Rules The "Blocking" rule and how it's interpreted

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TheYid

Club Legend
May 8, 2007
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Can anyone explain this?

It seems that the rule is just some kind of mystical, arbitrary interpretation that is changing close games and leaving fans wondering where going to the contest and good body use ends and where blocking begins. In the last few rounds we've seen Carlton, the Dees and (almost) Brisbane (just off the top of my head) lose in the last mins of games from "blocking" rulings....that no one can seem to detail.

What's the situation?
 

Seadog

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Sep 16, 2004
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The one paid against Berry I think it was in the last qtr was a shocker, if Reiwoldt had of done it in the the goal square BT and co would have been marveling at his great "body" work. I dunno when protecting the drop space so you can mark the ball became a block.
 

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TheYid

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May 8, 2007
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You used to be able to shepherd within 5m of the ball. Now it's somehow called blocking and it's a free. Sometimes.
It seems like they are calling for "blocking" if a player contests but simply gets in front of another player who contests. Weird. Last night they called a late 4th qtr block on the Lions when McCarthy marked in front of the goal square...but everyone was contesting legally as far as I could tell.
 

beez

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Sep 15, 2004
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Can anyone explain this?

It seems that the rule is just some kind of mystical, arbitrary interpretation that is changing close games and leaving fans wondering where going to the contest and good body use ends and where blocking begins. In the last few rounds we've seen Carlton, the Dees and (almost) Brisbane (just off the top of my head) lose in the last mins of games from "blocking" rulings....that no one can seem to detail.

What's the situation?
It is arbitrary. It has to be.

It's a rule where you probably have to grow up with the game to truly understand and it's incumbent on giving everyone a fair go at the football.

But a fair go is subjective. So immediately we're in a grey area.

Eyes on the ball is a key marker for umpires. But you are allowed to take your eyes off the ball. But only for a split second. But then if you take your eyes off the ball for a split second and push your opponent then it's a free kick. Well, it's only a free kick if they fall over. So you can push a little bit but not a lot. That makes perfect sense, yeah? :drunk:

The same contest is adjudicated differently where a team is 10 goals down in the second quarter compared with scores level with five minutes to go. Why? Because of the human notion of equity and fairness. Now we're going down the rabbit hole of equity v equality and no one wants to do that.

The only way to accurately explain it to someone new to the game (or in fact someone who has watched the game for 30 years) it to show 20 different examples of real-world contests and delineate each one. And even then the same umpire will adjudicate the exact same contest differently week-to-week and contest-to-contest. And a different umpire in the same game with interpret the same contest differently.

That the umpiring department tries to define what a block is before the start of each season ironically creates more confusion.

That we have football commentary littered with uneducated dolts further confounds the situation.

That we have individual supporters seeking objectivity from umpiring decisions is a fanciful notion.

Hope I answered the question :)
 

Smithdogmaddog

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Apr 13, 2015
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This one really annoys me, players are literally getting penalised for being smarter and better at football than their opponents.
 

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