AFL scraps on-field warm-up
THE AFL has opened the door for the return of the curtain raiser with changes to game day scheduling including scrapping the on-field warm-up.
Clubs have been notified of a series of changes for the 2018 season including increasing emergencies from three to four, Fox Footy reports.
The familiar sight in recent seasons of players completing a 15-minute warm-up on the field about half an hour before the first bounce is out.
Clubs will warm up in the rooms after the AFL decreed players will only be permitted to enter the arena an hour or two before matches - if there is no certain-raiser - then 11 minute before the bounce.
The VFL released its fixture late last year that included a number of proposed curtain-raisers with the proviso they would be "confirmed in the new year".
They include VFL games at Etihad Stadium - Richmond and North Melbourne's VFL sides are scheduled to face off before the AFL teams meet at the same venue in Round 8, and Footscray and the Box Hill Hawks are fixtured to play at Etihad Stadium in the lead-up to the Western Bulldogs v Hawthorn night match in Round 16.
Geelong's VFL team has several games at GMHBA Stadium before the Cats play at the same venue.
The fixtures revive memories of the days when reserves teams would play before every match. The reserves competition was scrapped in 1999 when the VFL became the official second-tier competition.
As part of the changes, which will take effect from the first game of the home-and-away season between Richmond and Carlton on March 22, players will also have less time to practice goalkicking - shooting for goal must end five minutes before the bounce, as opposed to last year's three-minute limit.
The pre-match warning siren, which sounded three minutes before the bounce, has also been removed. It has been replaced by a sequence of five sirens counting down from when the umpires enter the arena to one minute before the bounce.