Western Bulldogs coach Luke Beveridge says if the AFL had consulted widely before tightening the holding the ball interpretation after round four, they could have avoided the confusion players and fans felt and the subsequent reputational hit the game had taken.
He said exactly the same process occurred when the AFL tried to free up the game by being stricter on players not making a genuine attempt at the start of 2017, with uproar followed by a return to the status quo.
“It’s history repeating itself. It happened at the start of ’17 so by the end of the fourth week they went back to the original interpretation,” Beveridge said.
“Now we are going through an adjustment as to what it was, and now I don’t want to be that guy … I don’t want to be a ‘told you so’ guy but it is exactly what is happening.”