The Rise of Flood Defense: An AFL Discomfort

A fresh disease has fallen on the AFL.

Like the fog that descended on the mythical brigade, it floated away.

At first I thought the teams were playing tired and calm. The television camera span only showed tight competition.

But sometimes, wide view cameras show that all players were confined to one-third of the field. A new defense has been released.

The commenters are silent. There is no name yet for this defense.

No previous AFL idiom can be used to describe it. To define it I have to draw on other games.

It’s like a full-court press in basketball, a running rack in rugby union or a football midfield press.

This is a full-width protective space coverage for a depth of about 120 meters. Some defensive team players are always behind the attacking team players.

Jason Horn-Francis of Kangaroo Handball while being tackled by James Sicily of the Hawks.

(Photo by Queen Rooney / Getty Images)

It moves backwards with the advance of the opposition. It is an impenetrable wall. It’s getting out of hand and it’s killing our game.

Floods are not new. I think it first started with my under-12 coach when we were playing top team.

We were somehow on top with a ten-goal haul against us in the final quarter, as well as their full-bearded six-foot-two full forwards.

Six of our players are in goal squares and a full 18 are in defensive 30s.

Terry Wallace adopted the idea. Ross Leon described the flood in detail, perfected it, and turned it into an art form.

Some of Sydney’s coaches were delighted, even to the point of making it to the finals, and there is probably a cup in the cabinet that is indebted to the flood.

Richmond had three extra players behind the game, then a burst forward.

Now we have the moving flood press. And every party is doing it.

The moving flood press seems to be the coach’s cunning plan. Of course it wasn’t made by a player and certainly not a supporter.

This usually means that the ball is trapped like a pinball that flips from player to player. Chip it to a running player if they can. If they can’t, boot it for a contest at the Boundary.

The ball can always be taken above the line to ensure that the opponent cannot rebound. Occupancy is repeatedly reversed.

Tom Libretto of the Bulldogs kicks Jordan de Goy of Collingwood.

(Photo by Queen Rooney / Getty Images)

Kick it back and forth for quick switching. But defensive press players can also sprint 200 meters.

This goes on until the players get tired and probably just the general boredom. At the end of the quarter, or perhaps at the end of the game, players may come out of the press because the opponent’s steam has run out.

But since the forwards are also tired, they will probably kick a point. And then the press starts again.

The AFL has come up with six-six rules to stop this kind of disobedience. But it only works for the first few kicks after the bounce.

Once the ball is moribunded, the press continues. The stand rule does nothing. This simply gives the free kick or marking recipient the ability to move an additional five meters sideways and forward.

And it makes the man of the sign look stupid. The 20-meter full back kick-out pushes the marker press back ten meters.

With Jane and the footy industry, it is self-evident that there is a counter plan for every cunning plan.

Ways to defeat the ongoing flood press include walking through strong, skilled players, tall players holding their mark, players with fresh legs defeating the opposing team and finally random free, with bonus 50 meters.

Some players face the press with speed and strength. Players such as Christian Petraca, Clayton Oliver, Marcus Bontempelli, Shy Bolton and even the young Patrick Dangerfield take the opponent’s space defenders with them and push them aside.

Christian Petraka is celebrating the goal

(Photo by Sarah Reid / AFL via Getty Images)

If they can break the tackle and burst through the press and clear a running forward, the goal can be scored. Melbourne won the Premiership from there.

Players in important positions like Steven May and even Rookman like Luke Jackson and Max Gown also give way through the press.

But they have to hold on to their mark, avoid the fine shepherd, or test the defender’s jump and run, jump punch.

Richmond now runs two Rockman, because they don’t need rock but to mark around the ground.

And tall marked players have become important. This is seen by the inconvenience of the Western Bulldogs at the beginning of this season. Their lack of ability to beat the press is due to the injured, soft and talented tall players.

The rule of connection replacement has been found by many coaches as a golden bullet. Fit, fast players are replaced instead of tired players to give an extra press breaking boost. No one will need an excuse for anger anymore.

The last effective way to break through the press is a quick play-on with a surprise free kick or a 50-meter penalty.

No wonder fans are screaming for random fries and a gloomy look about 50 meters. It breaks the ongoing flood press and decides the game.

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