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Rumour confirmed: AFL makes change to bring excitement back to goal umpire salute

FIRST on the RUMOUR FILE

Goal umpires’ arms have been pointless for more than 20 years — but that’s about to change.

Since 1994, umpires have had to stand in the centre of the goals when signalling a major.

It’s taken the shared anticipation of the iconic two-finger salute out of the game for most regular fans, who knew a goal had been scored simply by watching where the umpire stood before making his signal.

But the collective held-breath before the umpire’s signal will return in 2020.

As first reported on the 3AW Rumour File on Monday and later confirmed on the AFL’s website, umpires have been given a licence to award a goal between the goalposts using the shortest distance and time from where they’re positioned when a ball sails through.

So the only time the crowd will know a goal has been awarded will be when the umpire makes their signal, regardless of where he or she stands.

Ross Stevenson is a big fan of the change, having raised the pointlessness of the signal several years ago.

(Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

RUMOUR CONFIRMED
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