Michael Christian has given the bump a new lease on life four rounds into his first season as the AFL’s disciplinary enforcer.
The hip-and-shoulder has been declared dead many times in recent years.
After the head was declared sacrosanct players were routinely rubbed out even when there was incidental head-high contact in a bumping motion.
When Gold Coast’s Ben Ainsworth left Saturday’s loss to West Coast with a concussion, many had Eagles veteran Mark LeCras pencilled in for a week on the sidelines.
LeCras’ shoulder made contact with Ainsworth’s chest and there was also an accidental clash of heads in the third quarter at Optus Stadium.
But Christian declared the bump alive and well – with conditions – when he explained why LeCras had no case to answer.
“You’re allowed to bump in our game but when you bump you’ve got to execute that bump fairly,” Christian said.
“If you bump with shoulder to head with force then you’re going to find yourself in trouble.
“But if you take the care to execute your bump fairly, which we believe LeCras did, then more than likely – not every time – there will be no charge to answer.
“Unfortunately for Ben Ainsworth there was an injury sustained but LeCras took every care to deliver the bump fairly which is something you’re allowed to do in our game.”
Young Richmond star Jack Graham and Western Bulldogs midfielder Lachie Hunter were the only players offered bans from round four action.
Graham will miss the Anzac Day eve clash against Melbourne if accepts a one-game suspension for striking Brisbane’s Dayne Zorko.
The incident occurred in the third quarter of the Tigers’ 93-point win over the Lions and was classified as intentional conduct with low impact to the head.
Hunter’s blow to the face of Sydney’s Tom Papley while the Swan was pinned on the ground was classified the same way and also drew a one-match ban.
Neither player risks extra games out if they challenge the findings at the tribunal.
Melbourne’s Sam Frost, Richmond’s Kamdyn McIntosh, Sydney’s Dan Hannebery and Carlton’s Sam Petrevski-Seton can all accept fines, as Adelaide skipper Taylor Walker did for his infraction on Friday night.