GILLON McLachlan has declared that the bump isn't dead, despite Patrick Dangerfield being suspended this week for three matches for his hip and shoulder that concussed Adelaide's Jake Kelly.
However, the AFL CEO was quick to add that it should now be clear that players can still choose to bump an opponent, but they will be accountable for the outcome of the clash and any subsequent injury.
"There is still a place in the game for the bump. We see a lot of bumps every weekend," McLachlan told reporters on Thursday.
"But there is no place in the game for where the bump actually hits someone in the head.
"We've been very strong on this for a long period of time. Going back more than a decade, we've made the head sacrosanct. But now there is a strict liability rule that is clear."
McLachlan addressed the Dangerfield and Kelly incident directly, in which the Geelong Brownlow medallist elected to bump his former teammate and a clash of heads left Kelly with concussion and a broken nose.
"It was very clear on the weekend, that with Patrick Dangerfield, there was no malice," he said.
"But he elected to bump, Jake Kelly was concussed, and there was going to be an accountability for that.
"That's what I want everyone to know – you can bump, but if you hit the head, you'll be accountable."
DANGER'S DEFENCE 'You have to look after yourself as well'
McLachlan has thrown his support behind the medical substitute rule and how it was used in round one, as a number of players who were substituted out of matches look set to be available this week.
"I have never had any reason to question the integrity of our doctors," he said.
"They make a declaration that they will contemplate the injuries and the nature of them, and whether the player would be out for 12 days.
"If they're able to come back quicker, great.
"[The] health and wellbeing, and safety of our players, is why [the medical substitute] has been introduced."
McLachlan was also comfortable with the idea that clubs and coaches will find ways to make the medical substitute rule work to their advantage.
"I think people are real about our industry, that for every rule, people will work around it," he said.
"But we've got doctors at the interface of decision-making. Then our integrity department reviews each case, on the Monday and the Tuesday, because it's a rule that sits within our code of conduct."
McLachlan was in NSW on Thursday to meet with a number of politicians and local football industry figures, but was also keen to talk about Sydney's surprise victory over last year's preliminary finalists Brisbane.
The Swans' side included six Academy graduates, with round one NAB AFL Rising Star nominee Errol Gulden starring and Braeden Campbell impressing in their first AFL matches after being with the Sydney Academy since they were 10 years old.
"I think the success of the Academies is there for everyone to see, and you certainly saw it Saturday night at the Gabba," said McLachlan.
"I feel they're playing a really important role in getting our share of first-choice athletes in NSW. The debate in Victoria is the price you pay.
"We're always reviewing our settings, but I think with the bidding system in the draft, we're pretty comfortable that it's working."