A four-player interchange bench and increased player rotations are among a number of new rules to be introduced in season 2020 for the SANFL Statewide Super League and Reserves competitions.
SANFL Football Operations Manager Tom Hurley said the increase in the match day squad size to 22 players for all 10 clubs – already in place in the Torrens University Cup Under-18 competition – would reduce the impact of injury on the outcome of a match, spreading the load across more players, whilst allowing more of South Australia’s best talent to be exposed at League level.
“Not only does this amendment create alignment with all other state league competitions plus the AFL and provide an additional opportunity for a player at League and Reserves level each week, it minimises the influence of injury or injuries, particularly those incurred earlier in the match,” Hurley said.
With the increased match day squad, the SANFL Interchange Rotation Cap will be lifted from the current level of 60 per match to 75 to ensure players will spend a similar amount of time on the interchange per rotation as they did in 2019.
“The introduction of the Interchange Rotation Cap in 2016 has played a role in reducing congestion and, since its introduction, SANFL scoring has compared favourably with other competitions. It was therefore important to strike an appropriate balance when increasing that number to accommodate the additional player,” Hurley said.
Other changes to the SANFL Laws of the Game for season 2020, adopted by the SA Football Commission yesterday, are:
- The introduction the AFL’s ”3rd Man Up” rule in ruck contests to ensure only two players – one from each team – compete at each stoppage.
- In line with AFL procedure, a warning now will be given to any team which transgresses under the 6-6-6 starting positions formation before imposing a punishment of a free kick and 50m penalty for any breach.
However, Hurley said SANFL’s Last Disposal Out of Bounds rule will remain in force for season 2020 as a result of its success in reducing stoppage numbers, creating a faster game and higher scoring since being introduced to the competition in 2016.
There is also no change to the 25m penalty – despite the AFL’s 50m penalty rule – in recognition of three SANFL Clubs (Norwood, Sturt and Glenelg) having smaller grounds than most at State League level across the nation.
In the Statewide Super Women’s League, the Anti-Density Policy will remain to reduce congestion and encourage players to showcase their talent. SANFL’s Umpiring Departmentwill be reviewing the enforcement of the Anti-Density Policy after kick-ins, particularly revising the penalty from a breach to a free kick at the 50m line rather than 30m in front of goal.