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The father-son rule is a rule that allows clubs to select the sons of players who have made a major past contribution to the team in Australian rules football, most notably the Australian Football League. The rule was first established in 1952 and has since endured, albeit with over 10 amendments, most recently tightening of eligibility criteria in 2003 and refining of the draft selection process in 2007.

Contents

History

The original rule came into place as a result of successful lobbying by Melbourne Football Club. The club wanted the young Ron Barassi to follow in the footsteps of his father, Ron Barassi, Sr. who had been killed during World War II. However, this meant bypassing the then standard zone-based recruitment rulings, which would have seen Barassi join Carlton instead.

Current Rule

In 2007 the AFL made an important amendment for the father-son rule, establishing a bidding system to determine which draft pick a club must give up to secure the potential recruit. The current system works as follows:[1] [2]

  • 1. Individual clubs are free to nominate potential father-son recruits within the above eligibility guidelines.
  • 2. A meeting is held on the Monday before the start of trade week where clubs can bid for the nominated players. Each club has the option to bid, in reverse ladder order, for the nominated players.
  • 3. If a bid is made, the club that nominated the father-son player must use its next available selection if it wishes to retain its hold on that player. If a club nominating the father-son player declines to match the selection nominated, the club with the successful bid must use that selection at the Draft to select the player.
  • 4. Any club that makes a successful bid on a father-son selection must to the pick the player they nominate.
  • 5. If no bid is made by another club, the club that nominated the father-son eligible player will forfeit its last selection in the draft to select the player.

For example in 2008 the Western Bulldogs had to use their 1st round selection, #14, to secure Ayce Cordy after St Kilda bid their 1st round selection for him. Ayce's father, Brian, played 124 games for the Bulldogs in the 1980s.[3]

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Old rules

Prior to 2007 the father-son rule allowed clubs to select an eligible player in return for giving up their allocated third round pick in the National Draft. If more than one player was eligible for father-son selection for the same club in the same draft then subsequent father-son selections required forfeit of the second, first and fourth round draft picks respectively.

Player eligibility

The current eligibility of players differs depending upon the home-state of the team making the selection.

Victorian clubs

Each club can select any player whose father played a minimum of 100 senior games for the side. The two interstate clubs with historic links to Victorian Football League teams, namely the Brisbane Lions and the Sydney Swans, can choose the sons of players who have appeared 100 times for either themselves or their predecessors, the Fitzroy Lions and Brisbane Bears or the South Melbourne Football Club respectively.

West Australian and South Australian teams

These four clubs have a modified rule in place, valid until the club has been in the AFL for 20 years, with eligibility to be determined by a certain number of games played for specific sides in state league, specifically:

More than one eligible team and player choice

If a player is eligible to be selected by more than one team the individual player may choose which one of these teams is able to pick him under this rule. For example Darcy Daniher's father Anthony Daniher played 118 games with Essendon and 115 with Sydney. Darcy selected Essendon.[4 ]

Alternatively a player has the right to decline to be selected under the father-son rule and instead be eligible to be drafted by any club. An example of this was Marc Murphy who declined to sign with the Brisbane Lions despite his father - John Murphy - appearing 214 times for the Fitzroy Football Club. Murphy was instead selected as the first pick in the 2005 National Draft by Carlton.

Notable Father-Son Selections

Year Drafted Player Club Father
1989 Ashley McIntosh West Coast John McIntosh
1992 Dustin Fletcher Essendon Ken Fletcher
1992 Luke Darcy Footscray David Darcy
1992 Matthew Richardson Richmond Alan Richardson
1995 Joel Bowden Richmond Michael Bowden
1995 Ben Cousins West Coast Bryan Cousins
1996 Lance Whitnall Carlton Graeme Whitnall
1997 Matthew Scarlett Geelong John Scarlett
1998 Nick Davis Collingwood Craig Davis
1999 Jonathan Brown Brisbane Lions Brian Brown
1999 Rhyce Shaw Collingwood Ray Shaw
2000 Jason Cloke Collingwood David Cloke
2001 Gary Ablett, Jr. Geelong Gary Ablett, Sr.
2002 Cameron Cloke Collingwood David Cloke
2002 Brett Ebert Port Adelaide Russell Ebert
2002 Jobe Watson Essendon Tim Watson
2003 Heath Shaw Collingwood Ray Shaw
2004 Travis Cloke Collingwood David Cloke
2004 Nathan Ablett Geelong Gary Ablett, Sr.
2006 Tom Hawkins Geelong Jack Hawkins
2006 Josh P. Kennedy Hawthorn John Kennedy Jr.
2007 Darcy Daniher Essendon Anthony Daniher
2007 Jaxson Barham Collingwood Ricky Barham
2007 Adam Donohue Geelong Larry Donohue
2008 Ayce Cordy Western Bulldogs Brian Cordy

See also

References


The father-son rule is a rule that allows clubs to select the sons of players who have made a major past contribution to the team in Australian rules football, most notably the Australian Football League. The rule was first established in 1952 and has since endured, albeit with over 10 amendments, most recently tightening of eligibility criteria in 2003 and refining of the draft selection process in 2007.

Contents

History

The original rule came into place as a result of successful lobbying by Melbourne Football Club. The club wanted the young Ron Barassi to follow in the footsteps of his father, Ron Barassi, Sr. who had been killed during World War II. However, this meant bypassing the then standard zone-based recruitment rulings, which would have seen Barassi join Carlton instead.

Current Rule

In 2007 the AFL made an important amendment for the father-son rule, establishing a bidding system to determine which draft pick a club must give up to secure the potential recruit. The current system works as follows:[1][2][3]

  • 1. Individual clubs are free to nominate potential father-son recruits within the above eligibility guidelines.
  • 2. A meeting is held on the Monday before the start of trade week where clubs can bid for the nominated players. Each club has the option to bid, in reverse ladder order, for the nominated players.
  • 3. If a bid is made, the club that nominated the father-son player must use its next available selection if it wishes to retain its hold on that player. If a club nominating the father-son player declines to match the selection nominated, the club with the successful bid must use that selection at the Draft to select the player.
  • 4. Any club that makes a successful bid on a father-son selection must to the pick the player they nominate.
  • 5. If no bid is made by another club, the club that nominated the father-son eligible player will forfeit its last selection in the draft to select the player.

For example in 2008 the Western Bulldogs had to use their 1st round selection, #14, to secure Ayce Cordy after St Kilda bid their 1st round selection for him. Ayce's father, Brian, played 124 games for the Bulldogs in the 1980s.[4]

Old rules

Prior to 2007 the father-son rule allowed clubs to select an eligible player in return for giving up their allocated third round pick in the National Draft. If more than one player was eligible for father-son selection for the same club in the same draft then subsequent father-son selections required forfeit of the second, first and fourth round draft picks respectively. Notably, this rule allowed Geelong to draft All Australian and Brownlow Medalist Gary Ablett Jr. to the club in 2001 using only their 3rd round (40th overall) draft pick.

Player eligibility

The current eligibility of players differs depending upon the home-state of the team making the selection.

Victorian clubs

Each club can select any player whose father played a minimum of 100 senior games for the side. The two interstate clubs with historic links to Victorian Football League teams, namely the Brisbane Lions and the Sydney Swans, can choose the sons of players who have appeared 100 times for either themselves or their predecessors, the Fitzroy Lions and Brisbane Bears or the South Melbourne Football Club respectively.

West Australian and South Australian teams

These four clubs have a modified rule in place, valid until the club has been in the AFL for 20 years, with eligibility to be determined by a certain number of games played for specific sides in state league.[1] Specifically:

These rules have been frequently criticised by non-Victorian AFL club officials as a "grandfather-son" rule[5], that is biased against them.[6] For example the Adelaide Crows have not had a single Father-Son selection in twenty years, and missed out on Bryce Gibbs despite his father's 253-game career with SANFL club Glenelg (from 1984-1994). Gibbs was subsequently selected with the first overall pick in the 2006 AFL Draft.

More than one eligible team and player choice

If a player is eligible to be selected by more than one team the individual player may choose which one of these teams is able to pick him under this rule. For example Darcy Daniher's father Anthony Daniher played 118 games with Essendon and 115 with Sydney. Darcy selected Essendon.[7]

Alternatively a player has the right to decline to be selected under the father-son rule and instead be eligible to be drafted by any club. An example of this was Marc Murphy who declined to sign with the Brisbane Lions despite his father - John Murphy - appearing 214 times for the Fitzroy Football Club. Murphy was instead selected as the first pick in the 2005 National Draft by Carlton.

Notable Father-Son Selections

YearDrafted PlayerClubFather
1989 Ashley McIntosh West Coast John McIntosh
1992 Dustin Fletcher Essendon Ken Fletcher
1992 Luke Darcy Footscray David Darcy
1992 Matthew Richardson Richmond Alan Richardson
1995 Joel Bowden Richmond Michael Bowden
1995 Ben Cousins West Coast Bryan Cousins
1996 Lance Whitnall Carlton Graeme Whitnall
1997 Matthew Scarlett Geelong John Scarlett
1998 Nick Davis Collingwood Craig Davis
1999 Jonathan Brown Brisbane Lions Brian Brown
1999 Rhyce Shaw Collingwood Ray Shaw
2000 Jason Cloke Collingwood David Cloke
2001 Gary Ablett, Jr. Geelong Gary Ablett, Sr.
2001 Jarrad Waite Carlton Vin Waite
2002 Cameron Cloke Collingwood David Cloke
2002 Brett Ebert Port Adelaide Russell Ebert
2002 Jobe Watson Essendon Tim Watson
2003 Heath Shaw Collingwood Ray Shaw
2004 Travis Cloke Collingwood David Cloke
2004 Nathan Ablett Geelong Gary Ablett, Sr.
2006 Tom Hawkins Geelong Jack Hawkins
2006 Josh P. Kennedy Hawthorn John Kennedy Jr.
2007 Darcy Daniher Essendon Anthony Daniher
2007 Jaxson Barham Collingwood Ricky Barham
2007 Adam Donohue Geelong Larry Donohue
2008 Ayce Cordy Western Bulldogs Brian Cordy

See also

References


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