Mixed reaction to Eleni Glouftsis' AFL umpiring debut

JOHN Worsfold says he would be happy to scrap the centre bounce after a historic and contentious day at Etihad Stadium.

Eleni Glouftsis broke new ground as a female field umpire but after trouble with the bouncing threw the ball up in the centre square during the second half.

She had already recalled two of her three first-half bounces on an Etihad Stadium centre square that had recently had its turf replaced.

It will prove a flashpoint for the future of the bounce, already under siege as the AFL considers a request from umpires to abolish it. Speaking after the game, Glouftsis said she was "disappointed" with her bounces despite the soft strip of relaid turf in the centre square.

"I'm generally a pretty good bouncer so I was pretty disappointed to be honest with the way I bounced today," she said. "With the bounce being reviewed as it is, it's not really one of the parts of the game we're focused on too much.

"On the field, even when I had a poor bounce, a lot of the boys were like, 'Just keep going, be confident,' which is really, really lovely.

The reaction on social media to Glouftsis' AFL debut was mixed, with some questioning her strength and decision making.

However, others were thrilled with Glouftsis' appearance on the main stage.

It came as Essendon stampeded over a listless West Coast side in a 61-point win John Worsfold contained some of the best footy in his time at the club.

Glouftsis said after discussions with umpires coach Hayden Kennedy she had thrown the ball up given the bounce is already under review.

Eleni Glouftsis bounces the ball.
Eleni Glouftsis bounces the ball. Wayne Ludbey

"We'd rather get decisions right. So at the end of the day I was happy to throw it up and get decisions right," Glouftsis said.

"But at the end of the day it's about the decisions and I think I did an okay job with that."

Former AFL boss Wayne Campbell believes decision accuracy would lift 10 per cent if the bounce ended given the wider pool of available umpires.

TAC Cup umpires were told in March that there would be no bouncing in the underage talent competition this year but the bounce is still alive at VFL level

And Worsfold is happy to see it go at AFL level, believing it adds little as a spectacle.

"I don't come to games enjoying the centre bounce. If we throw it up or bounce it, it doesn't really faze me.

Eleni Glouftsis throws the ball up.
Eleni Glouftsis throws the ball up. Wayne Ludbey

"Throwing it up means the game gets up and going quickly so I am comfortable with throwing it up.

"When we get a good bounce, do people sit there and say that's a good bounce? I don't think they do.

"When it's a bad bounce people get frustrated. There is not a lot of upside."

Bomber David Myers will face a potential fine after he pushed a West Coast opponent into Glouftsis as she backed from a stoppage, causing her to fall over.

West Coast coach Adam Simpson says the AFL might need to look at the bounce's future, not thrilled at a change of protocol halfway through a game.

"I like the bounce, but if it means restricting good decision making umpires, you probably need to look at it,'' he said.

"The last thing you want is mid-game having to change how its bounced."

Worsfold was thrilled at a complete performance from his side, which rammed home 19.11 from 49 inside 50s in a dominant display.

Joe Daniher was a star up forward against West Coast.

Joe Daniher was a star up forward against West Coast.Source:AAP

"That is building. That is part of us defining who we want to be. There are a lot of things we have put a lot of work in over summer and that is part of what we have asked for from each other," he said.

Simpson looked disgusted with his side's performance, the first time back in Melbourne since a shock loss to Hawthorn four weeks ago.

"We were well off in all areas and it starts with the leaders. It just shows you where we are at at the moment,'' he said.

"I am just bitterly disappointed in everyone. We have got some work to do.

"We are an average side. We are fighting for a spot in the eight. That's where we are at."

Originally published as 'Too many mistakes': Female umpire's 'shocker'

News Corp Australia

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