Gillon McLachlan. Picture. Phil Hillyard
Gillon McLachlan. Picture. Phil Hillyard

AFL could trial new rules in 2018 dead rubber games

AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan has confirmed the league is considering trialling new rules in games between non-finals contenders later in the season.

Speculation continues to mount in regards to the prospect of major changes to the game next season with a view to reducing congestion.

Most recently, that has included the prospect of requiring players to have "starting positions" at stoppages, potentially in the 6-6-6 model seen in the AFLW.

When asked about the potential to trial rules late in the season, McLachlan said there were three games that were unlikely to have "any bearing on the eight", opening the possibility of using them as trials.

"Certainly thinking about it," McLachlan said on wednesday..

"I can tell you that there's three fixtures on consecutive weekends that I don't think will have any bearing on the eight, as we stand today, I know we've got another couple of weeks to play.

"I know enough to know that there's fixtures that are available where we could do it and we're certainly discussing it, whether that's appropriate, the emerging view is that I think it is."

The rule changes aim to reduce congestion at stoppages.
The rule changes aim to reduce congestion at stoppages.

McLachlan said the trial would only need agreement from the clubs involved, rather than the entire league - and that he believed it didn't risk the integrity of the league.

"You would need them to agree and buy into it and to have a look at it. So it's something that's being discussed," he said.

"I believe, again, this is not definitive because it's something we're talking about but my first pass of thinking is you don't (consult the other clubs) because I don't believe there's any impact on the other clubs.

"If you trialled something between the two clubs, within themselves, and they weren't playing another team that was competing for the eight, I don't think there's any way that actually it could be a risk to the integrity of the competition."

McLachlan said the benefit of the trial was getting to see how the rule changes worked in "real time" with something at stake.

"You get to see it in real time in a game for points with a win or loss on the end of it," he said.

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