The history of the Vice Captain (VC) loophole dates back to the years when lockout meant no trades etc.. could be made and your team was locked. VCs were genuinely in case your captains didn’t play and emergencies were just for players who were late withdrawals; now we loophole both of these! I can vividly remember getting excited for Carlton v Richmond Round 1 on the Thursday, the Easter Thursday games, or the random Thursday games during the season.
I would definitely make a player on the Thursday my VC and if they got a reasonable score I’d take their score as captain before the rolling lockout turned into a full lockout 24hrs later. Now that every round is a rolling lockout for all 9 games many of us attempt the VC loophole a fair bit, however there are quite a few that don’t. If you haven’t needed to use it for a while or don’t exactly know how, then keep reading on. This week it is particularly important for two reasons: It’s a bye which makes it really easy to do, plus a chance to get extra points AND Nathan Fyfe is not playing! Follow these 5 steps:
Have a look at the draw. Pick a player who you are confident in as captain (usually Fyfe/Pendles, etc..) and generally they’ll play on the Saturday or Sunday, not in an early round game. Put the C on them.
Find someone who you think might get a great score, who plays BEFORE the player you’ve set as captain. Sometimes this player could be someone with a bit of x-factor, a left field decision, or even just someone on the Friday night because you know you’ll be sitting there cheering them on! Put the VC on them.
Make sure you have someone on the bench – in any position – that WON’T be playing (injured/rookie etc…) and who plays AFTER the Vice Captain. They need to be able to be swapped with an onfield player who plays after VC. This player is crucial.
Once the VC has played, they might not have put in a solid enough score to take as Captain. The general rule has been 120, but with Fyfe going so well it is up to interpretation, but heading more toward 125-130+. If you don’t want to take the VC score, just leave the C on your original Captain choice. If the VC scores big and you want their score as captain then move to Step 5.
So the VC has gone big? You need to get a zero onto the field as captain, but it doesn’t have to be a direct swap with your set captain. I have Tom Read on my ruck bench so I generally use him if possible, and lots use Mason Cox. But wherever it is, the two important things are that a zero is the Captain and whichever player you swapped for the zero is emergency, so his score will come into your side!! Please remember if you’ve set that player emergency in DEF, MID or FWD that you don’t have two emergencies as it will take you lowest emergency (unless you’ve also got another on-field player withdrawn on that line).
During the byes the process is a bit easier. Most of us don’t have players on the bench that are playing so all you have to do is put the C on a player who has the bye.
I’ve decided to put my C on Beams who’s been in really good form – he plays on Sunday at 7:20. I want to give Priddis a crack a VC – he plays Friday night. Let’s pretend Priddis dominated Richmond and scored 135. I would put the C on a player who has the bye and once they’re locked out (end of the round) I will get Priddis’ score doubled. If it were a regular round I would swap Tom Read with Goldstein, make Goldy emergency and Tom Read Captain. Just make sure you can set and change your emergencies. You need to be very thorough to double check it will work.
The VC loophole does have merit in being reversed. A few Friday nights ago Fremantle played Richmond. This meant that a lot made Fyfe VC just in case he didn’t score what we would’ve wanted. He scored 116 and many kept this but many used a different captain. Just remember when this happens the chances are that you’ll want to take the VC so be sure it will work.