightened awareness around head trauma and long-term effects of