2019 VAFA Laws of the Game Changes

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The VAFA will adopt several law changes in the 2019 season, while changing three pre-existing laws.

Most notably, 25-metre penalties will now increase to 50m, while players will no longer need to kick to themselves to play-on from the goal square.

Umpire Operations Manager, Haydn O’Connor, said the VAFA received notification from the AFL of the philosophy of law changes in late 2018 and immediately surveyed coaches across all sections as to what rules they would like to see brought in for the 2019 season.

“Upon collating this data, the VAFA Umpiring Department Coaches were consulted in order to evaluate the functionality of the rules and how they would be implemented from an umpiring perspective,” O’Connor said.

“Following this, recommendations were sent to the Football Growth & Integrity sub-committee and after these were reviewed, the VAFA, after receiving official wording documentation from the AFL on January 29, presented these changes at the VAFA Conference on Saturday February 9, and sent to non-attending coaches on Monday February 11.”

Please see all law changes below:

EXISTING VAFA LAWS TO BE CHANGED

50 Metre Penalties

The VAFA will now impose 50 metre penalties in all sections in 2019 where a 25-metre penalty has been awarded previously.

Head Count – Players Exceeding Permitted Number

Where a team has more than the permitted number of Players on the playing surface, the following shall apply;

a) a field umpire shall award a free kick to the captain or acting captain of the opposing team, which shall be taken at the centre circle or where play was stopped, whichever is the greater penalty against the offending team;

b) a 50-metre penalty shall then be imposed from the position where the free kick was awarded

Head Count – Correct Number

Where a count reveals that the opposing Team has the permitted number of Players on the Playing Surface, the following shall apply;

a) a field umpire shall award a free kick to the captain or acting captain of the opposing team, which shall be taken at the centre circle or where play was stopped, whichever is the greater penalty against the offending team;

b) a 50-metre penalty shall then be imposed from the position where the free kick was awarded.

NEW LAWS IN 2019

Kick-ins

  • For kick-ins from a behind, a player will no longer need to kick to themselves to play on out of the goal square.
  • Additionally, following a behind, the player on the mark will be positioned 10 metres from the top of the goal square (currently 5 metres).
  • A player must be within the goal square to bringing the ball back into play.
  • All players must try to leave the protected area after a behind is scored.

Marks/Free Kicks Within 9 Metres of Goal Line

For all defenders who take a mark or gain a free kick within 9 metres of the goal line, the player on the mark for the attacking team will be brought in line with the top of the goal square.

Umpire Contact

Players will be penalised for any contact made by setting up behind the umpire at each centre ball up. Free kicks may also be paid by a non-controlling field umpire.

50 Metre Penalties

  • Stricter interpretation on the infringing player delaying the game, allowing the player with the ball to advance the mark by 50 metres.
  • In addition, the player with the football will be able to “Play-On” on during the advancement of the 50-metre penalty.
  • Major and obvious infringements will result in 50-metre penalties as per VAFA Umpire philosophy.

Kicking For Goal Post-Siren

  • A player who has been awarded a mark or free kick once play has ended will now be able to kick across their body using a snap or check-side kick. The player shall dispose of the ball directly in line with the player on the mark and the goal as per diagram.
  • The player must kick the ball from the “blue dot” but may line up and approach to this point along the “black lines” (feature picture)

Ruck Contests – Prior Opportunity

A ruck player who takes possession of the football while contesting throw up by a field umpire or a boundary throw-in by a boundary umpire, will not be regarded as having had prior opportunity.

LAWS OF THE GAME NOT INTRODUCED IN THE VAFA IN 2019

  • Traditional playing positions at centre bounce (6-6-6)
  • Runners (rules to remain as is in accordance with VAFA guidelines)