Here is the way you need to do things in order to avoid embarrassment in the year of 2018 and beyond.
Take no actions that might be misconstrued or caught on video.
Do not say anything that could be recorded.
Never put anything in writing, because chances are good that it will wind up in the wrong hands.
The AFLW apparently did not get the memo relaying these cautions, because a memo they directed toward AFLW coaches has landed in the hands of the voracious, insatiable (present company included, thank you) media.
AFL Operations boss Steve Hocking sent the memo, asking coaches to instruct their players to spend less time surrounding stoppages in Round 2.
We are ardent boosters of the AFLW, such that our journalistic objectivity (ha) is compromised when we weigh in, saying that the league should not dictate coaching and player tactics via memoranda, but through rules changes.
Each of the eight AFLW clubs received the memo. We will not publish it in its entirety here, but it reads, in part, “PLAY a 5-6-5 formation at every centre bounce. In other words, the governing body does not want loose players in defence, additional wings or ‘cheating’ forwards, as often seen in the men’s competition. The AFL went so far as to say that the umpire will refuse to begin play until this 5-6-5 formation is in place.”
We ourselves do not care for congestion, sinus or footy, and the AFL is obviously looking for ways to speed up games and boost the number of goals kicked.
The AFL’s opinion is that clogged stoppages are producing a negative impact, preventing players from being able to clear the ball effectively after a stoppage. Further, the congestion creates a situation where kicks go back and forth, allowing defences to outnumber the attackers, basically making scoring nearly impossible, as evidenced by one game in Round 1 where the two teams combined scored only five majors in the first half and none in the second half.