Umpiring The State of Umpiring in the AFL

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Accepted 04

Dec 10, 2007
AFL Club
i'm being serious. unfortunate it was your guy tonight...but give me a reason why it shouldnt be treated the same as staging.

it was pretty obvious he didnt touch it, the vision and his demeanour directly after.

game would be much better for it without these grubby acts.
Yeah your right but sadly there is too much on the line for incidents like that so the player is always going to claim the touch.

If it was any team their fans would want them to claim it


Club Legend
Aug 19, 2013
AFL Club
West Coast
Yeah your right but sadly there is too much on the line for incidents like that so the player is always going to claim the touch.

If it was any team their fans would want them to claim it
I reckon if there was decent cameras it would change quickly. much like claiming a catch in cricket.

Lavender Bushranger

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 25, 2005
AFL Club
Gold Coast
I worry about the footy. The way the game has been umpired this year is just unbelievable.

It's the worst I've ever seen it. By a long way.

The rules themselves are just senseless, the interpretations are contradictory most of the time, and the actual officiating is an abomination.

Having said that, last night was the worst I've seen. Having been a Tigers member, I have a bit of a soft spot for them, and I've been following St Kilda this year too, so I watched the game pretty closely last night.

It was the most poorly officiated game of football I think I've ever seen.

Some examples:

- Deliberate against Howard. He was already over the line when according to the umpire, he 'deviated'.

- No free kick against Lynch for High Contact on Paton. Tigers goaled from it.

- 'not 15' against Houli, followed by pinging him for holding the ball. That was closer to 15m than about 30 other short kicks on the night. Cost a goal, or at least a shot at goal.

- No free kick against Lynch for High Contact on Howard. Looked like a broken nose. Tigers goaled from it.

- No 50m Penalty against Bolta when Marsh was lining up for a shot from the boundary. Cost a certain goal.

- No 50m Penalty against Cotchin. Cost a certain goal.

- No 50m Penalty against Lonie after being told to come back repeatedly by the umpire, but instead kept creeoing forward. Then ran directly over the mark and at the player before the same umpire called Play On.

- No free when Bolton handed Martin the ball.

- The goal umpiring debacle.

- The Deliberate paid against Broad was possibly the worst of the lot.

And these are supposedly the good umpires. What a total shambles.

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Brownlow Medallist
Jul 13, 2015
AFL Club
Didnt an umpire give 16 frees to one team and 0 to the other in a Grand Final ?

Last night it was obvious that Richmond were the protected species. But the bizarre thing is so many Saints frees were missed but half the ones they got just werent there.

So maybe it was just utter sh*t ness. So hard to tell these days.


🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆 🏆🏆
Jan 7, 2010
AFL Club
If this type of thread is allowed then does it mean a 'where is Essendon at' is fine to be started?

All this thread is another anti-Richmond rant!


Norm Smith Medallist
May 8, 2007
AFL Club
The only thing I will say that really worries me about umpiring is the obvious inconsistency from week to week.

Example from last night vs last week.
There were a couple of 50s paid last week for kicking the ball away after the whistle had blown. Last night - they weren't. It's mostly because of that stupid advantage rule we have, but that's another discussion.
There were 50s paid last week for abusing the umpire - last night, after one (soft) free kick was paid to Lynch, his opponent clearly swore (maybe with reason) at the umpire (didn't have to be a great lip-reader to confirm that) - no 50.
The deliberate out-of-bounds is f****** stupid. Last night St Kilda got f***** twice by it and Richmond once. And there were several they did not pay. But next week, it may be different.
The 'protected area' 50 seems to have disappeared - not because players are that much better at avoiding it, but because the umps have sort-of-decided to only pay those that 'influence' the game. But there is still the occasional random one plucked out of someone's a*se at innoportune times.

The 'not 15' kicks has become a blight on the game. I agree the Houli one technically wasn't 15 - but so are about 20 marks per game that travel less distance than that. In general, the limit seems to be about 10-12 metres. It was notable that every player stopped after Houli marked it and no one even thought it wouldn't be paid - except the umpire. (If you want a rough guide, remember the goal and point posts are 6.4 metres apart. Imagine a player kicking a pass from one goal post to the far point post - that would be paid every single time, and that is only 12.8 metres).

Otherwise - decisions I disagree with happen every week. (Naturally, they are usually against my team;)). I could pull out a dozen simple cases from last night that went against Richmond that could have gone the other way - that's OK. I don't think umpires or the AFL are cheats or crooked - an umpiring decision that you disagree with is like a bad bounce - sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn't.

Lavender Bushranger

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 25, 2005
AFL Club
Gold Coast
So the goal umpire says to the field umpire "I think it's a behind. Want to check if it was touched over the line."

He repeats this. The field umpire clarifies "touched over the line?" The goal repeats it again.

The field umpire then goes upstairs and says "can you check it wasn't touched before the line?"

What an incompetent shambles last night was.


Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 18, 2003
Western Suburbs : Perth
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Claremont NE Patriots Eagles AFLW
Wanted the Doggies to win the 2016 GF, so no sour grapes in this assessment, but the umpiring that handed them a distinct advantage, especially in the second half was the worst umpired game that I have seen.

Sydney were stiff in most of all the 50/50 decisions.

Oh and the Haneberry " non free kick", after he had his legs taken out from under him, still to this day baffles me.

That umpiring exhibition was as bad as they come.

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Brownlow Medallist
Aug 15, 2015
42° south
AFL Club
Port Adelaide
Port Adelaide vs North Melbourne, Blundstone arena May 4 2013

38 free kicks to North
15 to port

The game where an umpire gave a north player a congratulatory tap on the behind to say well done as he gave him a free kick.

Equal number of scoring shots as north run out winners by 10 points and the least deserved victory of all time. Blatant umpire cheating abounded all throughout the last quarter as port slammed on 5 goals and had complete momentum, only for the corrupt campaigners to sabotage it at every opportunity. This game was fixed.


Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 4, 2007
AFL Club
The insistence of Ray continuing to attempt to bounce the ball when it is clearly beyond him is indicative of the lack of commonsense in the umpiring fraternity.

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