Burgoyne call leads to AFL tackle tweak

The AFL Commission has made an immediate amendment to tighten the competition’s dangerous tackle guidelines in an attempt to better protect players’ heads.

The new rule puts greater focus on the potential of any dangerous tackle to cause injury, rather than relying solely on the actual level of injury inflicted.

It comes after Hawthorn veteran Shaun Burgoyne avoided suspension for his sling tackle on Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield last Friday night.

Dangerfield was not seriously hurt and Burgoyne escaped with a $1000 fine.

“After reviewing the decision and the current adjudicating framework in place, the Match Review Officer’s findings were appropriate,” AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said.

“However, it has become obvious that the framework in which the MRO works relating to dangerous tackles requires strengthening.

“We want to be clear; protection of the head is our highest priority and we want all players at all levels and age groups to better understand that these tackles shouldn’t be part of our game.

“Dangerous tackles have the potential to cause head injuries, and it is essential that this is taken into account when assessing an incident under the AFL Tribunal guidelines.”

Burgoyne is free to play against Richmond at the MCG on Thursday night.

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