The new last disposal out of bounds rule is certainly earning a lot of attention as the new regulation is set to be tested by the AFLW during their second season.
Emma King, the All-Australian ruck from the Collingwood Magpies sees only upside potential. She says that other than potential damage to her (or other players’) egos, awarding a free kick against a player who kicks or handballs a ball out of bounds will actually speed up the game, which in King’s case, would mean she had to do less.
“I might get less stats, but that’s a bit of an egotistical thing to say,” King said to Fox Footy. “I don’t think (the rule change) will effect ruck work. It will open up the game more.I think it will be better for the game.”
The AFLW intends to use the new rule in practice matches, in order for players to gain comfort with how the new procedure will affect the flow of the game.
King does not think that the tempo of the game will be affected substantially. “I think it’s relatively okay to be honest. I don’t think it will have too much of an effect because we were playing deliberate out of bounds before,” King said.
“The way it’s coming about, if you kick it towards the boundary and no one touches it, that will be the last disposal.But if there’s a contest right on the boundary and the ball happens to go over it, it will be a boundary throw in any way.”
All in all, the new rule does not seem too radical and it would seem that after everyone gets accustomed to it, it would be an ordinary part of the game. Since it will only be enforced between the 50 arcs, it is not as though a free kick goal is a certainty, and it may actually slow things down when the ball goes out close enough to one of the arcs to require a debate on the spot.
King said the Magpies prefer to stay in the middle, so she thinks the rule will not have much impact on the club.