Runners will need to conform to AFL requirements or face restrictions on their activity.

Having been convinced there was no need to change the rules in relation to runners by senior coaches on the eve of the season, the AFL has been monitoring their performance in the opening rounds.

They have concluded that runners need further education on their role and the way a game flows so their actions don’t interfere with the game.

The AFL’s stakeholder and engagement manager James Podsiadly is finalising a document he will send to clubs to ensure club runners are aware of what is expected.

“It’s an education [process],” Podsiadly said.

“There has not been too much education even at club land as to where he should be and how he gets out of the way of the game.”

Clubs use a diverse range of people as their runner with ex-players, fitness staff, and coaches all being used while some runners are full-time staff members are others work only on game day.

Podsiadly said it was premature to start talking about a potential crackdown on runners with the AFL wanting to support them to be in the right places.

“[We will] educate them. If we see a change in behaviour, awesome. If we don’t that’s when we start talking about rules,” Podsiadly said.

Runners have been in place since 1955 but became an agenda item after AFL football operations Steve Hocking joined the League.

The number of times they could take messages to players was restricted during the JLT Community Series as a trial, however senior coaches, most notably Western Bulldogs’ coach Luke Beveridge, wanted to be able to use runners without restriction.

Beveridge argued it was a key tool in his coaching and was particularly relevant to inexperienced teams.

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