THE PORT ADELAIDE Football Club has welcomed changes ratified by the SA Football Commission to the SANFL rules for 2022.
Among the changes will be the introduction of the “stand rule”, where a player is forced to remain idle on the mark after a mark or free kick is awarded to an opponent, as used in the AFL and other state league competitions this year.
In 2022, SANFL will also be in unison with other State Leagues in allowing Port Adelaide and the Crows the discretion to play activated AFL medical substitutes in the SANFL on the same weekend.
Previously, players who were activated medical substitutes in the AFL were not permitted to play in the SANFL on the same weekend. AFL will be required to communicate their player's availability to the opposition club within 60 minutes of the conclusion of the AFL match.
Port Adelaide General Manager – Football, Chris Davies acknowledged the SANFL’s rule changes for 2022.
“The changes that the SANFL have made are a positive for the development of our AFL listed players who play at SANFL level,” he said.
“The AFL’s stand rule has a real impact on the way the game is played, so we welcome the fact that the SANFL rules will be closer to those seen at AFL level.
“Equally, allowing an activated AFL medical substitute to play at SANFL level on the same weekend is also significant. This brings the SANFL into line with the AFL’s intention when the medical substitute was added to the AFL competition and the other state leagues.
“We were strong and public in our views on this matter earlier in the year and have appreciated the open dialogue that we’ve had with the SANFL since.”
SANFL General Manager Matt Duldig said it made sense to align those rules with other competitions.
''Since its introduction, the stand rule has resulted in a more free-flowing style of play whilst enabling players more opportunities to kick through the centre corridor, to break lines and speed up the game,'' Mr Duldig said.
''Importantly, pausing on its introduction for 12 months has allowed SANFL umpires and players to gain a better understanding of its implementation. In fact, we were already organically seeing it creep into the game in 2021 without it being formally introduced.
''Announcing its introduction now will also provide SANFL umpires opportunity to work with our players during summer training and the trial match period before the premiership season begins next year.''
The stand rule will be rolled out across all SANFL State League competitions, including SANFLW and under-age competitions, providing those rising through the ranks with the chance to adjust before reaching senior level.
''This will also provide our talented juniors the opportunity to play with the Stand Rule on a weekly basis which we felt was important considering it's now in place across all national talent competitions, including the NAB AFL Championships,'' Duldig said.
Other rule changes ratified relate to the ability of Port Adelaide and the Crows to recruit players for their SANFL lists.
Among the changes are that players who have played at least ten years for either Adelaide or Port Adelaide can be added to the SANFL contracted list at those clubs.
Port and the Crows will also be able to contract any delisted AFL player who has not played AFL or State League football for the past 12 months, shorter than the previous 24 month wait.
Those clubs can also have access to father-son prospects in their 18th year for a full season as long as they pay a $5000 transfer fee and those players have not previously played League football with their parent SANFL side.
Adjustments ratified by the SA Football Commission for 2022:
- AFL’s Stand Rule adopted, asking players to remain idle while standing the mark once a free kick has been paid.
- Activated AFL medical substitutes will be permitted to play in the SANFL on the same weekend as long as opposition club is notified within 60 minutes of the conclusion of the AFL match.
- Any delisted AFL player who has not played AFL or State League, or been on an AFL list for the past 12 months (previously 24 months), can be supplementary listed to play SANFL for AFC or PAFC.
- A player who has served a minimum of 10 years on either Adelaide's or Port Adelaide's AFL list can be included on the supplementary (SANFL) List of the AFL club where they served the 10-year period.
- Increasing the age range of interstate players AFL Clubs can include on their supplementary (SANFL) lists from 19 to 21 years to 19 to 23 years of age.
- Adelaide and Port Adelaide would have access to Father-Son prospects in their 18th year, for a full season to play in their SANFL team - if they haven't already played League with their SANFL club. In this instance, the AFL club would pay the player's SANFL club a $5000 transfer fee.
- Removal of a transfer fee for Next Generation Academy and Father-Son players in their 18th and 19th year, who are yet to play League Football at their SANFL club, allowing them an opportunity to play and train with their AFL-aligned SANFL club over a four-week period.