Umpire-player contact meeting called - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Umpire-player contact meeting called

By Roger Vaughan 12/05/2003 06:55:07 PM Comments (0)

The issue that has given four players enforced holidays so far this AFL season will be the focus of a special meeting on Tuesday.

Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse, Carlton captain Brett Ratten and Kangaroos ruckman Matthew Burton will be part of the meeting to discuss umpire-player contact during matches.

Hawthorn ruckman Peter Everitt, Melbourne ruckman Jeff White, Carlton defender Bret Thornton and Collingwood backman Shane Wakelin have all been suspended for the charge this year, while Western Bulldogs ruckman Luke Darcy was acquitted of his charge.

Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy said it was crucial umpires were not put at physical risk during games.

But he said the men in white also had a responsibility to not be in the way and stay away from the middle of the ground, or the corridor, once they had bounced the ball.

All four suspensions this season had happened because of incidents where there was contact after the umpire had bounced the ball.

"The safety of umpires - I think they've really got to bounce the ball and move away," Sheedy said.

"If they bounce the ball or throw the ball, move out of the corridors, because you've got two other umpires out there.

"Hopefully that's what will come out of it because we don't want to see them hurt.

"They're there to adjudicate the game and make good decisions.

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