Ballarat umpires to enforce third man up ban in 2017

Only the two designated ruckmen will be allowed to battle at stoppages in the region’s football leagues this year.

The Ballarat Football Umpires Association has confirmed it will follow the new law, which will be implemented in 2017.

According to an AFL Victoria Country alert, a free kick will be awarded against a non-designated ruckman competing for the ball at stoppages.

“Boundary throw-ins will only be contested by the two nominated ruckmen. Other players must wait until either of the nominated ruckmen have contested (touched) the ball or, should the throw be too shallow or too deep, wait for the ball to hit the ground,” the statement read.

Umpires will also take a stricter approach to the high contact law.

“In the opinion of the umpire where a tackle is reasonably applied and the ball carrier is responsible for the high contact via a shrug, duck, drop of the body or arm-lift or a similar action, ‘play-on’ will be called.

“The adjudication of players who drive into a tackle is unchanged from 2016 and is still deemed as a prior opportunity.”

RUCK BATTLE: Max Risstrom (Daylesford) and Luke Gunnell (Gordon) fly for the ball during a match last season. A new rule in 2017 means only the two designated ruckmen can contest stoppages.

RUCK BATTLE: Max Risstrom (Daylesford) and Luke Gunnell (Gordon) fly for the ball during a match last season. A new rule in 2017 means only the two designated ruckmen can contest stoppages.

The BFUA will also adhere to the 10m protected area around set kick situations.

Brought in by both the AFL and AFL Victoria Country last season, it was not strictly applied by the BFUA because it was deemed a last-minute change.