AFL draws line in sand on umpire bumping - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL draws line in sand on umpire bumping

27/04/2009 07:50:49 PM Comments (0)

The spate of AFL players bumping into umpires mid-match and facing disciplinary action shows no sign of abating, with Melbourne defender Jared Rivers the latest to fall foul of authorities.

But the match review panel appears to have drawn a line in the sand on incidental contact with umpires, not taking action on two other cases which involved minimal contact with match officials.

Geelong defender Max Rooke and Essendon's Henry Slattery escaped penalty over touching umpires while attempting to have discussions with them - avoiding the fate of Collingwood's Heath Shaw a fortnight ago.

In Slattery's case, umpire Matt Stevic did not notice any contact being made and no further action was taken.

Rooke, who was attempting to make a point to umpire Chris Kamolins during his side's win over Brisbane at Skilled Stadium last Sunday, appeared to lightly take hold of the umpire's shirt.

But the match review panel said: "The hold was of negligible force, Rooke was not disputing the decision made by the umpire, and his actions were not of an aggressive nature.

"The controlling umpire did not pay a free kick and did not believe the action warranted a penalty."

Earlier this month Shaw received a one-week penalty for a more forceful grab at field umpire Scott McLaren.

But the problem of umpire bumping during play continues, with Rivers charged with negligently making contact with field umpire Justin Schmitt during the third quarter of his side's 17-point loss to Adelaide on Sunday.

He can accept a $1,950 fine with an early plea.

If he chooses not to fight the charge at the AFL Tribunal, he will join Brisbane's Simon Black, Port Adelaide's Matt Thomas, Western Bulldog Ryan Hargrave and Sydney pair Brett Kirk and Jarrad McVeigh to have fallen foul of authorities this season over umpire contact.

Meanwhile, Port Adelaide are breathing a sigh of relief after defender Troy Chaplin and ruckman Dean Brogan escaped suspension.

Chaplin had been charged with striking St Kilda's Nick Riewoldt, but can accept a reprimand if he makes an early guilty plea because of his previous good record.

He has until Tuesday morning to decide whether to accept the reprimand.

Brogan's match-day report for front-on contact against St Kilda's Farren Ray was thrown out.

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