G'day - a couple of thoughts on the weekends so called 'debarcle'.
Firstly - the rules have to change. The AFL are in control of the interchange bench so ultimatey, it is them, not the Swans to blame here. How could they have let an extra player run on to the ground. Obviously the checks they are presently putting in place are not sufficient.
Think about Pommy Football, Ice Hockey and Boxing for a moment
The premier league have a system whereby play stops when players are replaced. We obviously don't want this to occur; but should we have a more obvious and transparent view of who is running onto and off the ground. If the Interchange Steward (whatever they are called) held up a player's number, for instance, the AFL would have a clear view of who's on and off. It seems the Swans have now told the AFL that it was the new bloke, not Darren Jolly who was the '19th man.' If the AFL runs the interchange bench, how could they possibly not have known this fact?
OK - so, if a mistake is made, do we penalise the team - or is it the AFL? On reflection; why have the swans been fined? Is it actually their fault when the AFL is in charge here?
In any case - Ice Hockey have a sin bin. Therefore, the AFL could impose a 'sin bin' type situation whereby if there are 19 on (for instance), they have to sit a player in the bin for 10 minutes, playing with only 17 for that timeframe. Also, Barry Hall could have spent a quarter in there the other week.
Boxing have a 'points deduction' penalty system in place for hitting below the belt or biting off someone's ear. The current rule states that if the Team Captain calls for a count and there are extra players on the field, then all points are deducted from the team in breach. (against Sydney, tha generally only means 6 goals!) - however, the AFL could easily put in place a points deduction rule without distracting from the flow of play. The umps are wired up; so at any stoppage, they could be alerted to a breach of the rules and make some hand gesture at which time, 3 goals (whatever) are deducted from the score of the guilty team. The ball bounces and play resumes.
I would lobby that if it is Collingwood that is in breach and lose 'points', the new umpire hand signal is 2 fingers in the air.
Finally - I think its time for extra time; in both home and away, and in finals.