AFL Victoria Western Districts has announced some new rule changes for the 2021 country football season, to bring local competitions in line with the new AFL rules.
These changes are part of a series of AFL rule changes for the 2021 season, as the league aims to open up the game and increase scoring at the elite level.
For all community leagues in the Western Districts region, there are two key changes which have been made to the way a player can guard the mark.
For the 2021 season, the player defending on the mark "will only be permitted minimal lateral movement on the mark", to give the attacking player a greater chance to move the ball forward.
If the defending player moves 'off the mark' in any direction, prior to 'play on' being called, a 50-metre penalty will be applied.
Teams who are defending the mark will also be unable to substitute the player on the mark, meaning once a player has stood on the mark, they cannot swap with one of their teammates.
The positioning of the mark at a kick-in will also be changed, and will now be 15 metres from the centre of the top of the goal square.
Previously, the player on the mark was set at 10 metres from the centre of the top of the goal square.
At the elite level, two other changes have been applied where a maximum of 75 total player interchanges per match are allowed and in the 2021 VFL and East Coast Second-Tier Competition three players have to be positioned inside 50 metres at each stoppage, with one player from each side required to be inside the goal square.
AFL Victoria Western Districts also announced the 2021 minimum club charges for the supply of umpires will remain the same as the rates for 2020 season.
These minimum charges are intended to be used to form the basis of discussions that lead to the agreed rate clubs charge out for the supply of umpires.
AFL Victoria Western Districts lists the minimum club charges for supply of umpires at $161 for central umpires $92 for boundary and $71 for goal umpires for the men's seniors in a district league in the region.
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