Rule changes and our list strategy

With starting positions a near guarantee next year I’m wondering:

  • how does the game change with starting positions

  • what roles become more important?

  • what roles become less important?

  • how well is our list prepared for the impending changes?

  • what pieces do we need to be successful?

Answering my own question:

My understanding is that six people from each team need to be in each arc at each centre bounce. This means that you can’t put an extra behind the ball (woot we might beat carlton) and it also means that you can’t run off the square at the centre bounce.

It should mean that the four centremen and the wingers have a relatively free run at it, although on grounds like the SCG that are shorter it will be less noticeable as the fifty meter line and the centre square are very close.

What does that mean?

I think that the star mids who can clear the ball and can burst out from the stoppage will be the most critical players in the game (if they weren’t already). Think Judd, Josh Kelly, Dusty, etc

Ruckmen who can play as an extra mid in the Brody Grundy mould and great tap ruckmen like Gawn will rise in importance.

I assume the wingmen will become more critical- rather than outside runners who cover lots of ground they will be important for either running the ball out or keeping the ball in.

The pacy half backs who run through the contest at the moment will have to run further and faster to impact the contest. The ground is going to be less congested so I wonder if that manic run off half back is going to be as important a weapon. Foot skills in the backline might be more important than pace.

Forwards should get more one on One opportunities so marking forwards and stingy defenders who win 1:1s are important. Can’t rely on a third man as much anymore.

Also defenders with big engines who can run fast enough and cover enough ground to form the defensive strategy asked of by the coach once the ball is bounced.

Feels like our list is ok with the exception of those genuine gun clearance players in the midfield. Richmond and Melbourne seem really well prepared with lots of hard ball winners and tall forwards who can win 1:1s.

Lots of hypotheticals, interested in others thoughts

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What’s to stop the wingman starting on the back of the square?


That’s a potential strategy, but pretty dangerous

If you leave the opposition winger free and they get a clean clearance and win the ball in space on the wing you’re going to get torched

I think taggers will come back in vogue.
That and the Mumford type rucks whose main objective is to force a second bounce so that they can setup the way they want to.

I’d be interested what happens by extending the goal square.

This is what I was thinking too. Forcing a second bounce might become an art form, defeating the purpose of the rule change, necessitating a further rule change…


It’s a futile thought, but STOP CHANGING THE RULES!!!


Ironically, in order to stop changing the rules, they’d have to change the rule which states rule changes have to be brought in every season.

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How many mids are gonna get sniped by the seventh defender running from the forward-line to the backline

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You’ll just start you ‘wingers’ in the forward 6, and have your smaller forwards starting on the wings or off the back of the square like usual. I doubt itll change much tbh.

Your tactics will be all about where you employ those two extra wingers at bounces and which players you have in those positions.

Biggest change will come in late game scenarios makes flooding back take longer.

It’s such a joke that the rules changes haven’t been decided yet.

Surely they should be announced in plenty of time for the clubs to think about before they start making list changes

They need to give Hawthorn time to exploit them to their advantage though


Are they doing the bigger goal square?

If so does it mean marks indie it are taken from directly in front?

If the Tigers cannot play 8 on their backline , they are screwed.

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The mooted rule changes have been brought about by the enhanced athleticism of defenders who have become better able to close down space, and effect spoils etc. The latest changes have been developed to favor forwards yet again. Instead of letting the game evolve, they AFaiL keep tinkering with it, n order to maintain their idea of a spectacle. Rule changes have become an annual event, more is the pity.


Rule changes are in because to much congestion ,ball ups ,scrimmages slow down the scoring of goals so less ads to the advertising broadcaster.
Scoring goals, lots of goals is what free to air advertisers want, more ads more goals.
How often to CH 7 stay at the footy after a goal is scored .Straight to an ad break.


A quick HFF can get to that wing pretty quickly IMO.

Try being interstate watching free to air t.v. You hardy ever to get to see after the game activities because as soon as the siren goes, you get smacked with a barrage of ads.

Not sure if the “starting positions” change requires any list tweak by us.
It’s a rule that will vary hugely game by game- in an 8 goal to 6 slog fest for example it’s not going to come into effect very often, compared to stoppage rule changes ( third man up) or reinterpretations of prior opportunity, or interchange restrictions, and how they may change list requirements.
(As others have noted some clubs will be affected more than others - hello Carlton & Richmond)

The extended goal square is more interesting re player lists and types.
For example how far would Harts roost it with an extra 10 metres or so to play with?
I can see clubs looking to prioritise long kicking backs as a result.
Equally it would give a Conor type more room to tap and take off- harder to corral him in the back pocket - he or Saad could be at the 50 metre arc before they had to kick.

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Interesting article in the HS written by Mick McGuanne about which team will benefit from the new 6-6-6 rule… the part that tickled my fancy was this…


Collingwood and Melbourne have the best two ruckmen in the game in Brodie Grundy and Max Gawn, and that’s going to be a big advantage.

Mind you, they also have the best midfield depth, too.

They have the class (Scott Pendlebury, Dayne Beams, Angus Brayshaw and Clayton Oliver), but they also have the grunt (Taylor Adams and Jack Viney), as well as the speed (Adam Treloar).

There will still be room for taggers, but only those who can win their own ball too, such as Demon James Harmes.

Last year Champion Data ranked the Demons and Pies second and third for the best four-man combination for scores from centre clearance. Surprisingly, Essendon had the best.

Tom Bellchambers, David Myers, Dyson Heppell and Zach Merrett rated No.1, with 37 centre bounce involvements resulting in scores 21.6 per cent of the time.

That shows the Bombers, despite finishing 11th, got some things right, and they have added to their midfield depth with Dylan Shiel, and can throw in Devon Smith.