AFL interchange stays the same for 2013

The AFL Commission will hold fire for a year before deciding whether to cap the number of interchange rotations.

The AFL laws of the game committee had recommended that interchanges be capped at 80 per team per game after the average figure spiralled to 131 this season.

AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou said on Tuesday the Commission approved the recommendation of a cap in principle, but had decided to wait 12 months to further review data and analysis before committing to the change.

A cap will apply for the pre-season NAB Cup in 2013.

The Commission approved the following three changes as part of the annual laws review process:

* A free kick will now be awarded against any player who makes forceful contact below the knees of an opponent;

* Umpires will throw the ball up at stoppages in general play, although they will continue to bounce it at the start of each quarter and after goals;

* Ruckmen will be unable to make contact with opponents at stoppages until the ball has left the umpire’s hands.

“The approved changes are primarily designed to protect players from injury as well as helping to reduce congestion,” said Demetriou.

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