Is the sub rule about to get the red vest?

Is the sub rule about to get the red vest?


The player-driven push to dump the substitute rule has got the backing of the footy public.

More than 75 per cent of respondents in the Herald Sun fans survey said it was time to ditch the red vest.

“If we can get rid of it next year the players would be fully supportive of that” – Ian Prendergast

The results are reflected among the AFL playing group, and the push from the Players and the Game group.

The 18-man committee, which includes Gary Ablett, Scott Pendlebury, Tom Rockliff and Nathan Jones, has already flagged the dissatisfaction with the sub rule.

“It’s fair to say players aren’t a fan of the sub rule,” AFL Players’ GM of Player Relations Ian Prendergast said at the group’s first meeting in April.

“If we can get rid of it next year the players would be fully supportive of that.

“The type of stigma surrounding a player debuting and then sitting there in the green vest is not a great look from the players’ point of view.”

The sub rule, introduced in 2011, was labelled “the worst rule brought into footy” by Melbourne coach Paul Roos this season.

“It serves no purpose at all,” Roos said.

Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge agreed.

AFL football operations boss Mark Evans said the rule is being looked at by the Laws of the Game committee, with a decision to be made before the end of the season.

“Feedback from the AFLPA and all clubs is also to be sought and considered before a final decision is made on its future operation,” he said.

“All clubs have been told that a decision on the substitute and interchange will be made before the end of this season, before clubs go into their process to begin list management for next season.”

The Players and the Game Group will meet in coming weeks with the AFL to discuss the substitute rule, rotations cap and dangerous tackles.

Click here to find out more about The Players and the Game Group.

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  • I believe the sub rule should be re-worked for concussed players. A player can be subbed off if a serious injury or concussion occurs. However, it's quite unfair to leave someone sitting on the bench in a green vest when they're ready to go. Especially if it's a young kid and then they're expected to insert themselves into a game halfway through the third. I, along with most fans, would be happy to see that green vest go!