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Brad Scott explains 2022 crackdown on player time wasting tactics


Brad Scott is the man charged with taking over from Steve Hocking in looking after the state of the game.

It was revealed on Tuesday afternoon that the former North Melbourne coach currently has no plans to change rules for the 2022 season, but has a few areas he wishes to tighten up.

One of those is the wasting of time, which includes any tactics made by a player to delay giving the ball back to the other team or an umpire to allow teammates to flood back into defence.

Scott said players who actively delay the game will concede a 50 metre penalty.
“Not rule changes as such, but we did talk about some interpretations and probably just bringing back the umpire interpretations back to the way the rules were originally written,” Scott told SEN’s Whateley.

“As an example of that, a really simple one which is time wasting, which seems like a really frivolous thing to talk about, but when we’re trying to get free flowing footy and we want to get teams to move the ball on quickly.

“Any coach will tell you that when they don’t have the ball, the first weapon in defence is to delay the opposition playing the ball on.

“We want to tighten that up and we showed the committee some examples yesterday of 2021 time delay tactics that won’t be tolerated in 2022.

“That’s not a rule change, but that’s just tightening up an existing rule and making sure everyone is aware of that.

“We see it in other sports like the rugby codes where the delaying the playing of the ball is a coaching tactic. All clubs talk about it and all clubs do it, it’s probably time we caught up with it and the umpires were stricter on it.

“It feeds into the umpire respect piece. Players getting the ball back to the umpire rather than kicking the ball away. Those sorts of things have crept into the game in the last couple of years and we’re keen to sharpen that up.”

Scott gave an example of what that will look like next season.

“If you think about the way footy is played if there’s a free kick paid for holding the ball at a stoppage and players are milling around the ball, quite often the player who has had the free kick paid against him will just sit over the top of the ball and not let the opposition player get access to the ball,” he said.

“We just won’t tolerate that next year. If the player impedes the opposition player who has won the free kick it will be a 50 metre penalty.

“That’s something that has just slipped over the last couple of years.”

It has been confirmed that the Stand rule will remain in place next season in conjunction with this further crackdown on time wasting.

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