Commission announce the bounce is set to stay
The AFL Commission has today ratified the recommendation by AFL General Manager of Football Operations, Steve Hocking and the AFL Executive to retain ‘the bounce’ for the 2018 Toyota AFL Premiership Season onwards.
Considering the traditional and historic nature of the bounce and the impact any change would have on AFL matches, clubs and players, the AFL Commission also took into account umpire health and development.
Based on the available evidence, the AFL Commission resolved to retain the bounce, and have endorsed the following recommendations to mitigate the issues identified by the review of the action:
- Greater investment in injury prevention and management for elite level umpires;
- The increased availability of mental skills and welfare consultants for elite level umpires;
- The implementation of a structured bounce coaching and development program for pathway
- An assessment of bounce technique modification to minimise the risk of injuries for both; and
- Pathway and elite level umpires.
AFL Commission Chairman, Richard Goyder endorsed the recommendation and reinforced the commitment to further provide umpires’ development and training.
“There is nothing quite like the bounce of the ball to start a match – the anticipation, the roar of the crowd, it is uniquely ingrained in the fabric of our game,” Mr Goyder said.
“Our discussions today have been focused on ensuring we provide further support for our umpires on all levels. The have one of the toughest jobs in football and we must continue to support them.”
AFL General Manager of Football Operations, Steve Hocking said the comprehensive review took into consideration feedback and analysis from a wide range of stakeholders, and acknowledged the need to further develop high performance training standards.
“The umpires are the AFL’s 19th team – we are committing to deliver elite high-performance training to ensure they are provided the best opportunity to perform,” Mr Hocking said.
“The bounce is a traditional part of our game, part of our history. The art of it is a great skill and it is important that it continues to be showcased.”
The use of the bounce in AFL matches will remain as per what occurred during the 2017 season with a bounce to be used at the start of each quarter and after each goal, with the ball to be thrown up around the ground for stoppages.