Gieschen defends AFL's new bounce rule - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Gieschen defends AFL's new bounce rule

By Laine Clark 27/04/2009 07:36:42 PM Comments (0)

AFL umpires boss Jeff Gieschen says statistics prove the display of bad bounces in Sunday's Western Bulldogs-Carlton clash were an aberration.

The AFL's new bounce rule came under fire after six were recalled in the first half of the Blues' impressive win at Etihad Stadium, prompting Bronx cheers from the 44,000-plus crowd when umpires got it right.

"In 40 games (this season) we have had 1,557 bounces and only 40 have been recalled," he said in Brisbane on Monday.

"Unfortunately in one half of a game we had six recalls which drew a lot of attention to the bounce.

"But when you look at it in an overall context the umpires have been bouncing it really well - it's just a shame that we had a few in that game that drew attention to it."

While Gieschen said one umpire guilty of the bad bounces suffered a "loss of confidence" during the first half, he believed the media coverage of the recalls was an "over-reaction".

"There probably has been an over-reaction," he said.

"Our responsibility is to make sure the umpires bounce it as consistently as we can.

"If some umpires need to practice that they will do that.

"But we are confident of keeping that percentage of 97.5 per cent up throughout the year."

Gieschen noted that after the first half wobbles, the umpires completed 19 straight correct bounces.

After the Etihad Stadium hiccups, Brisbane Lions coach Michael Voss was asked whether it would lead to the bounce being phased out of the game.

"I like to have a bit of tradition and that is the centre bounce. If they have to go toward throwing it up around the ground then so be it, but the centre bounce has a bit of meaning," he said at Brisbane on Monday.

"But if they decide to throw it up - they decide to quicken the game up - that's what the key decision makers have to decide."

Asked if throwing the ball up around the ground would be a viable option, Gieschen said: "That sort of stuff is discussed and reviewed every year by the laws committee.

"It has been discussed over the last couple of years and I am sure it will be discussed at the end of this year.

"But a lot will come back to the accuracy of the umpires with their bouncing.

"By and large they do an outstanding job. But in this day and age when everyone is extremely accountable there is attention drawn to it like yesterday's game."

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