Top Aussie international Rob Hammond shares his thoughts on the new rules from a player's viewpoint. He focuses on how the rule prohibiting hitting the ball directly into the circle from within the 23m has provided a different set of options which neither promote or discourage circle penetrations.
"One point that is valuable with the new rule is that it forces you change the point of attack from where the free hit originates, which means that by the time the ball enters the circle the opposition defence is usually shifting or sliding as well, so they are not settled, balanced and have to re-adjust their marking, tackling and interception lines. With the traditional rule teams would set up a mini wall 5 metres from the free-hit, and have their centre half and spare fullback/sweeper just behind this wall protecting the direct line to goal, which meant any balls into this area were generally intercepted. All in all the opportunity to win PC’s and generate goal scoring opportunities is roughly the same, but we’re seeing a much more clever twist to the players skills in doing so."
Some really insightful comments from a top player, which can help us as umpires understand how the teams are dealing with the transition and how we need to adapt some of our techniques and strategies to map to these changes.
Read the full article here.