In Australian rules football, a rushed behind occurs when the ball passes through the goalposts and was last touched by a defending player. A rushed behind scores one point against the defending team, but also prevents the attacking team from scoring a goal, worth six points.
A rushed behind typically occurs when a defending player touches the ball after it has been kicked and as it heads toward the goal; by touching the ball, the defender ensures that the attacking team scores only one point, rather than the full six. It may be less risky for a defending player in possession of the ball to deliberately concede a rushed behind, rather than try to prevent any score outright. A deliberately rushed behind results in a free kick to the opposing side unless under extreme pressure.
Rushed behinds are statistically credited to no player; scoresheets will simply include the tally of total rushed behinds credited to a team's score.
It is impossible for a defending team to directly concede a "rushed goal" worth six points.
Free kick for conceding a deliberate rushed behind
Since 2009, it has been illegal in AFL matches for a defender to deliberately concede a rushed behind when he is not under any pressure from the attacking team. In the event that a defender does this, the umpire awards a free kick to the attacking team on the goal-line at the spot where the defender conceded the score. The defender may still deliberately concede a rushed behind if he is under pressure from an attacker.
Two high-profile incidents during the 2008 AFL season were largely responsible for the introduction of this rule. In Round 16, Richmond's Joel Bowden rushed two behinds in a row while kicking in to use up time towards the end of their game against Essendon, reducing the margin from 6 points to 4 points, but enabling Richmond to win the game. Then the 2008 AFL Grand Final saw Hawthorn rush a record 11 behinds against Geelong.
Prior to the 2008 season, a variation had already been trialled in pre-season matches in which a deliberate rushed behind conceded three points instead of one; this was never introduced into premiership matches.
- "Joel Bowden Rushed Behinds (AFL, Richmond v Essendon, Round 16, 2008)". YouTube. Channel93. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
- Cooper, Adam and Clark, Laine; Bowden raised anomaly: Lions coach; 21 July 2008
- "2008 AFL Grand Final Geelong vs Hawthorn - Rushed Behinds". YouTube. BotsMaster. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
- FootyStats Rushby Hinds
- Connolly, Rohan; 11 rushed behinds: rule change needed; 29 September 2008