Hayden Kennedy quits.

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BF Tiger

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 5, 2007
AFL Club
Highly experienced former umpire and now umpires coach Hayden Kennedy has quit, effective immediately, after being in the role since 2013.

Possible friction from Kennedy and senior umpires with Steve Hocking may have contributed to his resignation, with the umpires unhappy with how difficult and complex their match day roles have become with new rules introduced and other rules being re-interpreted.


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Club Legend
Jan 14, 2016
AFL Club
West Coast
Good riddance I say. I reckon he was a big part of the problem.

I'm basing this solely on those videos he did explaining ump decisions on afl site few years back - basically umps rarely get it wrong according to him.
Fair enough if he was protecting his own - but the wth was the point of the video segment to begin with then.


Brownlow Medallist
Jun 4, 2013
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Just make them full time, pay them bloody well with better training, higher standards, and more visible accountability. Have better talent pathways for grassroots and lower league umpires to get into the big time, as well as pathways for ex players. Razor is in his 40's, fit players who just aren't up to the level and are delisted in their early 20's should be able to see umpiring as a 20 year career: They would already know the rules to a decent standard and have the fitness for it, as well as arguably a good feel for how to umpire the game.

He's absolutely right that the league continually makes it harder for umpires with their rule changes, interpretations, and reliance on judging intent of all things. But some of the blokes who do it now are just, quite frankly and with all due respect, total shitters. Whether that be with their ability to practice their physical skills like bouncing the ball, their judgements, or their subconscious biases.

FFS the league's major recruitment strategy for umpires is forcing the commentators and media to felate them as much as possible to try and encourage the average viewer to believe they do an acceptable job so they don't get the sh*t heckled out of them.

I have no idea if Kennedy is part of the problem or a good bloke who tried his best to deal with a sh*t hand. Either way I hope the AFL uses his departure to kickstart a few changes in it's umpiring department.
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Ron The Bear

Up yer arse, AFL
Jul 4, 2006
AFL Club
The only ones who reckon Hocking is doing a good job are the media. Reckon they didn't want to admit fault for the denied mark to Cameron but were made to walk the plank.


Premiership Player
Mar 19, 2008
AFL Club
I think he was sick of having the Rules changed and directives from AFL SHocking to turn a blind eye to what they actually mean. The “overlooking” of the Rules is changing the whole fabric of what the game is.

For example “play on at all costs”
Players take a mark, don’t move off the line and within a second are called to “play on”
Players taking on a tackler, drop the ball or throw the ball. “Play on”
The throwing has been ignored. All for the sake of reducing stoppages.

In last nights game between Saints and Cats there were 85 tackles. Now how many HTB frees? A grand total of 3. Even Brett Ratten questioned the value of laying a tackle anymore.

The AFL/Hocking are about sports entertainment. Not the game of football. No wonder people are voicing their frustration.
Clubs that are financially dependent of the AFL are too scared to mount any opposition about real issues affecting the game, the supporters and viewers.
*prison bar jumpers excepted* but talking real issues.


Brownlow Medallist
Feb 9, 2009
AFL Club
Get rid of Hocking, the constant rule changes are a blight on the game, and focus on having the umpires implement the most basic of rules such as incorrect disposal, holding the ball and tackling.
He'll step down once we have missed finals (has publicly admitted to studying us to try and adjust the rules to counter our gamestyle) and whately/dangerflog/scott/selwood have run out of ideas for him to implement.

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