by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago
Sydney Coach Paul Roos, who will leave the Swans for a position in junior development next year, has again voiced his concern over constant rule changes. He said there has been too much confusion among players, coaches, fans and commentators in recent seasons. He further stated that he is now seeing that confusion filtering down to junior football and he believes this will affect the development of young players. He pointed to the "hands in the back" rule (when a player is penalized if he puts his hands into the back of an opponent during an attempt to catch the ball). He said he sees kids getting penalized because they are "... clumsy ... they ... don't know how to go for a mark ..." and get a free kick paid against them. He said it was becoming frustrating for the umpires and junior players and their parents.
He was also critical of the AFL's Rules Committee, believing they were under pressure to make changes just "... to be seen to be doing something ...". He said the committee needed to leave the rules alone for a while. He expressed his sympathy for the umpires who he said were also caught up in the confusion. He acknowledged the difficult job the umpires had, saying Aussie Rules was probably the hardest game to referee. In a final note, he added that if the game were umpired to the letter of law, there would be 100 free kicks per game.
Article last changed on Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - 7:46 AM EDT