Geelong Cats warned over AFL mobile phone rules

The AFL has strict rules in place about mobile phone use it what are deemed “match-day restricted areas” to maintain the integrity of the sport.

Under rule 30, mobile phone usage during a match is prohibited to guard against any exchange of information could be used for wagering purposes.

Clubs can, however, nominate authorised staff to contact family members of players in an emergency.

AFL executive general manager of football Laura Kane said while it was appropriate for the Geelong staff member to have his phone on Easter Monday, the league did not “want to see mobile phones used in that way”.

“I understand he was having a look at the rain radar, which was quite topical, and the afternoon was a little bit odd,” Kane told the league’s website.

Kane said the Hawkins example was different from a Collingwood incident in 2021 when the Magpies were fined $20,000 after two players used mobile phones during a game.


Jordan De Goey and Jeremy Howe had suffered match-ending injuries and were seen accessing their own phones in the club change rooms to contact family members.

“The important thing to know in this case is that it was an authorised device user’s mobile phone,” Kane said.

“It was a stop-play situation due to weather, and the staff member and the player were looking at the weather forecast …

“We are comfortable with the information provided by Geelong.”

Baker’s ban stands: Tiger out for one match


Richmond have suffered another blow ahead of Gather Round, losing Liam Baker to a one-game suspension after their AFL tribunal appeal failed.

The Tigers gave the tribunal plenty to think about, with chairwoman Renee Enbom KC, Jason Johnson and David Neitz deliberating for 45 minutes on Tuesday night after the hour-long hearing.

But ultimately the panel upheld Baker’s ban for his high bump on Sydney opponent Lewis Melican on Sunday at the MCG.

Richmond are already without star forward Tom Lynch (hamstring) and fellow tall Noah Balta (knee) for Sunday’s game against St Kilda at Adelaide’s Norwood Oval.

Lynch and Balta were injured in the Tigers’ five-point upset win over the Swans.

The verdict makes Baker the latest player to be suspended under the AFL’s crackdown on high bumps, with concerns about the long-term effects of concussion.

Baker will miss one match for his high bump on Sydney’s Lewis Melican.

Liam Baker collides with Lewis Melican.

Liam Baker collides with Lewis Melican.Credit: Fox Footy

In handing down the verdict, Enbom said the panel agreed with Baker that he was trying to spoil the ball – but it was unrealistic and unreasonable.

“It was very late – Mr Melican had his hands on the ball well before Mr Baker used his right arm to spoil,” Enbom said.

It was forceful high contact that had real potential to cause injury, she added.

“Mr Baker was moving at speed, he propelled himself into the air … it is clear from the vision that Mr Melican was affected by the contact,” Enbom said.

Baker, running with the flight of the ball, leaped into the air and turned his body in a heavy bump on Melican in the second term of Sunday’s clash.

Swans players immediately remonstrated with Baker over the incident, which was classified as careless conduct, medium impact and high contact.

Richmond tried to have the rough conduct charge thrown out and also argued it should be graded as low impact, not medium.

Melican wasn’t injured by the hit, with the defender able to take his free kick, and the Swans medical report said he did not need any treatment.

“I was always trying to spoil the ball … I never braced (to bump),” Baker said in his evidence.

Richmond advocate Sam Tovey said in the hearing that while there was contact to Melican’s head in the collision, it was incidental.

“If this was an attempt to bump, it was an extraordinarily poor and ineffective one,” Tovey said in his summary.

But AFL advocate Andrew Woods argued Baker’s action was unreasonable in the circumstances and met the criteria for a bump.

“Baker’s eyes are initially on the ball, but from a number of different angles his eyes drop to Melican,” Woods said.

St Kilda have accepted a one-game ban for youngster Marcus Windhager after his high bump on Essendon’s Sam Durham.

Swans stalwart Rampe out for a month due to injury


Veteran Sydney defender Dane Rampe will miss the next month of the AFL season because of a hamstring injury.

The 33-year-old was substituted from the Swans’ loss to Richmond on Sunday, with scans revealing a low-grade strain.

Rampe will miss three or four weeks, but the Swans were boosted by the news fellow stalwart Harry Cunningham could return for Saturday’s Gather Round game against West Coast.

Cunningham was concussed in a round-two incident that led to Essendon’s Peter Wright copping a four game suspension.

Port Adelaide will be without Brownlow medallist Ollie Wines for their Friday night fixture against Essendon.

Wines has a hamstring injury but his absence will be offset by the return from a similar problem of fellow midfielder Jason Horne-Francis, who has missed the past two games.

Dane Rampe holds his hamstring.

Dane Rampe holds his hamstring.Credit: AFL Photos / Getty Images

Adelaide utility Lachlan Murphy faces about five weeks out with a knee injury, joining teammate Wayne Milera on the sidelines.

Milera was on Monday ruled out for the rest of the season after rupturing the patella tendon in his right knee knee during Adelaide’s loss to Fremantle on Friday, when Murphy damaged a lateral ligament.

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