Heath Shaw, who copped the most recent AFL suspension for umpire contact prior to this year's crackdown, fears the sport has become a bit precious about the touchy subject.
Shaw was given a one-game ban in 2009 for making intentional contact with an umpire.
Geelong spearhead Tom Hawkins and Carlton midfielder Ed Curnow received one-match suspensions for the same crime this season, while Brownlow medallist Dustin Martin headlines a long list of players to have been fined for careless contact with umpires in 2018.
GWS veteran Shaw feels contact made while demonstrating an incident, provided it is slight and not malicious or aggressive, has the potential to be mutually beneficial.
"It's sort of hard to get my head around it. That you can't actually explain what you're trying to do, one on one with an umpire," Shaw told AAP.
"To try and get a better result for yourself and for them, going forward.
"Getting in trouble for that, I don't like seeing guys miss weeks for that.
"Sometimes I think we're a bit precious. If somebody is genuinely enquiring about a situation ... and you're not trying to be malicious towards the umpire then I don't really see a problem with it."
Gold Coast captain Steven May escaped with a fine for pushing umpire David Harris while re-enacting a contest earlier this year, but that was because the tribunal deemed the contact to be accidental.
The AFL is expected to clarify match-review guidelines about umpire contact during the off-season.
Match review officer Michael Christian defined intentional contact earlier this year as a player "disrespectfully, aggressively, dismissively or indeed forcefully, intentionally" touching a whistle-blower.
Fairfax Media reported earlier this season that senior umpires are unhappy with the AFL's position on contact, arguing that persistent fines are hampering their attempts to build a better relationship between the parties.
Shaw has a lot of sympathy for umpires. The defender likens them to soccer goalkeepers: vital, rarely appreciated and a lightning rod for criticism.
"It's one of the hardest jobs going around. You don't get rewarded very often for doing a good job and you get hammered for doing a bad job," Shaw said.
"There's always that grey area (with rules).
"No offence to the umpires, but we want them to sort of be irrelevant. We don't want them to have a big impact on the game.
"Ideally the commentary is around football, rather than the rules and umpires."