Give the AFL credit for acting swiftly, even if their actions seem capricious and arbitrary.

The league have banned full contact practice for the next four weeks within two days of learning of a positive Covid-19 test result for Essendon Bombers’ player Conor McKenna.

The league communicated the new protocols to all 18 clubs in an epistle called Return to Play protocols. The latest update is a revision of the original Return to Play protocols.

Here is where it gets a bit arbitrary.

Groups of nine players or fewer are permitted to run contact training, while any training involving the full group must be non-contact training.

A little while back, an AFL assistant coach came under negative scrutiny for exceeding eight players in a training group. This came as the league was attempting a restart from the halt after the Round 1 fixture of the Toyota AFL Premiership competition.

In remarks submitted by AFL general counsel Andrew Dillon, we were granted some glimpse into the logic of the league.

“The COVID-19 virus is still a major challenge for the wider community, and the events of the weekend serve as a reminder to all that we must continue to ensure the appropriate precautions are in place and, most importantly, followed,” Andrew Dillon said.

Other switches the AFL made to the original Return to Play protocol seem to make more sense.

Players and staff cannot go out to visit, or have visitors over for 48 hours prior to weekly PCR match testing.

While it may be true that viruses are immune to time periods imposed by humans, social distancing and lock-down quarantines are the only effective defense against corona virus.

Demonstrating his skill at the profound understatement, Andrew Dillon said, “This season is unlike any other, we must continue to be flexible and agile in our decision making as we navigate through the remaining games.”

TAG: Bomber McKenna positive Covid-19 test has the AFL revising Return to Play protocols.

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