Is the time overdue for an overhaul to the tradition of the dramatic bounce to begin each quarter and following each goal in the AFL?
While we love traditions, some of them, at least, and those who know us know how poorly we respond to the slightestdisruption to our routines, the bounce may be one that needs to adapt to the times.
It may speed things up a bit, especially in high scoring affairs.
One possible analogy might be the game of basketball. Initially, a jump ball followed every basket and marked the start of every quarter. As the game is played in the NBA these days, the jump ball starts the game, the start of an overtime period, or a stalemated possession.
It is not exactly a precise analogy. Yet it proves that traditions are not sacrosanct commandments. Basketball survived.
The jump ball in basketball is a gentle toss in the air where the referee attempts to throw the ball straight up. The bounce in the AFL is almost as strenuous, perhaps more so, than some marks during the course of the game.
Before the 2018 AFL Premiership competition, there was plenty of conjecture that some changes to the bounce were afoot.
Retired AFL umpire Michael Vozzo, now free to say what is really on his mind, supplied this comment, “I do like the history part of the bounce; it has been around the game for a long time, but I’ve had a lot of problems with my back and it has all been bounce related.
“I used to have injections into my back and I guess it isn’t too dissimilar to a player getting injections into their knee to play.”
Injury added to insult?
As though the job were not already thankless enough.
If the AFL can take measures to protect the players, do not the officials deserve a smidge of consideration?
The bounce is a vestige of the past at the local competition level. It simply requires a level of skill and fitness that is unnecessary.
We do not know if Vozzo every bounced one into his kisser, but we are quite certain of that outcome if we were to attempt it.