Patrick Smith writes in The Australian the AFL is concerned about “soccer mums” in trying to reduce physical contact in the game.
It’s a good point, especially in light of the Maxwell tribunal fiasco.
Parents, especially mothers, probably feel more secure watching their sons play soccer than Australian football or rugby.
My own son started playing football too young, copped some heavy hits by older boys and lost interest. He now loves soccer and does very well.
That’s a shame really. I would have liked him to play both until about this age (13) and then choose. Michael was talented at Australian football, used to love bouncing the ball and running, but really lost confidence after being knocked down as a nine year old playing against 12 year olds.
There’s no doubt AFL has become less physical since I began watching in the mid 70s.
Extra umpires, rule changes, greater fitness and increased professionalism have all influenced the speed of play.
If the bump is taken out of the game they might as well ban tackles too. Change the oval ball to a round one for greater predictability and bingo! Australian rules becomes Gaelic football.
I wouldn’t like to see that happen.