Umpiring The State of Umpiring in the AFL

Remove this Banner Ad

FreoMonocle

Premium Gold
Apr 25, 2011
2,147
4,394
AFL Club
Fremantle
One of the biggest issues is that there are rules that aren't officiated. Until they specifically ping one person or team for it. Or it's flavour of the month. Maybe in a perfect world, keep those rules, but where it is ad hoc it makes any time it is applied unfair - and so they should just be dropped completely - or forced to always officiate that rule in 1 agreed interpretation (as in, if a rule needs an interpretation, that it is written down and stays in place for the season).

Then there is the issue of, the ump can only adjudicate on what they see - or think they can see. A few years ago, when all the players ate as many pies as they wanted, drank a few beers, they didn't run much in the game (by comparison), the forwards mostly stayed forwardish kind of thing. Drop the ball into an empty space and it is swamped by elite runners even in q4 when they are all shagged. The rules need to reflect this, some things are too hard to spot consistently even with multiple umps - pretty easy from the selection of one of several tv cameras or in the right part of the crowd, but not always obvious from where the umps are. The penalty of such a hard running, athletic modern game might be that some of the holiest, iconic rules might just need to go or change.

Whistle. The umps run nearly as much as the players. They have to lift the whistle and blow it, often while running hard and maybe out of breath. They probably need a hand activated artificial whistle or something else with a standard volume. Too often players don't hear the whistle. Too often, it comes late and everyone is wtf? for something that happened 5-10 meters ago and maybe a pass or two etc. If they find a solution for that, then they can possibly differentiate while they are at it, if it's a mark or penalty so players are clear about potential advantage - or change the advantage rule so there is clarity in the heat of the moment.

And here I am arguing for some tinkering, when the biggest goddamn issue is that they keep tinkering with the rules, that having a rules committee means that they actively keep looking for stuff to change for the sake of it.
 

Log in to remove this ad.

Grand Uncle Horace

Brownlow Medallist
May 24, 2017
28,650
34,067
Old South Grandstand
AFL Club
Sydney
** Breaking News **

Michael Christian has referred Ray Chamberlain straight to the Tribunal.

Mr Christian said, " I have considered the behaviour of Umpire Chamberlain to have been deliberate, provocative and it made me so laugh so much I split a hernia and so impact was high."

Mr Christian added, "I initially considered an 8 week ban but after discussions with Mr Hocking, I decided to refer Mr Chamberlain straight to the Tribunal".

In the most surprising news, Mr Chamberlain was not available for comment.
 

Bearded Clam

Premium Platinum
Oct 13, 2017
8,888
13,870
AFL Club
Adelaide
Other Teams
Liverpool, Glenelg,
'It's a marking contest and you prevented him from marking the ball'.

Crows v. Saints

Did they bring in a rule whereby you're no longer able to defend?
You cant chop the arms in a marking contest even if its against a player juggling the mark and going for his second grab at it..

what the saints player did was probably even more than a chop of the arm.. he pulled down on Thilthorpe’s right arm as thilthorpe was trying to grab the ball..

the free was there.

the problem is this happens all game in dozens of marking contests and goes unpaid.

the problem is the inconsistency... no one has a clue on which way any decision could go.
 

Cripps 'n' Blue Bloods

Sir Cripps of Carlton House
Mar 26, 2015
7,840
13,654
Bendigo
AFL Club
Carlton
Other Teams
Melbourne Tigers Philadelphia 76ers
'It's a marking contest and you prevented him from marking the ball'.

Crows v. Saints

Did they bring in a rule whereby you're no longer able to defend?
I don't think the umpire did a very good job of articulating his reasoning for the free, but I thought it was absolutely the right call.
In between the first and second grabs, the defender pulls at his arm. After the second grab, he comes in over the shoulder.
 

Rusty Brookes

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 9, 2001
5,655
6,421
Preston
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
Hawthorn, Manningham Cobras
The umpiring in Melbourne-Brisbane was pretty good by modern standards. HTB was adjudged accurately and happy to see free kicks given for holding the man, push in the back and incorrect disposal where appropriate. Too often these rules are overlooked.
I thought they'd actually figured it out. By far the best umpired game of the year - but they seemed to have regressed back to some other interpretation this weekend.
 

GCB85

Premium Platinum
Oct 18, 2005
18,777
17,931
Melbourne
AFL Club
Sydney
Have said it before, will say it again. The fact the public thought it was entertaining seeing the swans get screwed in the 2016 GF because it suited their preference for a fairytale was the green light for a complete lack of accountability for umpires. Again, on the weekend we saw the clear and deliberate punishment of a team by an umpire following Papley's verbal towards him. Not only has it barely raised a mention, it's actually being laughed about. Until all supporters put aside their personal biases and actually call out the horse sh*t that is umpiring at the moment nothing can change.
 

CrowsB4hoes

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 30, 2014
14,565
30,791
AFL Club
Adelaide
You cant chop the arms in a marking contest even if its against a player juggling the mark and going for his second grab at it..

what the saints player did was probably even more than a chop of the arm.. he pulled down on Thilthorpe’s right arm as thilthorpe was trying to grab the ball..

the free was there.

the problem is this happens all game in dozens of marking contests and goes unpaid.

the problem is the inconsistency... no one has a clue on which way any decision could go.
It’s always paid in marking contests just a question of whether the umpire sees it or not. This one was a clear free.
 

powerrrrrrrrrrrr

Club Legend
Feb 17, 2010
2,816
5,093
adelaide
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
If that’s considered a free for Thilthorpe then Charlie Dixon would get 10 frees a match when double/triple teamed and the opponent briefly grabs an arm in the contest.

Consistency is all we all ask. If that’s a free, they all should be and don’t just pick one or two occasions here and there to pay.
 

Aristotle Pickett

Premium Platinum
Oct 19, 2020
3,562
6,951
AFL Club
Richmond
The problem is the 'rule of the week' which they deny is a thing.
Last week's rule was don't pay holding the ball much.
It's the hardest game in the world to umpire.Umpires get mentally and physically fatigued and don't get paid enough for what they are expected to do.
No ex-player has been a successful umpire because it's hard.
These guys are elite and are unfairly maligned.
I wouldn't blame them for going on strike tbh.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Summer Nights

Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 11, 2010
6,850
5,197
Hopelheim
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Celtics, Red Sox, Oilers
There’s been a lot of low points in AFL umpiring in the past 15 years. The Jeff Gieschen years were pretty damn bad for umpiring standards, and even the late 90s that clown Scott McLaren was notorious for his negative impact on games. Despite all that, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a lower standard of umpiring than now. Allowing throwing of the ball and not paying holding the ball are huge problems for the integrity of the game. It is hugely frustrating that it continues to be unaddressed properly.
 

Fadge

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 4, 2007
7,532
6,034
Melbourne
AFL Club
Collingwood
There’s been a lot of low points in AFL umpiring in the past 15 years. The Jeff Gieschen years were pretty damn bad for umpiring standards, and even the late 90s that clown Scott McLaren was notorious for his negative impact on games. Despite all that, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a lower standard of umpiring than now. Allowing throwing of the ball and not paying holding the ball are huge problems for the integrity of the game. It is hugely frustrating that it continues to be unaddressed properly.
Players have worked out they can get away with throws if they do so towards the boundary line, given the umpires always position themselves centrally.

The only way to address this is to allow boundary umpires to call free kicks and not simply call out of bounds. Wouldn't be a bad idea.
 

Pie eyed

Premium Platinum
Jun 26, 2007
39,278
17,430
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Magpies
Sack the lot of the biased campaigners and bring in some Junior umpires.
They will do a better job.
One of the useless *******s has 450 games under belt and does not even knwo what a pushin the abck is.
Dog fueking a-hole.
 

deathevocation

Coffee. Football. Metal.
Apr 8, 2006
33,117
32,615
2014 or 2008. Probably 2008.
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
Dallas Cowboys and Texas Longhorns
Might as well give up on worrying about the umpires. They make it up as they go. I saw Sloane run off with the ball tonight after a centre clearance, he slipped about five metres into his run, he still had possession and was then tackled. No free - a ball up.
 

HairyO

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 13, 2015
26,124
28,177
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Might as well give up on worrying about the umpires. They make it up as they go. I saw Sloane run off with the ball tonight after a centre clearance, he slipped about five metres into his run, he still had possession and was then tackled. No free - a ball up.
And then you get players with zero time tackled by 2 opponents get pinged HTB.

They cant even blame crowd influence. Its literally a lottery.
 

Remove this Banner Ad