Several months ago, the AFL announced new rule changes for 2019. Perhaps the most welcome change - for defenders at least - is the elimination of the hands in the back rule. No longer will a free kick be awarded to a player who simply places his hands on the back of his opponent. A push will still be penalized.
After a point is scored, players will now be allowed to run through the goal square and take off without having to kick the ball to themselves. They will also be allowed to handball the ball out from a behind instead of being restricted to just kicking it to themselves in the goal square or to a teammate. The opposition player standing at "the mark" in front of the goal square will be positioned 10 meters (11 yards) from the edge of the square rather than the previous five meters.