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AFL confirms the bounce is 'here to stay'

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 2:  Umpire Jeff Dalgleish practices centre bounce during the 2016 AFL Round 02 match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Gold Coast Suns at Domain Stadium, Perth on April 2, 2016. (Photo by Will Russell/AFL Media)
The AFL has confirmed it will continue to bounce the ball at the start of quarters and to restart play after goals.

The AFL has confirmed it will stick with tradition and that umpires will continue to bounce the ball at the start of quarters and to restart play after goals.

The bounce has been a long-standing part of League football, but its place in the game has been increasingly questioned in recent years, with some umpires concerned by the physical and mental toll the practice takes on them.

AFL Chairman Richard Goyder and football operations manager Steve Hocking announced on Tuesday afternoon the bounce would live on for the forseeable future. 

Goyder said the bounce was a "unique" and "iconic" part of AFL games and believed most fans would welcome its retention. 

"It's great that the bounce will kick off AFL football games. There's nothing like the roar of the crowd and the expectation that the bounce will start our great game," Goyder said.

Asked whether the decision was a long-term one, Goyder was emphatic: "The bounce is here to stay."

Hocking did not believe umpires would be disappointed with the AFL's decision but acknowledged some would be concerned by how the bounce's retention would affect their performance.

However, Hocking stressed the League would provide "a lot more" support to umpires, both in mental skills training and high-performance programs, to ensure the need to the bounce ball did not detract from their overall performance.

THE AFL has confirmed it will stick with tradition and that umpires will continue to bounce the ball at the start of quarters and to restart play after goals.

The bounce has been a long-standing part of League football, but its place in the game has been increasingly questioned in recent years, with some umpires concerned by the physical and mental toll the practice takes on them.

AFL Chairman Richard Goyder and football operations manager Steve Hocking announced on Tuesday afternoon the bounce would live on for the forseeable future. 

Goyder said the bounce was a "unique" and "iconic" part of AFL games and believed most fans would welcome its retention. 

"It's great that the bounce will kick off AFL football games. There's nothing like the roar of the crowd and the expectation that the bounce will start our great game," Goyder said.

Asked whether the decision was a long-term one, Goyder was emphatic: "The bounce is here to stay."

Hocking did not believe umpires would be disappointed with the AFL's decision but acknowledged some would be concerned by how the bounce's retention would affect their performance.

However, Hocking stressed the League would provide "a lot more" support to umpires, both in mental skills training and high-performance programs, to ensure the need to the bounce ball did not detract from their overall performance.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs