The AFL has tightened its rules governing AFL runners during games after a series of incidents in recent weeks.
League football operations manager Mark Evans confirmed he had written to clubs with a new series of guidelines for runners.
Fremantle's Shaun Tinsley was penalised twice for being too close to play in the Dockers recent clash with Geelong at Patersons Stadium in round nine, while Geelong's Nigel Lappin collided with Carlton's Mitch Robinson just metres from the critical last stoppage in the Cats-Blues thriller in round 12.
The new guidelines include:
- When the football is bounced to start a quarter or recommence play after a goal, runners must either be off the playing arena, or in the process of exiting the playing arena
- If a runner is on-field when a stoppage occurs, they must not position themselves within 25 metres of the stoppage
- Runners must not position themselves inside the 50m arc for any inside 50m stoppage. Runners must vacate the 50m arc, or be in the process of vacating the area prior to the ball up or boundary throw in.
- A runner is permitted to deliver messages from the coach, but is not permitted to instruct, direct or coach players on "in-play" situations
- A runner must leave the ground immediately when directed to do so by an umpire