Bedford was handed a one-game suspension by the league's Match Review Officer following an incident from the Giants' Round 24 match against Carlton.
A third-quarter incident on Blues player Zac Fisher was cited by the MRO, who viewed Bedford's actions as careless conduct, medium impact and high contact, resulting in the one-game ban.
If successful at the AFL Tribunal, Bedford will be free to face the Saints at the MCG on Saturday afternoon. A failed challenge would mean Bedford is either next available for the second week of finals or for the first game of next season, depending on the result of this weekend's game.
Here's how Monday's Tribunal panned out...
Bedford, GWS unsuccessful in Tribunal finals bid
The verdict will mean the Giants player is unavailable to face St Kilda at the MCG on Saturday for his side's elimination final.
Follow the case notes below as they happened:
2:00: GWS are challenging the charge of rough conduct and that the deeming provision to high bumps does not apply. The Giants are not disputing that there was a bump, but that it wasn't high.
The Giants are also arguing the classification of 'medium' impact, hoping to downgrade the classification.
2:06: GWS are requesting to have Zac Fisher provide evidence, a matter that will help the case given inefficient footage, per Ihle.
Ihle (GWS): Fisher will give evidence that he did not feel high contact from the bump.
The AFL has not opposed the request, will leave a call to Tribunal Chair Jeff Gleeson.
2:10: Request granted.
2:11: Fisher: "I just moved forward and Harry Himmelberg was about to get a handball to receive. I moved around a GWS player to stop that and then copped a bump from Toby in trying to tackle (the GWS player).
"It caught me by surprise, I felt it on my front shoulder from his shoulder, and nowhere else. I wasn't able to properly protect myself.
"It was a good bump, I could've protected myself a bit better. The surprise factor (led me to fall to the ground)."
Fisher could not recall any contact above his shoulder.: "I was feeling A-OK to continue."
2:19: Gleeson has raised the Carlton club doctor's medical report for the incident, where Fisher was assessed for a head injury.
Fisher has begun detailing the tests he underwent as part of the assessment.
2:24: Fisher recalls returning to the field later that quarter.
"I remember I went forward and kicked it to Charlie (Curnow) and he dropped a sitter. Pretty frustrating."
2:26: Fisher's session in providing evidence has concluded, as has Bedford's.
2:32: The Tribunal and the Hannon (AFL) have opened discussions as to whether the degree of contact is automatically forceful if it is more than negligible.
2:39: The AFL has stated that Bedford breached his duty of care in bumping above the shoulder and that the level of impact was at least 'medium'.
Hannon (AFL) has outlined the guideline that where there is contact to the body and high, the grading for contact will be 'high', even if the initial contact is to the body.
2:42: Ihle (GWS) has highlighted that the Tribunal guidelines note that extremely zoomed-in footage can be misleading.
Ihle has suggested the 'whiplashing-type motion' Fisher undergoes is a result of an unsuspecting player receiving a 'forceful hit' and causing his body to "rate and tip", and not of his head/neck being struck and more of it following the motion of his torso.
2:49: A report from a biomechanist, in isolation, may work against the Giants' case. However, Ihle has argued that the findings in regard to a player's head movement as a result of a blow to the body, coupled with Fisher's evidence of not being struck above the shoulder, must be combined in consideration.
2:53: Ihle is now reading the Macquarie Dictionary and Oxford Dictionary definitions of 'forceful'... "It has to be strong, it has to be vigorous."
3:00: Ihle and the Tribunal are haggling over the spectrum from negligible contact to forceful contact, weighing up what may lie between and what would deem the level of 'forceful'.
3:06: Ihle: Watching the video, it will be clear that Mr. Bedford is making an effort to go low.
3:09: Ihle: "It was reasonable for (Bedford) in the circumstances. Just because there was another reasonable option doesn't mean the option taken was unreasonable. AFL is still a contact sport.
"It is telling there are two umpires who have a clear line of sight to the bump and neither awarded a free kick. This was a reasonable football action."
3:24: The Jury is deliberating
AFL: Lisa Hannon
GWS: Ben Ihle
Tribunal: Jeff Gleeson, Darren Gaspar, Scott Stevens
Toby Bedford has received a one-match ban for rough conduct on Zac Fisher.
— AFL (@AFL) August 28, 2023