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‘Studs up’ marking debacle: AFL changes the rule for final round

The AFL has taken the unusual step of changing the rules with only one round of the home and away season to play after a backlash to the so-called ‘studs up’ rule.

Footy fans and Richmond reacted angrily to two free kicks paid against Tigers star Jack Riewoldt in Sunday’s classic against West Coast.

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The rule was brought in at the start of this year.

The AFL today defended the umpire, saying the decision was correct.

But the league clearly didn’t like what it saw, and acted to ensure it won’t happen again.

“The studs up rule was brought in to ensure players did not employ their studs in marking contests in a manner likely to cause injury,” operations boss Steve Hocking said in a statement.

“Although the two incidents from the Richmond v West Coast Eagles match were adjudicated according to the current interpretation, the AFL acknowledges there is a need to adjust the interpretation of rough conduct free kicks relating to the use of studs in marking contests and will make this change effective immediately.”

3AW newsbreaker Tom Morris revealed the details on Sportsday, and the move was applauded by 3AW Football’s Matthew Lloyd.

“I’m rapt,” Lloydy said.

“I thought it (the rule) was ridiculous.”

Click PLAY to hear more on Sportsday