The Bulldogs and Umpires: Time for a Royal Commission?

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Lavender Bushranger

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 25, 2005
AFL Club
Gold Coast
For 3 years now, I'm staggered week in, week out, at the highly irregular free kick count toward the Bulldogs.

It's extraordinary.

Granted, my title was a bit sensationalist - however it's surely not merely a coincidence.

It's been happening at bizarre, and dare I say unprecedented levels since Beveridge took over.

It's like when a mate works out a video game before you do, and they kick your arse every time cause they've nutted the secret.

So what is it that the Dogs are doing so differently to everyone else? Is it technique? Do they understand the rules better than everyone else?

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The umpires are always right!
Sep 27, 2008
AFL Club
St Kilda
Other Teams
Chelsea, Black Caps, Subiaco
I thought the umpires would have jumped off the Dogs after helping to break their premiership drought but they are still doing their best to help them.

I don't think they play that differently to other teams, they have a few guys that are good at milking frees like Toby McLean with his ducking tactics but mostly they just get more soft frees or 50/50 calls going their way. than other teams. Why that is I don't know, they aren't a big club with a lot of supporters so there really shouldn't be any incentive for the AFL to try to get them into finals like one of the big 4 clubs.


Club Legend
Jan 5, 2004
gold coast
AFL Club
Other Teams
collingwood vfl
No need to cry.

If anything, it's a compliment. For 3 years they've won the free kick stat convincingly.

That's a good thing for them surely.

The question is why? What strategy do they have that no one else has worked out yet?
Duckings part of it, but why their opponents don't get blatant frees has got me stuffed.

Banyo Bloods

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 30, 2008
AFL Club
They developed a quick release handball which is a throw where they just move the ball very quickly with both hands but not actually propelling with the fist. Those fractions of a second have made a lot of difference to their style of play. Bevo has coached them that way but if the umps can't see it or it's too quick to call without the benefit of a replay then more power to them for recognising they can get away with it. Up to the umps to pull them up on it but AFL want a fast moving game and Bevo knows it. Smart man.

The free kick discrepancy is a bit much though. The numbers only matter when it seems sustained week by week and they are getting a good run with it again. McLean is a ducker/arm lifter so always worth a few extra too.

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