AFL Commission decides against altering interchange system

AFTER listening to requests from players and coaches, the AFL Commission opted to overrule a recommendation by the laws committee to change the present interchange system.

The committee, chaired by AFL football operations manager Adrian Anderson, had wanted a cap of 90 interchanges per game (20 per quarter, three during each break and one substitution).

It also wanted to keep the present bench structure of three unlimited interchange players and one substitute.

But CEO Andrew Demetriou said the commission had decided to wait for another 12 months before making any changes to ensure additional data was available to make the right decision on any cap.

Interchange numbers have surged in recent years, and, despite the introduction of the three-and-one bench system, teams averaged 131 interchanges per game in 2012 - up from 81 five years ago.

The suggested changes had been recommended with the aim of reducing congestion around the ball.

The AFL Players Association welcomed the delay, as did the coaches who said they needed more time to plan for such a major alteration to the interchange system.


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