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Send-off rule good or not good for AFL ?

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.

The 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 concussion.



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