Port Adelaide champion Kane Cornes has labelled some return-to-play game day guidelines as “comical”, suggesting players will be caught up in ‘gotcha’ moments if they misstep.
After announcing the June 11 season restart date and a series of testing protocols on Friday, the AFL then circulated a comprehensive list of activities that are allowed and prohibited on the weekend to players and clubs.
A range of specific game day guidelines for players were part of the lengthy document, which was over 40 pages long. They include:
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— Players must sit 1.5m apart on the interchange bench
— No high-fives
— Practice social distancing when singing the team song post-game
Some of these measures were implemented during Round 1 of the season in March, which led to fist-bump celebrations and clever post-game renditions of team songs in the changerooms.
But speaking on Channel 9’s Footy Classified, Cornes said he was flabbergasted by some game day restrictions on players.
“It’s comical,” Cornes told Footy Classified on Monday night. “These players are asked to go out there and smash into each other, to sweat over each other and tackle each other.
“We’re asking so much of our players … in the heat of battle, in the heat of the moment, you’re asking a player who kicks an amazing goal not to high-five his teammate? You think he’s going to be thinking about that?
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“You’re going to have dobbers on social media taking screenshots of players saying ‘oh there’s a high-five, he’s sitting 30cm too close to his mate on the bench’. It is a joke.
“People are not stupid, they understand that players are going to be next to each other sweating, bumping, tackling – you can’t put those restrictions on them.”
Co-host Craig Hutchison argued the “symbolism” was important and the goal should be to send the right message to the community by placing restrictions in controllable situations.
But Cornes said: “It’s never been a controllable game. It is an unpredictable game.”
Protocols in the document also confirmed the 90-rotation cap would remain, while 16-minute-plus-time-on quarters, which were trialled in Round 1, would continue.
This content was originally published here.