Ross Lyon and Matthew Lloyd have slammed the AFL’s reported proposal to the competition committee that defenders spoiling a ball out of bounds would concede a free kick for deliberate out of bounds.
According to veteran AFL reporter Caroline Wilson, the proposal was put to the committee by higher-ups in the league who she believes are in favour of the radical rule.
The deliberate out of bounds rule has become one of the most polarising in recent years, but defenders are currently able to spoil balls directly over the boundary line in marking contests.
Lyon was left fuming at the potential rule change, and identified it as yet another took being taken away from defenders.
“It’s the first I’ve heard of it. Why don’t we send the backmen with their arms tied behind their back to let forwards kick the goals as well,” he told Nine’s Footy Classified.
“We want to retain the centre square bounce because it’s the fabric of the game, let alone a defender killing the ball. I just don’t understand the rationale behind it.”
“I’m with Ross 100 percent, that’s crazy,” Lloyd added.
“Those guys, what do you want them to do, punch it down the corridor? That’s horribly wrong, I’m not sure who would at first present that and then who would deliberate on that.
“That is wrong and unfair on the defenders.”
Lyon added that offensive teams would soon exploit the rule change in order to con umpires into awarding free kicks inside their attacking 50.
“You would exploit that straight away,” the ex-Fremantle and St Kilda coach said.
“They’re still going to spoil so teams would kick it long and think if we don’t take the mark, they’ll punch it out of bounds and we get the ball.”