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AFL should not be zoneball: Paul Roos

Date
Congestion: Is it so bad fundamental changes are necessary?

Congestion: Is it so bad fundamental changes are necessary? Photo: Pat Scala

MELBOURNE Melbourne coach Paul Roos has launched a stinging satirical attack on the prospect of the AFL introducing on-field zones.

Laws of the Game committee member John Worsfold floated the idea on Monday night as one way of combating congestion on the field.

Worsfold told the Seven Network the league could look at trialling a rule in pre-season that keeps two or three players from both sides in each half of the ground.

"If you want to play a different game, call it something else and we'll play a different game," Roos said.

"Or we can have two games - we can have Australian Rules footy and another game called zoneball.

"It's a great idea."

Roos, who matched wits with Worsfold in classic 2005 and 2006 grand finals between Sydney and West Coast, opined the game had never been in better health and that coaches had a knack of fixing whatever ailed it.

"We were talking about the flood years ago, then that went away," he said.

"We worried about the zones, then they went away.

"The game at the moment is as close to 18 one-on-one contests as you can possibly have and we've still got people complaining."

Roos suggested the introduction of two new clubs, and the glut of expansion picks heading to GWS and Gold Coast, meant "the talent level is different" now.

"But the game itself has never been better," he added.

Roos accused the league of being far too reactive in the way they picked at the game's fabric.

"The problem is we put rules in. Now we say the rules we put in haven't worked, so we'll put some new rules in," he said.

"We'll do that and put some rules in to fix the rules that were supposed to fix the rules.

"Then we'll put some rules in to fix the rules that were going to fix the rules that were going to fix the rules.

"We'll keep doing that, that sounds like a great idea."

Roos' freewheeling series of sarcastic zingers came to an end when asked at Tuesday's press conference what he would do if in control of the game.

"I wouldn't have changed them (rules)," he said.

"I'm just a coach. We're seen as ruining the game so we've got to keep our mouths shut."

AAP

3 comments so far

  • Roos is right. The reason the standard has dropped is due to the fact that we now have 18 teams and that's dramatically diluted the gene pool. That means there are 156 players running around now that wouldn't have gotten a game back in the day. That's the equivalent of almost 8 VFA teams absorbed into the comp! Ever wondered why your players can't hit a target from 30 metres away? There's the answer - there's nothing mysterious about it. If we can bump up the talent input from the non-traditional states then it will eventually right itself. Until then, a simple fix would be to reduce the number or players on the field to 16. No need for any tinkering rule changes, would reduce congestion, and would help rid the game of some of the duffers that are running around today and stuffing up passages of play with their clumsy turnovers.

    Commenter
    dulan
    Date and time
    June 03, 2014, 1:59PM
    • Roos is wrong, and hysterical. We've lost the game we once loved.
      I support:
      1. 3 players from each team inside the 50 arc at all times. Simple, like it used to be.
      2. Cap rotations to 10 per quarter. (Hungry's right on that, but wrong on zones)
      3. Get rid of the runner. How many other sports have pink shirts running around?

      These changes won't make it 'zone ball'....they'll bring the game BACK to the one we loved. It'll bring back the big full-forward that kicks 100 goals. It will slow the game and reduce congestion which will reduce collision-injuries. It will create more one-on-one cotests which we love.

      Commenter
      Village Green
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      June 03, 2014, 4:09PM
      • The rule change we really need is the traditional 1point behind becomes 3 points. This would have several positive outcomes. Defenders would make a genuine effort not to "rush" a minor score, simply because that score would no longer be so minor. Attempts to prevent "intentionally" rushed behinds via umpire interpretation have failed. Provide a big enough incentive for a player not to do so and it will seldom happen. So much of today's football is seen in terms of controlling the ball that conceding a point is largely seen as an advantage to the defending team (especially top end teams with elite hand/foot skills) as the set play possession they receive from kicking the ball back into play is a better chance to result in a counter attack goal as they have time to set up their structures and initiate the play direction and chain. As a spectacle an added advantage is that players would be far more likely to take shots on goal, especially from distance or acute angles because the reward/risk equation is far more favourable. Ultimately this rule change would encourage a more open, exciting and attacking brand of football.

        Commenter
        Andrew
        Date and time
        June 03, 2014, 7:33PM

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