AFL announces changes to the ruck rule | Titus O'Reily

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AFL announces changes to the ruck rule

AFL Football Operations Manager Simon Lethlean has announced new changes to the ruck rules, to fix issues caused by previous changes, which were brought in to address flaws in an even earlier set of rule changes, which addressed some problem everyone has now forgotten about.

“To be fair, I’ve inherited a mess people created to fix something that wasn’t even an issue for more than one hundred years. Yet in the space of what? Five years, it’s now an embarrassing debacle.”

“So, we need to fix it and this new set of rules regarding ruck contests that provide simple, common sense solutions.”

Under the new ruck rules, at each stoppage:

  • A player from each team will nominate as the ruckman for that stoppage
  • Each player nominating must then be seconded by a teammate to be considered eligible
  • If there is no seconder, the player with the best kicking efficiency in third quarters in games held in round 14, will be selected
  • In the event of a tie in this scenario, the player who laid the most tackles in the JLT Series will be chosen
  • If numerous players from the same team nominate, a first past the post voting system will be enacted, with eligible voters being, players, club members, media representatives in attendance and a Twitter poll.
  • Upon a player being selected, either by vote or by running unopposed, each nominated ruckman must present their credentials to a panel of ruck contest committee officials before the ball up can commence
  • Credentials will involve a new Cert IV in Rucking from an accredited education institution, which is a six-month course
  • Upon the committee issuing each nominated ruckman with their ‘license to contest’, a ball up will then commence, following each ruckman donning an ‘Official AFL Ruckman’ vest
  • The third man up rule has also been tweaked, with any player able to apply to the Third Man Up Authority for a permit for ‘a non-compliant ruck contest.’ These will be allocated based on a further process which is likely to follow the blind auditions on The Voice
  • At the next stoppage, the process will be repeated, even if the same players from each side nominate

Mr Lethlean said the new process is only expected to add two days to every game.

“The only way to defeat pointless bureaucracy is with even greater pointless bureaucracy.”

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GazB 11 April 2017

Finally, they're implementing a simple, logical fix

Matt 11 April 2017

Concise and fair

Adrian 11 April 2017

Scarily accurate

Tristan 11 April 2017

Finally common sense prevails!

Mick (the Magpie tragic) 11 April 2017

Move over KB; natural selection has finally delivered us an undisputed Rules Committee Chairman. Clarity of vision, unparalleled wordsmithiness and a witheringly clear understanding of brevity - exactly the credentials for which we've been waiting. It's Titus Time!

Mark 11 April 2017

Simon added "...if this works we plan to apply the same logic to holding the ball."

Mrs Otten 11 April 2017

What about a quick game of rock, paper, scissors to decide the ruckman?

Rosella Droppings 11 April 2017

This was trialed in the JLT series but ruckmen struggled with the complexities of rock paper scissors.

Trickster 11 April 2017


Monoccular 11 April 2017

Too quick, too simple as it is NOT open to misinterpretation nor to multiple interpretations within a a game or even a quarter or even a single stanza of play.

Blind Freddie 11 April 2017

The rules Committee are considering using the rock, paper scissors tool to determine deliberate OOB

JohnB 11 April 2017

Point of order: players may well be "licensed to contest" but the document they'll be required to hold should be a "licence to contest" (unless they or one or more of their parents or grandparents are or at any time have been US citizens). I know this slightly takes away from the elegant simplicity of the new rules, but if a thing's worth doing ...

Rob Mills 11 April 2017

We need this documented more thoroughly. Surely a Rucking Disclosure Statement should be signed by the nominated Ruck before the start (or restart) and counter signed by a JP. This should also contain an injury waiver on a contest by contest basis.

Stevo 11 April 2017

Still nothing about height restrictions

Garry 11 April 2017

Titus - brilliant! Please come and do a Gold Coast show.

Albert Einstein 11 April 2017

I once noted that the difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. I was right.

ROB SMITH 11 April 2017

To save money the Cert IV course should be out-sourced to a third world country, although this may create the need for a quality audit of the off-shore institution before the ball can be thrown up. (A market would be created overseas for australian tutors with Steve Taubert ("the Ruck Whisperer") or one of his graduates (eg Jesse White, Mike Pike, Paul Chambers etc) being highly sought.

Ginger 11 April 2017

At least 20 PD (Professional Development) points required each successive year to continue in the role. Failure to achieve the required points we go back to Titus to use his obvious genius to come up with a new selection process.
Points attained for each hour spent in seminars, webinars, discussions held with AFLPA Members. Training with the new rules do not qualify because it is considered that no-one in the coaching panel to be conversant enough to be of any help.

Aaron 11 April 2017

Perhaps the government can offer grants for private providers to deliver the Cert IV?
Even though that would probably lead to the likes of Simon Eastaugh and Clark Keating going door-to-door asking old ladies if they want a free laptop.

2ndeffort 11 April 2017

Wouldn't it be great to have my lift to the game by a 160cm tall uber driver in Aust on a student visa to study rucking

John Nicholls 11 April 2017

Cert IV in Rucking, what's that? A big man is not a man if he lets anyone else go up for him. No one ever wanted to go near me, except for Laurie Fowler in the 73 granny but no one remembers that.

IAN 11 April 2017

Should all Nominations and Communications to & from Players and Umpires be made via Twitter... Transparency at last

Alvin 11 April 2017

Well, that seems fair and reasonable. It's about time we tweaked the rules that were tweaked before to sort out the mess from previous tweaked rules.

Ben 11 April 2017

Point of order Titus - there needs to be some sort of "divided by the number of spanners in a Sidchrome Socket Set" here... otherwise the boffins won't be happy!

Craig Hearn 11 April 2017

Or they could simply go back to how it was in the good old days of footy when there were Rucks, ruck rovers, rovers, half backs, etc and everyone knew their position unlike today when they run around like a game of under 10's all chasing the ball. Probably not as funny idea as yours Titus

Kim 11 April 2017

Re: "I once noted that the difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits. I was right."

Someone else, (the great Steven Wright), once noted, that there's a fine line between fishing and standing on the side of a river looking stupid.

Margotdeepa 11 April 2017

When is Gillon going to employ you at AFL House. Perhaps you could also spend your spare time, when not changing the rules so that they won't need even more changes, to work with
the Commissioners. They desperately need all the help they can get and particularly, when it comes to employing dodgy staff who make it up as they go along. You'll fit in perfectly.

And; another familiar face at the Brownlow count. Its only a matter of time.

patricii 11 April 2017

And sadly, the Cert Iv in rucking will be more expensive than a University degree due the debacle known as 'VET-Fee Help!'. And if all ruckman require this qual, they must also complete their 'working at heights' certificate given their altitudinal advantage!

Deborah 11 April 2017

State Govts should implement Intro to Rucking in high school curriculums that leads directly into Cert IV in Rucking. Rucking for Primary students & eventually Ruck & Grow for kindergarten. Start 'em young with a clear pathway into AFL.

Deano 11 April 2017

You're actually an AFL operations employee, aren't you Titus? #thesecretisout

The half back flanker from Sri Lanka 11 April 2017

Chrome plated bollards with Scarlett cord could be bought out on the little ambulance for every stoppage.
Players then line up as per the tower of terror on the Gold Coast (another league concession for the Suns here) in a bid to be selected for the ruck duel. Anyone under the 1.2m height stick will immediately be deemed ineligible for said tuck duel.

Hillary Clinton 11 April 2017

I won't have any of this!

Why do we still refer to ruckmen? Surely the term should be ruckperpeople (GBLT-inclusive)?

A re-write is in order!

Pony 11 April 2017

Surely Trump could use a forward thinker like yourself Titus.
I'll forward this proposal to the Russians. It's bound to reach him then.

JF 11 April 2017

The rules committee will have finally done their job when they introduce restrospective tinkering.

Mick 11 April 2017

I see you're auditioning to partner with Brian Dawe, Titus. Go for it.

Jack 11 April 2017

About time they fixed it!

Max 11 April 2017

A plebiscite is the only way to move this forward

Ross 11 April 2017

A little too complex for my liking

HYDRO 11 April 2017

Hydration Monitors must unionise! The mandatory need to swarm onto the field of play at ANY STOPPAGE must be sacrosanct! No ruck contest to begin without a mouth guard de salivation completion

Phil 12 April 2017

If this change doesn't work, although given the highly thought out nature of it I suspect it will, then we could go back to the umpires nominating the two closest kids (I mean players) of roughly the same height to contest the ruck.

Garry 12 April 2017


Roderic 13 April 2017

This will never get past the Senate ... unless of course we can get One Nation's Malcolm Roberts support with some sort of "empirical evidence"?

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