There will be four trial rules played during Sunday’s NAB Cup match at Patersons Stadium between Fremantle, West Coast and Essendon. 

Freo will play two shortened NAB Cup matches against the Bombers and Eagles  comprising of 20-minute halves across a three-hour window.

West Coast and Essendon will compete in the first match, which begins at 4.45pm.

Fremantle’s first match, against Essendon, is scheduled to get underway at approximately 5.50pm, with the clash against West Coast set for approximately 6.55pm.

Trial rules for the pre-season competition are outlined below, however, the final round of the NAB Cup competition will be played with Premiership Season rules to allow clubs sufficient preparation for the Premiership Season. The NAB Supergoal will still be a feature of the NAB Cup Grand Final.

Trial Rules

1. An interchange system with two interchange and two substitute players on the bench (will not be used in the final week of the NAB Cup)

The AFL will trial the use of two substitute players on the interchange bench. It has already been determined that the 3 interchange and 1 substitute player will remain in place for 2012 Premiership Season.

Note: In rounds 2 and 3 of the NAB Cup, when teams are playing four quarter matches, four new interchange players may be introduced for the second half of each game.

2. Free kick against a player who drags or holds the ball under an opponent

As an extension of the rule trialled in both the 2010 and 2011 NAB Cup, the umpire may pay a free kick against a player who drags the ball under his opponent, and may also pay a free kick against a player who holds a ball under his opponent, when he is trying to knock it out.

3. Deliberate out of bounds

A free kick will be paid against the last team to dispose of the ball with a kick or a handball before it goes out of bounds, provided no-one else touches the ball before it goes out. A stricter version of the rule was trialled last year, but it was felt the ‘last touch’ element was too harsh in certain situations, and this has been altered in 2012 to a last kick, last handball or a player walking the ball over the line.

4. Ruck Contests at Field Bounces and Throw-ins

Ruckmen will not be permitted to make contact with their opponent prior to bounces and throw-ins, with umpires ensuring the players do not make contact with each other until the ball leaves the umpire’s hand. The trial is designed to encourage ruckmen to contest the ball, rather than focus on nullifying their opponent, as well as making ruck contests easier to adjudicate.

In addition the trial rules, there will be two umpiring trials:

1. Boundary and Goal umpires pay free kicks for holding & high contact at stoppages

As an extension to the 2010 and 2011 NAB Cup Trial, boundary and goal umpires may pay free kicks for obvious holding or high contact infringements. They will not pay any other form of free kick.

2. Consultation process for scoring decisions.

As per the trial that was used in the 2011 NAB Cup, the official scorer would be able to participate in the consultation process with the goal umpires for scoring decisions. If the trial is again successful, it may be introduced for the 2012 Toyota AFL Premiership Season.

The two best-performed teams in the opening three rounds  of the NAB CUP will compete in the NAB Cup Grand Final on Saturday 17 March. The 16 other clubs will play NAB Cup matches that weekend across 16-17 March in various metropolitan cities across the country.

For more information on Fremantle’s NAB Cup fixture and ticketing, CLICK HERE

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