The State of Umpiring in the AFL

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Jul 2, 2018
45
19
Somerset Tasmania
AFL Club
Adelaide
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Swan Districts FC WAFL
I truly believe the microphones in the ears of umpires has the game being umpired in the grandstand. Whoever they are , your worse than the miserable lot running around on the oval. No-one is going to tell me that they do not get decisions relayed to them. What are the microphones in their ears in the first place. yeah yeah ,so they can hear the siren.yeah yeah What they should be hearing is ''your sacked''
 

Fadge

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 4, 2007
7,033
5,615
Melbourne
AFL Club
Collingwood
With the amount of grey in our rules, combined with three umpires trying to adjudicate, consistency IS impossible to expect.

Holding the ball/incorrect disposal is a raffle.

Ruck infringements are a raffle.

Deliberate out of bounds is a raffle.

Blocking in a marking contest is paid once or twice a game, though in most pack marking contests, there is an element of blocking involved.

Encroaching on the mark is paid 25% of the time.

Holding a player after they have disposed of it (thereby getting a free with a 50 metre penalty) has been paid twice in the past 3 weeks, happens about 10 times a game, and has apparently been a rule for a few years?

You know there is something fundamemtally wrong when the same event can be viewed by 3 different umpires, and any one of 3 different decisions are appropriate (free kick to team A; free kick to team B; Play on or ball up) depending on their interpretation of the incident.
 

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PrinceCharles

Premiership Player
Oct 18, 2016
3,554
7,930
AFL Club
Carlton
56 frees in the Blues v North games yesterday, was close to unwatchable. Have no idea what's HTB anymore, and neither do the umpires clearly as there's no consistency.
 

ibd77

Club Legend
Apr 2, 2014
2,221
3,257
Adelaide, South Australia
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
56 frees in the Blues v North games yesterday, was close to unwatchable. Have no idea what's HTB anymore, and neither do the umpires clearly as there's no consistency.
Throwing the ball rugby style when tackled then flailing the arms around like you haven't got it isn't HTB these days?

I have no idea how HTB is judged where previously being tackled after prior opportunity had been expended or dragging it in on the ground was easy to adjudicate.

The AFL has a lot to answer for by changing interpretations on a whim of a coach having coffee with a CEO of the league. Has the rules of the game committee been disbanded or something?
 

ibd77

Club Legend
Apr 2, 2014
2,221
3,257
Adelaide, South Australia
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
I have no idea how AFL structures is umpire ranks but ideally they should keep the same 3 of field umpires + 1 reserve together for the full season so they can learn to adjudicate the rules on a more consistent level. Mixing umpires for each games just gives these wide variations of interpretations from each zone of the ground.
 

HairyO

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 13, 2015
24,151
25,753
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Why not just make Clarko the head of the umpires and cut out the middle man?
If Clarko was the head of the umpires we probably wouldnt be 17th for free kick differential.

So... I agree. Make Clarko head of the umpires.

The problem is, Clarko made a sensible suggestion. The AFL agreed. Then the umpires went and f’ed it up, again. Like they have consistently been doing for about the last decade.
 

Keays2myBeamas

All Australian
Oct 5, 2014
629
1,193
Brisbane
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
So when Clarko had his holding the ball rant the other week, he was clearly referring to the incorrect disposal interpretation. He mentioned incorrect disposal a number of times, how that was the chief failing, I don't think he even mentioned prior opportunity. I think most people really agreed with him there - no one likes players dropping it and throwing it out and getting away with it.

Naturally, the umpires seem to have instead tightened right up on prior opportunity, reducing it to 0.000000143 seconds, officially.

Having a harsh interpretation of prior opportunity (and "not making a genuine attempt") obviously further incentivises throwing and dropping because players are desperate to get it out by any means, otherwise they'll be pinned.

Are the AFL this thick? It clearly isn't right to be penalising players for picking up the ball and being tackled immediately. It clearly doesn't help the congestion situation to let players just drop the ball to the bottom of the contest. It clearly doesn't help to force players who've been wrapped up with no prior to farcically punch the ball to no avail.

Call me cynical, but it almost feels as if the AFL are actively pursuing more congestion, and actively pursuing lower scoring, perhaps because they think lower scoring closer games maintain tv viewers for longer?
When in fact more and more people are likely turning off at halftime because of the type of play, regardless of how "exciting" the 2.9 to 2.11 scoreline is.
 

HawkMongrel

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 15, 2008
5,980
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Melbourne
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Hawthorn
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It's hard not to completely despise the AFL and the Umpires Association at the minute.

Both need to have all decision makers wiped clean and started over by an independent body completely detached from the current lot of vampires sucking the blood out of the sport.
 

HairyO

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 13, 2015
24,151
25,753
AFL Club
Hawthorn
So when Clarko had his holding the ball rant the other week, he was clearly referring to the incorrect disposal interpretation. He mentioned incorrect disposal a number of times, how that was the chief failing, I don't think he even mentioned prior opportunity. I think most people really agreed with him there - no one likes players dropping it and throwing it out and getting away with it.

Naturally, the umpires seem to have instead tightened right up on prior opportunity, reducing it to 0.000000143 seconds, officially.

Having a harsh interpretation of prior opportunity (and "not making a genuine attempt") obviously further incentivises throwing and dropping because players are desperate to get it out by any means, otherwise they'll be pinned.

Are the AFL this thick? It clearly isn't right to be penalising players for picking up the ball and being tackled immediately. It clearly doesn't help the congestion situation to let players just drop the ball to the bottom of the contest. It clearly doesn't help to force players who've been wrapped up with no prior to farcically punch the ball to no avail.

Call me cynical, but it almost feels as if the AFL are actively pursuing more congestion, and actively pursuing lower scoring, perhaps because they think lower scoring closer games maintain tv viewers for longer?
When in fact more and more people are likely turning off at halftime because of the type of play, regardless of how "exciting" the 2.9 to 2.11 scoreline is.
First bit is right.

Second bit I think they want big scores just not massive blowouts.

So congestion is ok if it stops runaway wins. But they want scores which is shown by how many Forward 50 frees they have been paying this year.

Some games are 75% scores from free kicks.
 

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PowerForGood

2020. The year the competition became terminal. Ju
Sep 1, 2006
16,849
15,386
Adelaide
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Port Adelaide
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Want free flowing football? Hit targets.
Want to hit more targets? Time and space.
Want more time and space? Reduce congestion around the ball winner.

Want less congestion around the ball winner? Umpire all of the following very strictly - negative scragging / tagging / holding off the ball / gang tackling / tackler dragging the ball under / head high in the back anything goes tackles when on the ground / holding a tackle after ball goes free ... and only then umpire the holding the ball and prior opportunity free kicks.

Let players attack the contest, attack the ball, break free from stoppages, hit targets. Then watch how quick the ball travels.
 

backtozero

Club Legend
Jul 26, 2020
2,700
5,774
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Want free flowing football? Hit targets.
Want to hit more targets? Time and space.
Want more time and space? Reduce congestion around the ball winner.

Want less congestion around the ball winner? Umpire all of the following very strictly - negative scragging / tagging / holding off the ball / gang tackling / tackler dragging the ball under / head high in the back anything goes tackles when on the ground / holding a tackle after ball goes free ... and only then umpire the holding the ball and prior opportunity free kicks.

Let players attack the contest, attack the ball, break free from stoppages, hit targets. Then watch how quick the ball travels.
+ blow the whistle as soon as practically possible when the ball is under a pack. This nonsense of waiting 20 seconds for it to pop out legally or otherwise is nonsense. I'm not interested in football becoming wrestling match.
Watch any game from the 90s and notice how quickly umps blow the whistle when the ball is held up.
 

Sauras

Club Legend
Oct 6, 2014
1,119
1,537
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
It's sh*t. Sam Newman said as much what 20 years ago. Problem with BF (And attention seeking social media fu** heads) it's full of tweens who don't remember, or old wannabes who simply have no idea. He was the first media personality to say what we we were all thinking. And at the time, yep, we all agreed, because we could, and there was no judgement coming back if someone dared to disagree. He bagged the goal umpires, and was correct, yet 20 years later, nothings improved. How is that possible? Who would disagree now, and cost them their job? Everyone now is a suck, and wants their pay cheque, why would you bother making headlines? Even coaches on a mill say sorry to save a couple of grand.
 

HawkMongrel

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 15, 2008
5,980
7,813
Melbourne
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
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It's sh*t. Sam Newman said as much what 20 years ago. Problem with BF (And attention seeking social media fu** heads) it's full of tweens who don't remember, or old wannabes who simply have no idea. He was the first media personality to say what we we were all thinking. And at the time, yep, we all agreed, because we could, and there was no judgement coming back if someone dared to disagree. He bagged the goal umpires, and was correct, yet 20 years later, nothings improved. How is that possible? Who would disagree now, and cost them their job? Everyone now is a suck, and wants their pay cheque, why would you bother making headlines? Even coaches on a mill say sorry to save a couple of grand.
I still remember him being given the boot from the commentary team by Triple M for daring to question how poor the umpiring and the standard of the game had become.

The AFL control everything. They really are a disgraceful organisation.
 

HairyO

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 13, 2015
24,151
25,753
AFL Club
Hawthorn
+ blow the whistle as soon as practically possible when the ball is under a pack. This nonsense of waiting 20 seconds for it to pop out legally or otherwise is nonsense. I'm not interested in football becoming wrestling match.
Watch any game from the 90s and notice how quickly umps blow the whistle when the ball is held up.
I watched the 83 GF the other day.

Often 10 or 12 players around the ball but the ball moved quickly because the umpire would blow the whistle quickly and pay a free or bounce it straight away.

So there was never time for 20 players to swarm.

Plenty of long kicking too. And the skills were fantastic.
 

cobra land

Senior List
Aug 28, 2017
267
268
AFL Club
Essendon
Over umpired whistle happy.

This is how umpires should be trained.

LET IT GO AND JUST PAY THE OBVIOUS.

Basically umpire EVERY game like they umpire the Grand Final (exception of 2016).

That should be the mantra. Simple.
This 1000%...AFL is over umpired with too many rules...Pay the obvious frees !!!.
At the moment too many are let go then they will pull out one where a jumper has been slightly tugged and has no influence on the play.
Take out the prior for holding the ball, you must get a kick or handball or it's a free against...have a look how well the game flowed in the 80's & 90's.
Pay in the back, you can't sit on somebody and it not be in the back !!
The amount of inconsistencies in ruck duels is bewildering...maybe let them have a show of strength... no one knows which way the free will go anyway ?.
Finally a stop needs to come for the inconsistent deliberate out of bounds rule.....just pay the free against the last to team to touch the ball and be done with it ???
 

powerrrrrrrrrrrr

Club Legend
Feb 17, 2010
1,940
3,324
adelaide
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Does the contact below the knees and sliding rule exist this year?

There has been numerous incidents in the past few weeks and a couple tonight (both for and against port) which were just completely ignored and clear as day frees, heck one was even deemed an in the back free to port after sliding in and taking the knees out of the demons player.

In the previous few years since the rule was brought in even a feather tip touch has been deemed a free kick but this year I’ve hardly seen one paid with players being completely cleaned up from a sliding player.

Don’t get me wrong I hate the rule in general but they can’t just totally ignore a rule and decide they don’t ever pay it.
 

Fadge

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 4, 2007
7,033
5,615
Melbourne
AFL Club
Collingwood
Does the contact below the knees and sliding rule exist this year?

There has been numerous incidents in the past few weeks and a couple tonight (both for and against port) which were just completely ignored and clear as day frees, heck one was even deemed an in the back free to port after sliding in and taking the knees out of the demons player.

In the previous few years since the rule was brought in even a feather tip touch has been deemed a free kick but this year I’ve hardly seen one paid with players being completely cleaned up from a sliding player.

Don’t get me wrong I hate the rule in general but they can’t just totally ignore a rule and decide they don’t ever pay it.
Yep, just another example of a rule that comes and goes like thieves in the night.

Until there's some media attention, followed by a memo from the Director of Umpiring, after which you will see it over-applied for a week or two, before it disappears into the great abyss for the rest of the season.
 

KnightsBlue

Team Captain
Feb 17, 2020
497
928
AFL Club
Carlton
Tell ya what. With the state of umpiring. from what im reading its also having a flow on affect to peoples well being and mentality. Afl seriously has to do something. Cant have the game back and give everyone torrets
 

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