One thing is certain in all of this uncertainty, that is the AFL's interpretations of their own rules, the match review committee and tribunal process are all inconsistent.
But then again, most sports are...
They only crow about these types of incidents when it becomes a knee jerk reaction to something serious happening, so now the focus has been on the symptoms and not the causes to these types of incidents for far too long.
Their whole ethos has moved towards a 'what was the resulting injury' instead of 'what was the action' and 'was it against the rules' to determine their stance and punishment.
The AFL community is spending endless time and effort trying to come up with crazy and useless ideas of how to 'fix the state of the game', yet they are missing the obvious for all their rhetoric.
As far as striking is concerned, outlaw it, any player who strikes another player with a clenched fist, anywhere (body, arm, head, whatever) gets one week immediately and that penalty increases with the severity of the strike (punch). Also, include the elbow as exactly the same penalty as neither a punch nor an elbow to another player is in the rules (it is outside of the rules).
Then do the following:
1. Limit interchanges to 10 per quarter, with the ability to save any not used towards the next quarter. (Yes, I am with KB on this issue, it isn't rocket science).
2. Interpret the rules properly and start paying the push in the back, the holding off the ball and grabbing of the arms etc... But just start officiating the bloody game the way it is supposed to be and stop allowing rugby play into our classic game of Aussie Rules Football.
3. Get rid of the silly ruck nomination system and allow free movement and third man up again. Blocking a player near the ball is allowed, if they call the holding off the ball the throw ins and ball ups will work themselves out.
4. Stop inventing stupid knee jerk rules for the sake of some media blown up problem that does not exist, stop over reacting to all the hype and stop trying to fix something which is not that much broken as all the media hype suggests it to be! No zones, no more lines, no more attempts at limiting coaches in what they are implementing and leave the game alone to evolve naturally, the way it has for 150 bloody years.