New Post has been published on http://www.thepeptalk.com.au/australian-rules-football-like-a-rolling-maul/
Australian Rules Football: Like A Rolling Maul
Bob Dylan sang in the 1960s ‘the times they are a changing’ and he was right. Who would have thought 50 years later that the song which defined a generation would describe the game that we once loved and now just generally frustrated with: Australian Rules Football.
Remember growing up as a child and having a kick with Dad in the backyard? He would show you the right techniques (in his eyes) and also teach you the fundamentals of how to play the game. Then you would play junior footy and your coach would enhance your skills and teach you the basics on how to play the game from a tactical standpoint. The basics taught were:
- The boundary line is your best friend
- Chop the arms if you can’t hit the ball
- Rush the ball through the points if in trouble down back
- Hold the player up when they take a mark so they cannot play on
- Hit the pack hard and be the first to the ball
- Dump your opponent in a tackle and make them feel it
These were the foundations to our football development and have been handed down from father to son, coach to player, for decades. This is what the game stood for and the characteristics great players demonstrated a weekly basis. They were clear cut and you knew what you could do and what you couldn’t.
Look at those fundamentals and now have a look at the modern game (I can’t stand that term); you can’t do ANY of them anymore as you would be giving away a free kick! Look at the list again and tell me I’m wrong. What was once seen and a way of negating and stopping your opponent is now rewarded as a free pass for them. The game has done a complete 180 degree flip on what it once stood for which was about making the contest, using every inch of the field to your advantage and do whatever you can to stop your opponent’s advantage within the rules.
Yet the biggest example of ‘the times they are a changing’ has to do with the dropping the ball / incorrect disposal rule. Where you were once taught to pin the arms in a tackle and you will now be rewarded has now turned into PLAY ON! They players, the coaches, the supporters, everyone is confused!
Australian Rules Football is a used to be simple game to play and to follow. It was also a simple game to teach. But having a look at the way the game is being policed on the ground and how there is a such a fine line between being a smart player or a liability to your team, it is no wonder so many people are disillusioned with it.
Dylan was right. The times they are a changing and for our beautiful game it isn’t for the better.