AFL 'thinking about' changing rules for dead-rubber games

The AFL could make fundamental changes for up to three games played this season as the league weighs up wide-ranging rule changes ahead of the 2019 season.

Chief executive Gillon McLachlan has revealed the league is “certainly thinking about” using dead rubbers – games not involving finals teams – to trial new rules.

“I can tell you that there’s three fixtures on consecutive weekends that I don’t think will have any bearing on the eight,” McLachlan told SEN radio.

“I know enough to know that there’s fixtures that are available where we could do it.

“We’re certainly discussing it, whether that’s appropriate, the emerging view is that it is.”

The AFL believes congestion is an issue and is attempting to take steps to introduce more free-flowing football.

The league’s football boss Steve Hocking is likely to propose starting positions at centre bounces, bigger goal squares and a reduced interchange cap when the AFL’s competition committee meets on Wednesday.

McLachlan has confirmed the AFL is considering changing the rules for dead-rubber games. Pic: Getty

Upcoming matches without an impact on the top eight include Fremantle-Carlton in round 21 and Gold Coast-Brisbane and Carlton-Bulldogs in round 22.

Two games in round 23 – St Kilda-North Melbourne and Carlton-Adelaide – could come into play if the Kangaroos and Crows fall out of contention.

McLachlan conceded clubs would need to tick off the decision to play under different rules.

“You would need them to agree and buy into it and to have a look at it,” he said.

While the games are considered dead rubbers for finals placings, results still impact draft orders and historical records.

Fans have reacted strongly to the plan and called on the AFL to instead implement changes in the pre-season or state leagues.