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AFL Commission approves rule changes for 2019


Players will be held strictly liable for head clashes when bumping in 2019.

It comes as a change from 2018, where incidental head clashes from otherwise correct bumps did not result in a sanction, such as Ryan Burton’s collision with Shaun Higgins.

Players will still be able to argue that they were contesting the ball, however they have been notified that this defence will be applied conservatively.

Other approved changes include:

  • Strikes that are deemed Intentional, High impact, and High contact will no longer be sent to the Tribunal, instead incurring a three-match suspension.
  • Using studs in marking contests and general play will incur a free kick, but fines or suspensions will be handed down for more serious contact.
  • Stricter interpretation of prohibited contact, such as off-the-ball strikes.
  • A new offence of “unreasonable or unnecessary contact with an umpire” has been created to catch umpire contact that falls between intentional and careless.
  • Stomping and Eye Gouging offences will be referred directly to the Tribunal.

Photo: Julian Smith / AAP