The advantage rule is the biggest threat to the game

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CrowInFiji

Club Legend
Sep 29, 2018
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This is being abysmally used for two reasons, one of which is where it ISN'T used and one where it IS being used.


1) Where it isn't being used.

In a marking contest a player will take a mark. At some point preceding, during or after the marking contest either the player who took the mark, or else a teammate of theirs, will be infringed in some way and the umpire will pay a mark. It is entirely unnecessary as long as the mark was completed. It can slow down the team with the ball if the marking player has to give it to a teammate and it just isn't in the spirit of advantage. As long as the team who would have got the kick has the kick then it is team advantage.

Solution: Marks supercede free kicks where the same team would benefit from either event. No whistle required.

Benefits:

Possibility of slowing of play avoided
Free kick count reduced




2) Where it is used - but just shockingly. This is even more important than number 1.

At present the umpire will blow their whistle and everyone will stop except a bloke who can play on and try to take advantage after which the umpire yells play on several seconds after the players have stopped except that this then creates a total disadvantage to the defending team. They have infringed the rules yes, but the punishment is to defend from the point of infringement, not 30m down the field where the ball rolled to incidentally where everyone has stopped because 'play to the whistle' and playing on when the free is against you literally risks a 50m penalty against.

The best use of advantage is found in the round ball game where the referee waits half a second to see how play will develop and whether there will be an advantage and will signal that advantage with a verbal call, not a game-stopping whistle. If the referee sees there is pressure and no clear advantage they whistle and call the free back.

We have it backwards, the whistle goes every time and then players have to guess whether there will be an advantage call or not, whereas with no initial whistle players will assume play on unless called back. A whistle means the play is called back regardless.

Solution: Umpires wait a second to see how play develops and if there is a clear advantage they verbally call as such but no whistle. If no clear advantage develops play is called back via whistle. A whistle means play is called back no matter what.

Benefits:
- Defending teams don't get a double disadvantage
- Advantage is still respected
- It's simply fairer

Possible Issues:
- Human error - umpire whistles where a clear advantage was developing and has to call play back. This is rare and improves with experience. Benefits outweigh the problems.



So who is with me? Who is ready to save the game?
 

ManInWhite

Ex ManInWhite
Apr 6, 2009
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1. I don't really understand what you're talking about so won't comment. Maybe try and explain it better.

2. The advantage rule was changed a number of years ago. Previously the onus was on the umpire to decide if there was advantage or not. Now the umpire just follows the lead as the player decides if there is advantage.
 

CrowInFiji

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1. I don't really understand what you're talking about so won't comment. Maybe try and explain it better.

2. The advantage rule was changed a number of years ago. Previously the onus was on the umpire to decide if there was advantage or not. Now the umpire just follows the lead as the player decides if there is advantage.
1) The explanation was clear. If you are struggling, please ask anyone with grade 2, or above, reading comprehension ability to explain it to you.

2) you completely missed the point. Just wow.
 

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kickazz

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Totally agree on number 1 - but I'll add that I was pleased to see (on Thursday night I think?) this exact scenario occur and the umpire basically said something along the lines of " <whistle> in the back" immediately followed by "pay the mark"

Good common sense umpiring.

Also a bit nitpicking, but lowering the free kick count is not a benefit (or drawback) in itself.


Number 2 - yes it's a frustrating part of the game. Bit of a lottery - "Do I stop with the whistle or do I continue in case advantage is called" - stop and they might get away easily. Continue and you might give away 50.
 

ManInWhite

Ex ManInWhite
Apr 6, 2009
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1) The explanation was clear. If you are struggling, please ask anyone with grade 2, or above, reading comprehension ability to explain it to you.

2) you completely missed the point. Just wow.
Hardly. You embarrassingly showed that you're not up to date with current laws of the game!
 

CrowInFiji

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Also a bit nitpicking, but lowering the free kick count is not a benefit (or drawback) in itself.
Unfortunately many people use the raw numbers (and, even more inaccurately, the relative closeness of the count) to determine the quality of umpiring. Until such time the AFL chooses to release accuracy of free kick counts I'd rather not pad the stats with frees that were essentially a waste of time (ie. The mark was taken anyway)
 

CrowInFiji

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Sep 29, 2018
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Hardly. You embarrassingly showed that you're not up to date with current laws of the game!
I'm offering solutions to issues within the game, not giving a lesson on laws of the game.

Are you suggesting that currently umpires who blow the whistle for a free kick cannot allow advantage to occur?

Or are you suggesting that umpires don't award free kicks when the mark is taken regardless?

If you are suggesting that either of the above are the case then many umpires are acting beyond their powers each week.

Foolish doesn't even begin to describe the take here.
 

Hoops

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For No. 1, the reason a free tends to supersede a mark is that you have to go back over your mark if the ball spills. With a free you can just take advantage.
 

Balanced

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Mar 12, 2014
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Totally agree with the opening post. Don't blow the whistle until it is clear there is no advantage. It's then play on until the whistle goes.
 

aCunningPlan

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1) Not paying what the umpire sees is against the spirit of the game, makes zero sense what you are saying. They have to pay what they see and apply the rules accordingly. Free kicks and marks are treated differently, that is that.

2) Yeah no, as outlined above the player determines advantage. If the umpire waits three seconds before paying each free kick you will confuse the players, fans and slow the game down even more with umpires having to explain every single decision. The immediate whistles means the players almost look after themselves because they know exactly what the free is for 90% of the time. The game is too quick and complicated to both find the free kick and then wait to determine advantage after each potential infringement.

Also a lower free kick count doesn't make a better game, that would suggest a game with no free kicks is the ideal; when if the umpire just put the whistle away it would actually be a muddled, scrappy, dangerous, unwatchable mess.
 

eastfreo75

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Feb 11, 2011
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I'm offering solutions to issues within the game, not giving a lesson on laws of the game.

Are you suggesting that currently umpires who blow the whistle for a free kick cannot allow advantage to occur?

Or are you suggesting that umpires don't award free kicks when the mark is taken regardless?

If you are suggesting that either of the above are the case then many umpires are acting beyond their powers each week.

Foolish doesn't even begin to describe the take here.
What about the umpires hold their whistles until their no clear advantage?
 

Scroater

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May or may not work in footy but I think the referee in rugby union does something with his arm to indicate that he has seen the infringement and is paying advantage, then blows the whistle when the play breaks down with no advantage.

Having an umpire call out advantage would be a start. The player who wants to take advantage will continue, the player who doesn't want to can pull up and the free kick paid. Blowing whistles all the time does my head in.
 

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go_the_dockers

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It should be the same as soccer.

Umpire puts his hand in the air if there a free and oppurtunity for advantage.

Then he can call it back, by blowing his whistle.

Once he blows his whistle everyone stops.
 

The Hobo

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Oct 10, 2004
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Number 2 - yes it's a frustrating part of the game. Bit of a lottery - "Do I stop with the whistle or do I continue in case advantage is called" - stop and they might get away easily. Continue and you might give away 50.
Exactly, the Soccer way of doing it is the right way imo - yell out advantage but don't blow the whistle. We're taught to play to the whistle - and the whistle means stop. But in this sport, the whistle can create an advantage, which is not the intent.

I simply cannot believe that it hasn't been raised as an issue more and resolved. I'm just waiting till it impacts a final and creates an uproar - seems the AFL only react if there is a big event that forces them to act.
 

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