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Expanded 6-6-6 rule to be trailed in VFL/East Coast League in 2021

AFL have today announced a raft of rule changes for 2021 season among them is an expanded 6-6-6 rule to be trailed in state league competition.

6-6-6 rule will apply for boundary throw ins and kick outs as well as at centre bounces.

NorthPort's picture

Further to Robbo's post.  I feel like it will slow play and stifle some players running game.



40 min quarters could be the norm for VFL next year.

6-6-6 rule play can't start play at throw ins and kick ins until players are in position.

Bearsman's picture

So McGilligan is using the new  state league as a practice run for all the new rules. They come up with this already  but still havent thought up a name for the league yet lol

NorthPort's picture

They did trial the 'no Mark's kicking backwards rule a few years back , which I think generally worked fairly well. It remains to be seen how well this rule will work. I think it's alright in theory... Just not sure about in practice 😁


NorthPort's picture

The AFL today wrote to all VFL and East Coast Second-Tier Clubs to advise the AFL Commission had approved changes to the Laws of Australian Football to be implemented in the 2021 VFL and East Coast Second-Tier Competition.


Game Adjustments for the 2021 VFL and East Coast Second-Tier Competition

The largest second-tier football competition in Australia will feature rule innovations designed to protect and enhance the unique characteristics of Australian Football to ensure the game is the best it can be for all supporters.

The 2021 VFL and East Coast Second-Tier Competition will contribute to the evolution of Australian Football while maintaining the integrity of a second-tier competition where we award and celebrate the best players and teams.

AFL Executive General Manager Football Operations Steve Hocking said these changes are the result of continued analysis of the game and ongoing industry consultation.

“The evolution of the game has seen an increase in defensive structures and these changes combined are designed to provide a better balance between attack and defence while encouraging more open ball movement,” Mr Hocking said.

“We have some of the most skilful athletes in the world, and the three changes are designed to reduce the defensive capability of teams and open up the game, providing an opportunity for players to have more freedom to play on instinct and show off their natural flair.

“Our game is in good shape but we all want more of what makes our game great and while there are always great moments of brilliance in the AFL, these changes aim to increase those moments and provide more opportunities for players to showcase their talents and ultimately give supporters more of what they love.

“The Commission approved an adjustment to be implemented in the VFL and East Coast Second-Tier Competition that will see three players stationed inside 50 metres, including one player in the goal square, for all kick ins and boundary throw ins.”

The Commission has accepted the following game adjustments to be implemented in the 2021 VFL and East Coast Second-Tier Competition:

1 / Player Standing The Mark
The defending Player will only be permitted minimal lateral movement on The Mark. If the defending player moves off The Mark in any direction prior to “Play On” being called, a 50-metre penalty will apply. The defensive team is unable to substitute the Player on The Mark.

2 / Location of The Mark at Kick Ins
The Mark shall be set at 15 metres from the centre of the Kick-Off Line towards the centre of the ground at Kick Ins. This was previously set at 10 metres.

3 / Three players to be stationed inside 50 metres at each stoppage
A minimum of three Players from each team to be stationed inside 50 metres – including one pair in the Goal Square – at all Kick Ins and Boundary Throw Ins. The officiating Umpire will not recommence play until all players are in position. Where a team fails to comply at a Boundary Throw In, a Free Kick shall be awarded to the Player of the opposing Team at the point of the stoppage. Where the attacking team fails to comply at a Kick In, a 50-metre Penalty shall be awarded to the defending team.

The rule implemented specifically in the VFL and East Coast Second-Tier Competition will be closely monitored by the AFL Game Analysis Team.

The AFL will continue to work with men’s State League competitions and men’s and women’s community football Leagues across the country regarding the implementation of these rule changes.



The gutless idiots at the AFL still won't make the easiest and most cost effective rule to open up play that is REDUCE the playing number to 16!They say its in the AFL "charter " to have 18 players on the field - what total BS!

How come the womens game plays with 16 then?Is it not a legit comp then?

Right from its beginnings in the mid 1800s Australian Football has had a lot of different on field playing groups and it was not always 18.


We will end up like RU with about 300 rules that no one understands!What a shermossle.

Bearsman's picture

Billy AFL is like that now lol Who understands half the stupid rules they have now!!

These clowns will keep putting in new band aid rules every year, and the coaches will sit down and work out how to get around them, then the AFL with think up more rules for the next year and the coaches will sit down again and work out ways around them - and on it goes.

The only way they will open the game up is to change the coaches mindset about defence first. Now, defence is everything, with zones, presses, tackling and pressure so we get unwatchable clogged up footy with low scores, They have to encourage them to play open attacking footy by making it worth their while to kick higher scores. They can do it by adding to the 4 points system for winning a game ie, giving bonus points for winning with a high score. There is a lot of possibilities - like 4 points for a win plus 1 point if you win and score 100+ points, extra 2 points if you win and score 125+ points etc etc.There could even be bonus points for the losing team if they kick high enough scores. Pretty sure we'd see a different style of footy very quickly if they tried something like this.

The other alternative is for Gilligan to write to the coaches again and ask them nicely to change their methods. Didnt work last time but hey McG, you never know....

Wally from Will...
Wally from Williamstown's picture

JJ Liston Trophy champion clips AFL over rule changes

Star VFL players, including a JJ Liston Trophy-winner and a club captain, have hit out at the AFL over a key rule change for the second-tier league next year.


This bloke Hocking has done nothing but confuse supporters with his continuous rule changes every year.

Why on earth dont they discuss these changes with senior coaches, players & supporters.

As NorthPort suggests the only rule change I agreed with the VFL's "No mark if kicked backwards it was play on" worked very well but didn't please the AFL coaches.

I have discussed this rule with Fitzy & would be interested in what Garrry ,Andy's & others thoughts were ?

We might be from the bush. but we ain't green