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Group loses argument on reducing the number of interchanges

AFL coaches will have to contend with a cap of 120 interchange rotations per game for the next two seasons, despite most players saying they preferred the present system of unlimited interchanges.

The AFL Commission confirmed Wednesday that the limit would operate in 2014 and 2015 and be reviewed before the 2016 season. The 120 limit will not include the use of the substitute or changes made during breaks between quarters. Clubs have averaged 133 interchanges per game this season.

As recently as last Friday, the AFL Players Association made a submisson on the issue to the AFL, arguing there was "no good reason why this proposal should be introduced".

The AFL believes a cap on interchanges will help reduce injuries, but the AFLPA submission contended there was "insufficient evidence to support a link between rotations and injury rates", adding a limit would lead to "increased player fatigue" and a potential spike in fatigue-related injuries.

The penalty for exceeding the 120 rotations per match would be a free kick and a 50m penalty for every additional rotation.

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