Luke Beveridge believes AFL's tough new holding-the-ball interpretation is a case of history repeating itself.
Players, coaches and fans have been frustrated by inconsistencies that have followed a mid-season league directive to tighten the adjudication of the rule.
Debate was reignited on Monday night after a series of contentious decisions during St Kilda's 23-point win over Adelaide, with Crows skipper Taylor Walker saying players were second guessing themselves in the way they approached contests.
But Western Bulldogs coach Beveridge said he'd seen it all before and that the AFL jumped to an "impulsive" change leading into the 2017 season.
"At the start of 2017 exactly the same thing happened," Beveridge said on Wednesday.
"The interpretation had changed, and the umpires went about doing their best to adjudicate it and about now, three weeks into it, the players started to make some noise about whether it was the best thing for them to get the ball first.
"It's history repeating itself; by the end of the fourth week we went back to the original interpretation.
"I don't want to be an 'I told you so' guy but it's exactly what's happening."
Beveridge called for more collaboration from footy brains on the rule change, which was designed to ease congestion and reward tacklers.
"If you want a dramatic change in this area, it's have prior opportunity for the player who possesses the ball and then once you handball it to a teammate, the team prior opportunity is gone and then you just reward any tackle after that.
"And that would significantly change and help the umpires in their interpretation of it ... whether or not we make that leap remains to be seen."