AFL umpires coach Hayden Kennedy has publicly said he's in favour of doing away with the iconic centre bounce after yet another horrific injury.
Speaking to 3AW radio, Kennedy spoke about the physical strain it puts umpires through and how it may dissuade umpires with good decision making skills from entering the profession.
"To get that skill right, it's a really demanding and dynamic movement," Kennedy said.
"We have got an older list, so to do it for 15 or 20 years, and at the community level beforehand, it takes a fair toll on the body."
Kennedy's comments come just days after an umpire in the AFLW, Andrew Crosby, was sidelined after bouncing the ball directly back into his own mouth. After finding the ball lodged sideways in his throat Crosby was rushed to hospital where a tracheotomy was performed, to allow the flow of oxygen, before his entire head was removed for maintenance.
This comes in the wake of the famous incident in last year's AFL Grand Final when central umpire Matt Stevic's arm exploded.
Speaking at the time on the Grand Final incident, Kennedy said that the practice of bouncing the ball would be reviewed.
"Obviously we don't want situations where umpires are exploding. In other sporting codes you rarely see umpires dislocate their front, lose their hair or just plain melt, but in our game it seems like a weekly occurrence, which just isn't acceptable."
The latest injury has just served to strengthen his resolve.
"It's been up to the laws committee a few years ago, but we've had a few more injuries of late – especially towards the end of last year," Kennedy said.
"(The centre bounce is) a really unique and traditional aspect of the game. We just have to make a decision as to what is more important."
AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan has famously declared his support for the bounce in previous years but understands the need for further review.
"I'm not making guarantees about anything, but I like the centre bounce," McLachlan said, the subtext being that he would like to see the tradition continue, despite the constant pile of bodies it creates.
As a trial, umpires will be throwing the ball up throughout the remaining AFLW fixtures and the umpires association will monitor how that affects the injury toll.
"Hah, if I could have thrown the ball up, I wouldn't have had to get it forcefully and surgically removed from my throat!" said Crosby from the jar that keeps his artificially preserved and maintained head which has been permanently removed from his body but, pleasingly, not from his sense of humour.
The AFLW has made even greater steps towards replicating the men's AFL competition with guernsey clashes, club fines and incredibly unsatisfying Fremantle results.
Here's the wrap.
FREMANTLE DREW WITH GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY (43-43)
It's always a bit of a laugh when two sides without a win play each other and some absolute zany character says 'what if it's a draw'. Now we have an answer to that question. What happens when two sides without a win play out a draw? Universal disappointment.
Fremantle dominated forward entries, racking up 33 inside-50s to 19, and had more scoring shots (6.7 to 7.1) but couldn't capitalise to claim all four points.
At the end of the match you couldn't separate the two sides, nor could you for most of the fixture, as Fremantle brought the wrong uniforms. Fremantle had not brought their purple-dominant guernsey, as was requested by the AFL, and so for the first half both teams played in white uniforms with white shorts until GWS were able to switch to dark shorts at half-time.
Fremantle were fined $10,000 as a result, continuing the wonderful start to a year of rebirths.
"Pretty frustrating," said Fremantle coach Michelle Cowan, talking either about winless start to the year, the experience of players and spectators watching two indistinguishable sides, or the lack of context given to her quotes.
BRISBANE DEFEATED COLLINGWOOD BY 4 POINTS (27-23)
Brisbane are undefeated after three rounds, defeating a wasteful Collingwood at South Pine Sports Complex on Saturday.
Collingwood had 50 more possessions than the Lions (195-145) but were unable to translate that statistic into forward entries with Brisbane leading inside-50s 19 to 18.
Brisbane were more direct and no better example of this was when Kate McCarthy collected the ball behind the centre circle and took five bounces in a blistering run to the goal square, kicking one of her two goals unopposed.
Collingwood are now clear on the bottom of the ladder, the only team without a premiership point.
"I'd drown them all. That always works with women in football," said Eddie McGuire, maybe.
MELBOURNE DEFEATED WESTERN BULLDOGS BY 14 POINTS (43-29)
A battle of the midfields with the Demons coming out on top, Karen Paxman and Daisy Pearce collected 27 and 26 disposals respectively for Melbourne while Ellie Blackburn and Emma Kearney earned 26 and 25 for the Dogs.
The Western Bulldogs were unable to gain any dominance in their forward 50 taking no marks in their attacking zone. Melbourne not only entered inside 50 more often but managed eight marks in the critical area.
"We continue that improvement and by the look in the girls' eyes, they want to get better," said Melbourne coach Mick Stinear.
"What I mean to say is, their eyes are red. It's either a fierce determination or someone farted on the towels. I'm not looking at you, Gassy Gav (Melbourne's trainer)."
ADELAIDE DEFEATED CARLTON BY 3 POINTS (17-14)
Adelaide have remained on top of the table after winning their important clash against Carlton by three points thanks to a 60m goal from co-captain Erin Phillips.
In a low-scoring affair, Adelaide were able to keep Carlton scoreless in the final quarter to overrun the Blues after being kept scoreless themselves in the first quarter.
"As we expected, it was a real contested game and it would have been exciting to watch. With the game so short and quarters going for 15 minutes, one or two little things can influence significantly on the contest. I don't think there was anything in particular that we can put our finger on right now," said Carlton coach Damien Keeping, the gist of which can be summed up in the following dot points.
"It was an absolute thriller. Credit to Carlton and the defensive pressure they put on the first half and we just battled away. Part of our game plan is to go with speed and Carlton, to their credit, they set up really well and slowed us right down," said Crows coach Bec Goddard, giving Carlton 2 credits which can be used to continue the game or to bring in Player 2.
Fremantle have delivered a Valentine's Day present of captaincy to Nat Fyfe in the hope of covering up holes that have slowly developed in the relationship.
The Dockers have had suspicions that Fyfe may be seduced by exotic temptresses from the east over the past season or two, but have been unable to uncover any evidence of unfaithfulness. In order to try and dissuade Fyfe from acting on any urges, Fremantle have sent a gentle reminder that they still see a future together.
Arriving by singing telegram, Fremantle sent Fyfe his captaincy directly to his office in front of everyone (even Julie who's been off recently because of her diabetes).
"It was really lovely," said Susan whose husband left her three years ago and has never really recovered.
"It's nice to know that for some people there really can be true happiness," she continued, tears pooling above her cheeks which she attempted to pass off as happiness for her workmate rather than sorrow for herself.
Throughout the commotion and excitement, one figure who remained subdued was Fyfe himself.
"Look, it's really nice. Fremantle means well, y'know? It's just...well...we promised we wouldn't enter into the whole Valentine's Day thing and we wouldn't get each other anything. Now I feel like a bit of an idiot, so we'll have a talk about it when I get home.
"Nothing's wrong, though. We're happy together. Really, we are."
One unhappy party, however, was co-worker David Mundy who's been critical of Fyfe ever since he took extended stress leave during their group project leaving Mundy with the annual board presentation to do all by himself.
"I don't get it. I'm a nice guy. People say I'm funny. I read books and that time I cooked beef wellington for Tina after she got that bad news about her cat...it wasn't a date but I totally could have kissed her but I didn't because I respect women, which is another thing.
"Why does Nat get all the attention? I bet he can't even play an instrument and I can play the piano accordion which is like two instruments anyway."
Fremantle is Fyfe's first girlfriend having got together as teenagers. They have been dating eight years.
Week 2 of the AFLW season and the standard is only improving. Not only are skills more polished, goals more frequent and positioning more intuitive, but not a single game was temporarily suspended due to the risk of death by lightning.
ADELAIDE DEFEATED WESTERN BULLDOGS BY 25 POINTS (48-23)
Adelaide sit atop the AFLW table after their second win in as many weeks, this time against the Western Bulldogs, greatly assisted by the Bulldogs' wayward kicking for goal.
The Bulldogs went 0.5 in front of the sticks in the first quarter, suggesting that Travis Cloke has been helping out with personal coaching at Whitten Oval.
Sarah Perkins, nicknamed 'Tex' because of her similar role to her male Crows counterpart Taylor 'Tex' Walker, as well as the fact that Tex Perkins is an Australian musician, as well as the fact that she fought against a union of soldiers to maintain independence and to keep slaves, kicked two goals.
Adelaide were much more direct having 26 more kicks (124-98) and 46 fewer hand passes (82-36), which also highlights their superior pressure around the ball.
"If you don't kick them (goals), you're going to be up against it. Momentum swings so much. You need to take them, not that the girls are deliberately trying to miss," said Bulldogs coach Paul Groves, looking shiftily to the side, one can only assume to try to extinguish the non-existent calls for an inquiry into match fixing.
CARLTON DEFEATED GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY BY 13 POINTS (47-34)
Carlton notched up their second win as well, defeating the Giants in a come-from-behind victory that saw GWS leading by more than two goals in the third quarter before the Blues finished strongly.
Brianna Davey was the major ball winner for Carlton with 20 possessions and Darcy Vescio was the only multiple goalkicker for the match booting two for the Blues.
Despite the close scoreline, Carlton won the majority of the football with 193 touches to 154, including a 102-82 contested possession count.
"For three quarters of the game we were pretty much on top, but unfortunately it is a 60 minute game and that’s when Carlton really hurt us," said GWS coach Tim Schmidt.
"It was only for like five minutes in each quarter where Carlton really hurt us and kicked a couple of quick goals and made us pay," he continued, neglecting to do the necessary maths which would have told him that five minutes each quarter equals 20 minutes, and in a 60 minute match that represents a third, meaning he looked like a complete bellend and everyone laughed at him out loud and pointed at him jeeringly.
MELBOURNE DEFEATED COLLINGWOOD BY 19 POINTS (44-25)
Melbourne registered their own comeback victory but from a greater deficit, keeping Collingwood scoreless for the second half and kicking the final six goals.
The depressing final quarter for Collingwood was only made worse by the report of Sophie Casey for head-high contact on Melbourne's Meg Downie, an act she was subsequently suspended two matches for.
"We didn't play the full 70 minutes, as per the Carlton match," said Collingwood coach Wayne Siekman, suggesting that he and Tim Schmidt should get together and discuss how they could better and more consistently represent the duration of an AFLW match, perhaps by referring to four quarters rather than a conditional length of time.
Collingwood must travel to Queensland next week in search of their first win, both concepts that are completely foreign to the male side. Travelling and winning.
BRISBANE DEFEATED FREMANTLE BY 13 POINTS (36-23)
Brisbane were considered by many to have claimed an upset victory last week against Melbourne but they consolidated with another much more convincing win against the Dockers.
Brisbane won each quarter (the first two by margins as little as one point) and kept Fremantle goalless for the second half.
Tayla Harris and Jessica Wuetschner kicked two goals each for the Lions while Kate Lutkins provided the around-the-ground pressure laying seven tackles.
"It's not ideal (to start the season 0-2) but I just want to say how good was that crowd? 10,000 people here. Certainly not the result we wanted, but a fantastic turnout by the WA football community," said Fremantle coach Michelle Cowan, taking a leaf from Ross Lyon's book 'How to Frustrate Fremantle Fans by Making Winning a Secondary Concern'.
"It's funny when we first looked at the draw the boys in the coaching squad all took a bit of a gasp. The girls looked at it and thought four chances to travel interstate, new competition, fantastic. To actually have two on the road, galvanise your team with a couple of wins is great impetus for the rest of the comp," said Brisbane coach Craig Starcevich, highlighting the lack of geographical knowledge from the male members of staff that Brisbane is in a different state to the rest of the clubs.
Brisbane will have their chance to play at home next week against the winless Magpies, while Fremantle will play GWS with both teams desperate for a win despite the Grand Final being on in a minute and the short season meaning they're both pretty well screwed.
After the historic first week of Australia's premier Women's AFL competition, ASW reviews a weekend of, at times, confusing and bizarre action. 'Traditional' AFL fans were left scratching their heads trying to process what they'd seen. Brisbane won and GWS lost? It doesn't make sense.
CARLTON DEFEATED COLLINGWOOD BY 35 POINTS (46-11)
A locked-out crowd converged to watch the first match of the new league, with CEO Gillon McLachlan forced to personally apologise to fans outside the ground who were left waiting, giving a new demographic a chance to witness first-hand the AFL's communication skills.
Inside it was Carlton who dominated on the scoreboard with Darcy Vescio kicking four of the Blues' seven goals.
Collingwood had their fair run of the play, actually winning the inside-50 count 27-25 but the delivery to their forwards was left lacking allowing Carlton's Brianna Davey to set-up counter attacks from half back, finishing with 26 disposals.
Carlton coach Damien Keeping was proud of his side while also excited to try his hand at saying nothing in post-match interviews of any importance like his AFL counterparts.
"The players came with a real balance tonight of being in the moment, and recognising it for what it was, but also being prepared to perform," said Keeping, highlighting his players' ability to be conscious of both the concept of time, and also their location and duties.
ADELAIDE DEFEATED GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY BY 36 POINTS (48-12)
Adelaide, led by three goals from Olympian Erin Phillips, made easy work of the Giants in their opening clash at Thebarton Oval on Saturday.
The Crows had 20 more possessions than their opponents, helped considerably by Rhiannon Metcalfe in ruck who had 17 hit-outs, pushing the team's tally to 23 against the Giants' 9.
The Giants were without their marquee signings, Emma Swanson and Renee Forth, and their absence was notable.
"For a first hit-out, I was really pleased with their effort...I thought the girls handled themselves very well and I couldn't be more proud of them," GWS coach Tim Schmidt said, foolishly leaving himself no wiggle room for pride in future victories.
WESTERN BULLDOGS DEFEATED FREMANTLE BY 32 POINTS (44-12)
Fremantle's long-standing tradition of providing limited satisfaction to their fans continued with a convincing loss to the Bulldogs.
Emma Kearney led the charge for the Dogs, collecting 23 touches with Katie Brennan kicking two goals.
While Fremantle's wayward goalkicking may have cost them the chance to stay in the contest early, the 28-15 inside-50 count highlighted the gap between the two sides.
"The Bulldogs were incredible with their relentless tackling and their pressure," said Fremantle coach Michelle Cowan.
"When Sandilands and Fyfe return, we'll be much stronger through the middle," she continued, utilising the same excuse most fans used for their AFL team last year, making much less contextual sense.
Bob Murphy could only look on from the sidelines.
BRISBANE DEFEATED MELBOURNE BY 15 POINTS (25-10)
Brisbane have beaten Melbourne in a scrappy match in wet and blustery conditions, providing good experience that will hold them in good stead for their upcoming 35-degree plus games.
The game was interrupted by a lightning storm in the second quarter resulting in a low-scoring affair, with Melbourne dominating around the ground possession but not the scoreboard.
Karen Paxman collected 24 disposals for the Demons, while the leading ball-winners for Brisbane could only manage 13 touches each (Emily Bates and Brittany Gibson).
Melbourne had 18 more contested possessions (113-95), more inside-50s (30-19), more hit-outs (27-17) and more clearances (28-21) in a performance that puts a dent in their aspirations for the finals which are on in a minute.
"I felt like we were prepared and ready to go, but we didn't anticipate the unique conditions that we all faced today," Melbourne coach Mick Stinear said, drawing attention to his side's lack of preparation for apocalyptic global warming weather in February.
"Ron Barassi came down and spoke to us before the game and gave us some advice, but did he give us any insight into what to do when the game is interrupted by life-threatening weather and then resumed after a premature and lengthened half-time break for 3 minutes before starting the second half immediately? Did he fuck.
"STAY OUT OF IT, BARASSI."