The contentious man on the mark rule has sparked blowback in an AFL meeting with club CEO’s.
At least one chief executive yesterday voiced his anger over the new rule, telling the league it was destroying the fabric of the game.
The AFL will wait until this week’s round of official pre-season matches is played before deciding whether to dial down the strictness of the rule, with decision-makers wrestling with allowing players on the mark some grace or sticking to a black and white interpretation.
But one week of practice games has been enough to anger some club chiefs, who are holding weekly meetings with AFL headquarters in the lead-up to the season.
It came as the AFL has moved to reassure clubs that the first three rounds of the season will go ahead as scheduled despite the cloud of uncertainty over Western Australia’s border restrictions with Victoria.
WA’s hard-line border stance on visitors from Victoria is on track to be eased on March 13 – five days before the Richmond-Carlton season opener – but that is dependent on no new community transmission cases on the east coast.
Under current WA government protocols, Fremantle would not be able to fly home after its Round 1 MCG meeting with Melbourne without serving 14 days in isolation.
West Coast would face the same problem after a Round 2 game against the Western Bulldogs at Marvel Stadium.
But the AFL yesterday told club CEO’s it was confident there would be no change to the fixture in the opening weeks of the season.