Head High Contact and The AFL

Whilst watching the game today, at one point one of the commentators mentioned how The AFL is determined to stamp out head high contact.

Although I thought I had heard this before, watching the average game of football this year would tend to make me believe that this is not in fact something The AFL is worried about at all.

The number of times throughout a game that players deliberately lower their heads as they’re about to be tackled, and then get rewarded via a free kick, means that the incidence of this type of behaviour is increasing.

There were numerous instances of this occurring today and some were just so blatant but the umpires persist in paying the free for high contact.

If The AFL are serious about stamping out this dangerous practice, then they must speak to the umpires advisors and get them to instruct the umpires to stop paying free kicks before someone ends up getting seriously injured.

SEN get a former umpire on (Humphrey Smith) one afternoon a week to discuss rules and reports etc, and he made the comment as openly as could be, that there’s a gap in the rules, and players should exploit it. The umpires don’t have licence to apply common sense, they umpire to what they’re told, and that’s that.

Selwood and a couple of the Weagles and the entire Norf list are painful to watch at times.

Said it in another thread, but ducking your head should be deemed prior opportunity.
If you have the ball, and you see and duck into or under a tackle, you made that choice rather than try and handball/kick or evade.
If you’re good enough to duck the tackle completely, then play on, if they still manage to stick the tackle, HTB.
If you’re already down on ground level, obviously you haven’t made the choice to duck, so it’s not prior opportunity and whatever happens happens, the player is still protected.

Would clear it up ASAP.

Would be far too logical though, they’ll bring in another rule to try and erase some of the damage of this rule, then deal with the consequences of that by bringing in another change, and another…

You wouldn’t get away with ducking your head in real life, so you shouldn’t get away with it on the field.

All head duckers should go to prison.

Against the Saints Howlett did what I hate and that is to prepare for a high level of head high contact and act like your neck has been ripped off. Stanton does it and Monfries used to do it heaps.

I thought Steve Johnson was in real trouble earlier in the year when he ducked into a hit - got him right on top of the head and he was holding his neck afterwards.

soapbox initiated

I really do fear for Joel “The Brave” Selwood. His habit of initiating head contact is going to leave him in a wheelchair, or at best - with a broken neck. And everyone will say how brave and courageous he is, and how unfortunate it is that this has happened. I won’t. Joel Selwood is being stupid. He is playing chicken with his health and his life, and one day he is going to leave a game on a stretcher and never stand up again. I’m actually glad I don’t have a son who wants to play footy, because watching commentators like Garry Lyon extoll Selwood’s virtues, and praising the ground he walks on wouldn’t be good for him.

I also fear for the unfortunate ■■■■■■■ who happens to own the shoulder, hip, or thigh that Selwood rams his head into for the last time. That poor fella will be doing nothing other than approaching the footy the way he should, and will leave the game thinking he could have or wondering if he should have done something differently. It will haunt whoever it happens to be forever.

soapbox deactivated

Against the Saints Howlett did what I hate and that is to prepare for a high level of head high contact and act like your neck has been ripped off. Stanton does it and Monfries used to do it heaps.

My 11 yo daughter picked that Howlett one up watching at home on TV and bagged me for it when I got home from the game…

I don’t know about the broken necks. They seem to happen only very very rarely and typically at high speed or from a completely unprepared, random impact - neither of which these ducks tend to lead to.
But I do worry about the long term cumulative effects of repeated minor concussions and small head knocks.
You can cop a minor head hit once, twice, or 5 times and have absolutely no issues. But 10, 20, 50 times, often with insufficient rest in between to allow the brain to settle down/heal ??

Gridiron in the states have had a heck of a lot of issues with players having long term, very very serious neurological problems. That was what triggered the whole ‘head is sacrosanct’ thing here in the first place.

Leave the game pretty healthy, but by the time they’re 40 or 50 they’re all over the shop.

You wouldn't get away with ducking your head in real life, so you shouldn't get away with it on the field.

All head duckers should go to prison.

You wouldn’t head duck a car.

Ben Mcglynn and most of swans midfield are masters at it as well. Infuriating to watch.

So what you’re saying is the AFL has an OH&S problem that they have knowingly made worse?

Imagine that.

You wouldn't get away with ducking your head in real life, so you shouldn't get away with it on the field.

All head duckers should go to prison.

You wouldn’t head duck a car.

Selwood would.

i hate the Lindsey thomas style lowering the knees when contacting is imminent and then leaning into it leading with the elbow to get opponents arm to slide up to his neck just as much. one day some one will just let him fall to ground without anyone touching him and then someone will jump on him with their knees and thomas will get the in the back free, it would be worth it though.

HAP believe it or not the rule actually says:

15.2.3
Holding the Football – Prior Opportunity/No Prior Opportunity
Where the field Umpire is satisfied that a Player in possession
of the football:

(a)has had a prior opportunity to dispose of the football, the field
Umpire shall award a Free Kick against that Player if the Player
does not Kick or Handball the football immediately when they are
Correctly Tackled; or

(b)has not had a prior opportunity to dispose of the football, the
field Umpire shall award a Free Kick against that Player if, upon
being Correctly Tackled, the Player does not Correctly Dispose or
genuinely attempt to Correctly Dispose of the football after being
given a reasonable opportunity to do so.

©Except in the instance of a poor bounce or throw, a Player who
takes possession of the football while contesting a bounce or
throw by a field Umpire or a boundary throw in, shall be regarded
as having had prior opportunity.

(d) has driven their head into a stationary or near stationary
opponent, the Player shall be regarded as having had
prior opportunity.

i hate the Lindsey thomas style lowering the knees when contacting is imminent and then leaning into it leading with the elbow to get opponents arm to slide up to his neck just as much. one day some one will just let him fall to ground without anyone touching him and then someone will jump on him with their knees and thomas will get the in the back free, it would be worth it though.

HAP believe it or not the rule actually says:

15.2.3
Holding the Football – Prior Opportunity/No Prior Opportunity
Where the field Umpire is satisfied that a Player in possession
of the football:

(a)has had a prior opportunity to dispose of the football, the field
Umpire shall award a Free Kick against that Player if the Player
does not Kick or Handball the football immediately when they are
Correctly Tackled; or

(b)has not had a prior opportunity to dispose of the football, the
field Umpire shall award a Free Kick against that Player if, upon
being Correctly Tackled, the Player does not Correctly Dispose or
genuinely attempt to Correctly Dispose of the football after being
given a reasonable opportunity to do so.

©Except in the instance of a poor bounce or throw, a Player who
takes possession of the football while contesting a bounce or
throw by a field Umpire or a boundary throw in, shall be regarded
as having had prior opportunity.

(d) has driven their head into a stationary or near stationary
opponent, the Player shall be regarded as having had
prior opportunity.

It continues

(e) Wears a predominantly black jumper with a “red sash” and is tackled.

15.2.4
Holding the Football – Prior Opportunity/No Prior Opportunity

(a) shall not be awarded against players competing against those players mentioned in rule 15.2.3(e)

Against the Saints Howlett did what I hate and that is to prepare for a high level of head high contact and act like your neck has been ripped off. Stanton does it and Monfries used to do it heaps.

To be perfectly honest I wish more of our players did it.

Every other team in the comp I see have 5-10 of these given to them a week. We hardly ever do and it shites me to tears as teams do it against us every week and we don’t even think about doing it.

When you feel the tackle, lift your arm and slide towards your opponents arm to draw high contact.

Everyone can complain about it as much as they want but it works for everyone else who all get multiple free kicks a game for it each and every week which result in goals and scoring opportunities, so why don’t we do it?

It may be “unattractive” but I don’t see Rioli, Puopolo, Thomas, Selwood, Shuey, Breust, Jack, Hannebery, Steven etc lose any sleep over it and it benefits their teams without any scrutiny attached, what’s stopping us from doing it?

The only problem is, the AFL would most likely propose a new rule as soon as we started benefiting from this as to outlaw it.

No

Selwood doesn’t duck as much, he just lifts his arm and shrugs the shoulders to make the tackle go high. I hate watching him play

Against the Saints Howlett did what I hate and that is to prepare for a high level of head high contact and act like your neck has been ripped off. Stanton does it and Monfries used to do it heaps.

To be perfectly honest I wish more of our players did it.

Every other team in the comp I see have 5-10 of these given to them a week. We hardly ever do and it shites me to tears as teams do it against us every week and we don’t even think about doing it.

When you feel the tackle, lift your arm and slide towards your opponents arm to draw high contact.

Everyone can complain about it as much as they want but it works for everyone else who all get multiple free kicks a game for it each and every week which result in goals and scoring opportunities, so why don’t we do it?

It may be “unattractive” but I don’t see Rioli, Puopolo, Thomas, Selwood, Shuey, Breust, Jack, Hannebery, Steven etc lose any sleep over it and it benefits their teams without any scrutiny attached, what’s stopping us from doing it?

The only problem is, the AFL would most likely propose a new rule as soon as we started benefiting from this as to outlaw it.

Sorry Black, disagree

Hate it with a passion, its cheating. As mentioned earlier it sets a terrible precedent and someone WILL break their neck

Against the Saints Howlett did what I hate and that is to prepare for a high level of head high contact and act like your neck has been ripped off. Stanton does it and Monfries used to do it heaps.

To be perfectly honest I wish more of our players did it.

Every other team in the comp I see have 5-10 of these given to them a week. We hardly ever do and it shites me to tears as teams do it against us every week and we don’t even think about doing it.

When you feel the tackle, lift your arm and slide towards your opponents arm to draw high contact.

Everyone can complain about it as much as they want but it works for everyone else who all get multiple free kicks a game for it each and every week which result in goals and scoring opportunities, so why don’t we do it?

It may be “unattractive” but I don’t see Rioli, Puopolo, Thomas, Selwood, Shuey, Breust, Jack, Hannebery, Steven etc lose any sleep over it and it benefits their teams without any scrutiny attached, what’s stopping us from doing it?

The only problem is, the AFL would most likely propose a new rule as soon as we started benefiting from this as to outlaw it.

Sorry Black, disagree

Hate it with a passion, its cheating. As mentioned earlier it sets a terrible precedent and someone WILL break their neck

I wouldn’t call it cheating.

It’s a loophole in the rule that players capitalise on in every game of footy.

Everyone else does, we are stupid not to be.

Don’t see Selwood/Cotchin/Shuey etc being labelled cheats by anyone. In fact I think according to 90% of footy fans, excluding Essendon supporters of course, we are already deemed “cheats” by them and the footy world regardless.

Gus was a master at getting taken high.

Against the Saints Howlett did what I hate and that is to prepare for a high level of head high contact and act like your neck has been ripped off. Stanton does it and Monfries used to do it heaps.

To be perfectly honest I wish more of our players did it.

Every other team in the comp I see have 5-10 of these given to them a week. We hardly ever do and it shites me to tears as teams do it against us every week and we don’t even think about doing it.

When you feel the tackle, lift your arm and slide towards your opponents arm to draw high contact.

Everyone can complain about it as much as they want but it works for everyone else who all get multiple free kicks a game for it each and every week which result in goals and scoring opportunities, so why don’t we do it?

It may be “unattractive” but I don’t see Rioli, Puopolo, Thomas, Selwood, Shuey, Breust, Jack, Hannebery, Steven etc lose any sleep over it and it benefits their teams without any scrutiny attached, what’s stopping us from doing it?

The only problem is, the AFL would most likely propose a new rule as soon as we started benefiting from this as to outlaw it.

A few years aho i wont of completely disagreed with you. But i agree with you now. We never seem to get the cheap free’s that other teams do, especially up forward.

If lindsay thomas can be a cheat and make no mistake he is. The guy drops to his knees before he is even tackled. Then we may as well try and take advantage of the rules and cheat too.

The guys you mentioned above keep on doing it and keep getting rewarded( never really cop any media backlash as well)why not give it a try ourselves.

As for the head high contact thing, the only way players will stop putting themselves in dangerous positions is when someone gets really hurt. If selwood gets neck problems/injuries in later life he will have nobody to blame but himself