The deliberate OOB rule

I know there is a general “the umpires are ■■■■■■ thread” but I’m being more specific here although I fear I may be able to add the deliberate point rule imminently.

It’s my view that the deliberate OOB rule is an absolute abomination. My reasoning:

  1. It’s way too difficult for our umpires with limited judgement and common sense to successfully adjudicate.
  2. AFL is a difficult game to umpire and the deliberate OOB rule is way too subjective.
  3. The AFL ground is oval/round and hence logically a ball kicked near the boundary line will naturally travel to the boundary line more often than not.
  4. As the rule is so subjective, it’s more susceptible to influence from the crowd or favoured players/teams.
  5. It’s plain ugly. Nearly every time the ball goes OOB the players, spectators or both are appealing for a deliberate OOB.
  6. It does not actually improve the game.
  7. Players that actually could stop the ball from going OOB are at times rewarded with a free kick simply because they were not last to touch it and deliberately stand back and watch it go OOB. How is that speeding up the game or trying to keep the ball in play?

Here is just 2 examples from last week although I can think of more examples from the Bombers V Adelaide game without looking further.


I don’t mind it…

Why are you looking at me like that?

Abomination is the correct word. IIRC it’s not even deliberate out of bounds anymore, it’s not doing everything you can to keep the ball in.

Firstly, any rule that requires umpires to determine a players intention is beyond ridiculous.

Secondly, watching players continuously escort the ball out of bounds is a truly awful look for the game. Then rewarding that with a free kick is a joke.

It’s a contested game, a game of action. Rewarding inaction is just horrible.

I reckon this is the single worst rule change I’ve ever seen and I’ve been watching footy a long, long time.


With the pace of the game, more often than not there’s too much for the umpires to much to factor in. I think they’re better off focussing on other things.

I also think there was an art form to sinking the boot into a wobbly flat punt or snap, bouncing a few times to gain territory from the backline to back flank/wing. It was something Dustin Fletcher amazing at. He wasn’t a pioneer but I don’t think there are many who were as good as he was at gaining a good 40m and clearing danger.


Agreed. If you have the opportunity to pick up the ball as it heads towards the boundary without pressure, and choose to let it roll over or escort it, then the deliberate should be on you, not the person who kicked it. After all you let it go out deliberately.


It certainly should. It’s just awful.

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I struggle to explain rules to others these days.


It seems to be that many people see a correlation between deliberate out of bounds, and the rushed behind.

Umpires need to be tough on Rushed behind because the team continue to gain possession of the ball.

The Deliberate out of bounds is just bullsh*t now. It’s too harsh. Most of the time it’s when A player is in two minds between kicking it to a team mate and hitting the boundary line and they end up going for both options. There isn’t really much advantage other than killing the play and setting up the zone again.

It’s nothing more than the AFL wanting to speed the game up for neutral and new fans.

Rule open to each individual umpire,who are asked to use there own logic.
Shape of ball,weather conditions,pressure applied,angles,skill level of player involved,crowd noise,go out the window.
Another common sense rule…over umpired.
The powers that be should fix…but than again they don’t make mistakes…as were all aware.

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Some games they don’t use it at all.
Some games they use it early and don’t use it again.
Some games they don’t use it and then ping one in the last quarter.
Some games they’re as strict on the interpretation as they were in the first week.

It’s a joke.
There’s no way anyone can possibly get a read on it.




Don’t start me on the nomination at ruck contests…

I’ve been saying all these things for years. So now I’ll just say I agree.

This probably belongs in the non-Essendon stuff category, but I’m sure it will get moved at some point.

I think there needs to be some sort of penalty for trying to stop play, otherwise you can guarantee we’d be watching rugby style kicking into touch. Win clearance, kick into touch, set play stoppage, kick into touch, set play stoppage, all the way up the field. There would be HBF whose outstanding attribute was the ability to kick the ball 60m out of bounds. I guess some people might be into that, it’d drive me up the wall.

Personally, I’d use the kick-in from a behind rules. If the ball goes out of bounds from a kick without being touched, it’s a free kick. No appealing for frees from players and crowd and the umpire making a decision, it’s just a free kick.

It would mean more players letting a ball run out of bounds, which is bad, but less subjective and inconsistent calls, which I think is a bigger advantage. It might also result it more desperation from a player of the same team to try and keep the ball in, whereas now they generally figure if they’re within a few metres it won’t be called deliberate so they can let it roll out.

I’d much prefer slightly more frees and no subjectivity than the current situation, or the previous situation of “make it look enough like an accident and we’ll all pretend it was an accident, except very occasionally we won’t and you’ll never know what you did wrong.” We already have enough of that ■■■■ with “came out in the tackle”

The guiding principles for the Laws of the Game are:

The unique characteristics of the game should be maintained and encouraged

Player health and safety is protected via the Laws of the Game, interpretations and officiating

A priority of the Laws, interpretations and officiating is to reward and protect the player who makes winning the ball their primary objective.

Australian Football at AFL level should be maintained as a physically tough and contested game with appropriate consideration to player health and safety

Players of various sizes, football and athletic ability have an opportunity for success in the game played at the highest level

.The direction and movement of the ball is unpredictable and has few restrictions.

There are few restrictions on where player can be located across the ground

Continuous and free flowing football is encouraged ahead of repetitive short passages of play

The Laws of the Game balances offensive and defensive aspects of play, where an attacking style of game is encouraged

Seems this rule is directly at odds with at least two of their guiding principles.


This is a terrible rule. Just admit you cocked up, AFL, and abolish it now. Take the deliberate rushed behind rule aswell. And the 3rd man up. ■■■■ them right off. And the sliding in a tackle. And hands in the back rule. In the last 15 years, they have successfully sucked my enjoyment out of Aussie Rules.


Would just like to point out this is every rule, ever. Bit unfair to criticise this one alone.

I don’t mind the OOB change.
They just need to not pay it if a defending player is there and could grab it easily enough. It takes two to tango.


The one late in the freo v dees game was the worst I’ve seen

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In that case they should pay it against the player that could have taken possession but deliberately let it go out of bounds.

It is after all the ‘deliberate out of bounds’ rule.


Yep. Its a real worry those conceiving the rule didn’t think of this scenario, 18 clubs have clearly realised it & trained for their defenders to shepherd the ball over to get the kick out.

Personally, I don’t doubt that 95% of players know exactly what they’re doing with these kicks, 95% of the time.