AFL clubs are “really struggling” to come to terms with the new man-on-the-mark rule for 2021, which could have a dramatic impact on scoring and open up matches.

The new rule will see umpires tell players manning the mark to “stand”, after which they aren’t allowed to move from their position, nor be replaced by a teammate.

AFL footy operations boss Steve Hocking has said he wants to see “greater flow” in matches. The rule should hurt the ability of defenders to force players to kick out wide, rather than through the corridor, and therefore enable faster ball movement.

Watch every match of the 2021 AAMI Community Series LIVE on Kayo. New to Kayo? Get your free trial now & start streaming instantly >

Umpires have been attending training sessions throughout the pre-season to help players come to terms with the new rule, but Essendon great Matthew Lloyd believes it may have a dramatic impact.

“I’ve heard some teams are really struggling with (the new stand rule),” he told 3AW‘s Sportsday.

“The umpires have been at up to 310 training sessions amongst clubs, I heard (Swans coach) John Longmire say he hopes it’s not a 50-metre goal fest.

“A player at one club took one step, whistle goes and it’s a 50-metre penalty. I reckon the umpires are going to be ferocious on this rule early on.

“They say stand, you place once foot away (from the mark) and they were paying 50-metre penalties.”

Sarah Olle and Tom Morris dissect all the AFLW news on the latest AFLWeekly Fox Footy podcast! Listen here or subscribe in iTunes or Spotify

However Brownlow medallist Gerard Healy believes the rule will be a success if it leads to higher scoring, even if there are more 50-metre penalties than expected at first.

Scoring has declined in recent seasons. The average team score of 2019 was just 80.4 points, the lowest since 1967. Between 2010-17, the average hovered between 86 and 93 points per team per week.

“What (Steve) Hocking would be asking for would be better ball movement,” Healy said.

“The game is a better game when it goes from backline to forward line without going sideways. There’s nothing wrong with slow play, but if all you’ve got is slow play then it’s a boring game.

“If it means a few players initially give away a few 50-metre penalties, who cares about that.

“They will adapt and the umpires will adapt. Ultimately what you’re doing, and I think this is the key to this 50-metre penalty, is you’re not allowing someone like Tom Hawkins to stand on the mark from behind the bloke with the ball, so that releases another player to go into defence.

“What you’re saying is what’s in defence stays in defence, if we get quicker ball movement which leads to more goals then that’s surely a win.”

Get all the latest AFL news, highlights and analysis delivered straight to your inbox with Fox Sports Sportmail. Sign up now!

Liked it? Take a second to support CrowCast on Patreon!