Rules of the game – Chapter 1: OOF and DOB

The Footy Bogan is a legend. That’s not to say that he is in any way special, merely to remark on the status of his Collingwood membership. A full legends membership entitles the holder to various benefits including a seat at every Collingwood game played in the Football Capital of the World.

So, on match day, the Footy Bogan can almost invariably be found at the ground, usually at the high temple, occasionally at the other place. He is never alone. His membership entitles him to be surrounded by fellow travellers. The Footy Bogan reckons that as one of the downsides of his membership. No longer a spring chicken, he has been going to footy matches for so many years he’s lost count. He was not always a member, so he has had the privilege of sitting among observers of varied background and religious persuasion.

He has formed the opinion that, not only are Collingwood supporters generally feral, but they include amongst their number more than their fair share of spectators who demonstrate a breathtaking ignorance of the rules. It’s all very well to be one-eyed; that comes with the territory. It is associated with interpretation: holding the man v holding the ball; was it a mark? – that sort of thing. The subject du jour is not a matter of interpretation.

The Footy Bogan thinks this piece is a waste of time because he believes, deep in his heart, that the ferals can’t or don’t read. However, on the off chance that someone might benefit, here it is.

Today’s rule relates to OOF and DOB – out of bounds on the full and deliberate out of bounds. My reference is  here, in particular 16.5 DISPOSAL – FROM OUT OF BOUNDS.

Let me preface the details with the observation (one I’ve made in the past) that not only spectators but also many footballers and at least one commentator (ex-footballer) seem to be ignorant of the provisions of this rule.

At a recent match, a voice near me was heard to lament, “Why is it play on?” This comes from one of the less feral Collingwood supporters. The language of the ferals is far more colourful and less susceptible to quotation in such an august forum as this.

So, we all understand the background. The umpire has paid a free for deliberate or out on the full.  The opposition player nearest the infringement takes the ball. The umpire instructs him to start in a position outside the field of play. If he is inside, he will be called to move outside by the umpire. The player with the ball starts to move. Now, kiddies, here’s the bit you really need to understand. It’s a single sentence.

16.5.3 Football Back in Play
The football is deemed to be back in play when any portion of it is on or above the Boundary Line.

That’s why it’s play on. The savvy commentator will occasionally say, “He steps into the field of play,” presumably arguing, not unreasonably, that where the player goes, so does the ball.

Simple, really.

But, just to underline the point, the player can avoid the umpire’s play-on call by kicking the ball into play from beyond the boundary (within a reasonable time).

In future episodes, if there is a groundswell of support, voices clamouring for more, the Footy Bogan might be prevailed upon to provide other pearls of wisdom. If not, not.

About Charlie Krebs

The Footy Bogan is a self-confessed unrepentant Collingwood tragic. For more years than he cares to remember he has been writing about footy, mainly Collingwood, but sometimes, when provoked, about related matters. He started his self-titled blog in July 2011 when - but you can read all about that at


  1. Bob Morrow says

    More please.

  2. Dave Brown says

    Would be interested in your perspective on 15.3, thefootybogan, particularly its relationship to 15.2.3.a & b. Perhaps then we could organise a briefing for Mr Campbell and his staff.

  3. Rabid Dog says

    Where are you Rulebook?

  4. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Yes the only thing footy bogan as a magot you have the Rulebook plus a interptrtation of the rules of the game this rule has been relaxed in the last 3 years and is not automatically out of bounds when a player moved off the line , the field umpire called play on and then the boundary umpire blew re out of bounds this is more of a grey area now . What has me beet is I have never met a player who has done a exam on the rules of the game eg a umpire is about to bounce or throw the ball up in the middle of the ground after a goal has been scored to restart play it does not matter if a side does not have a player in the square no 1 can enter when the umpire is ready to start . This is a rule which a lot of players don’t no . It is a multi million dollar so called full time game at afl level and the players don’t no the rules rediculous !

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