I Introduce the Father – Daughter Rule

I introduce the Father – Daughter Rule

In this day and age where there are at least two, three or four rule changes every year I have been thinking about something that maybe even the AFL have never considered (and probably never will consider) to help even up the game and probably change the game forever – The Father – Daughter rule.

Now I know what I am about to put forward could be extremely wrong and contentious but I think in the modern game of AFL it needs to be explored. Many a discussion has occurred as to when we will see the first ever female field umpire officiating an AFL game (we have a couple of female goal umpires that do a good job already) or whether a female will ever play an AFL game, or do they/ would they have the physicality and skill to do so. The AFL likes to promote the role that women play in this great game with their annual women’s round, and there have even been TV shows where the focus is on AFL players’ wives and girlfriends, their opinions on the game and the role they play in their husband / partners life as an AFL player.

We have the father and son rule that enable some sons to follow in the footsteps of their fathers (and in some instances grandfathers) and play for the same club. This has created many fantastic stories and connections in a football club. It was only the other day before the inaugural Brisbane Lions Hall of Fame dinner that Jonathan Brown was saying that one of his most precious possessions in his home is a framed Brisbane away Guernsey he has played in, next to a framed Fitzroy Guernsey his father Brian played in. Next year it looks like Darcy Daniher will join the bombers and continue the Daniher dynasty at the Essendon Football Club.

So this leads me to my idea of the AFL introducing a father – daughter rule. The guidelines (in a nut shell) for this idea are as follows:

1. An AFL team can under this rule draft a player as a priority if the that player is either
a. Married to the daughter of a past player or
b. Has been dating or in a de facto relationship with the daughter of a past player for the past two years.

2. If a team does pick up a player under the father – daughter rule and the relationship between the player and the daughter of the past player ends, then the player will automatically go onto the unrestricted free agency list.

I know that some people would find this idea absolutely ridiculous and that some teams would try and exploit this rule anyway they could. Let’s say a team was after a certain promising player and put pressure on a former player’s daughter to start dating this player so that they could use the rule to pick the player up in the draft, then this would have to be investigated. Also the AFL would have to make sure that no club puts pressure on a daughter of a past player to keep a relationship going so that they could keep a player and stop him from being put on the unrestricted free agency list.

Even with these possible negatives, I can see this rule, if implemented having some real positives as well. I could imagine there would be many a proud father / former player watching his son in law playing for the same team that he did because of this rule. There could also be many daughters who would be proud to see their husband or boyfriend / partner running around in the same jumper that their Dad wore keeping (or starting) a family tradition alive.

So what do you think – just another ridiculous idea that has no legs what so ever or something that has a bit of merit and could add another aspect into recruiting / drafting of players.

I guess the next stop is sending the idea to the big AFL boss himself………. and who knows where it might go from there.

About Andrew Weiss

Andrew is one of the few Brisbane Lions supporters that lives in the Adelaide Hills. He still has bragging rights over any Crows or Port supporter by mentioning the back to back to back premierships the Lions achieved in 2001-2003. After playing for over a decade for the mighty Adelaide Lutheran Football Club better known as 'The Doggies' he now spends his Saturdays running around footy ovals as an umpire, getting abuse no matter what decision is made. Coaching is probably next on the agenda as his two sons have started to play the great game of AFL. Andrew is a sports fanatic who when not watching or reading about sport is teaching secondary students about Biology, Nutrition and Psychology.


  1. ramondobb says

    I just spoke to both my daughters and asked them their opinion. The following is an abbreviated transcript….

    Shirley, he can’t be serious?

    Ashliegh, I think he is!

    I think you should send this to Adrian Anderson, he could spend years investigating and developing a process for this system which would hopefully keep him away from making any further changes to the game.

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