“Players are aware that the stand rule has been in place for two years now and how it works. Players on the mark understand that once the stand is called they cannot move until the play is called and the player with the ball understands that if they go off their line the play is likely to be called out,” Richardson said.
“We want the game to be called first on those occasions (when a player pretends to play handball or keeps playing to shoot a 50).
“There is the responsibility of the referee to apply the rules and the responsibility of the player not to simulate and to gain an advantage. As with the other rule adjustments we have made (the suppression of high tackles lead or Ginnivan’s rule this year) Officiating is hard enough without players trying to gain an advantage by pretending to exploit the rules,” Richardson said.
The AFL did not send a memo to clubs this week reminding them of the situation, saying it was unnecessary as clubs and players knew the rule.
There were a range of other controversial free-kicks in the game, including blocks in marking competitions that led to goals or meant a penalty shootout was disallowed. There were also free-kicks dropped from the ball unpaid which would have led to goals.
Both teams scored goals or were disallowed goals from free kicks or unpaid free kicks. These problems occur every week.
The Docherty-De Goey example was raised by the AFL as an issue of concern over players looking to gain an advantage.