Umpiring The State of Umpiring in the AFL

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brutus76

Premium Platinum
Jul 26, 2016
2,619
3,629
Brisbane (VIC until 21, SA until mid 30's)
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Essendon
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LFC, Brisbane Lions
Taking the ball out of the ruck isn't a free but taking steps and/or having ample time to dispose IS - AFL needs to clarify this INTERPRETATION (as in what is opportunity) ASAP as umpiring's been 4/10 all season (was 6/10 last year) - particularly for RUCK CONTESTS

You need to reward the tackler more and punish the player who has ample time and either holds onto it too long or disposes incorrectly - SIMPLE.

As an umpire coach to 12-16 year olds I tell my umpires to use the "count to 3 in your mind" rule (2 seconds) - if they have the ball that long and they
1 - don't dispose of it correctly
2 - hold onto it/tackled and held
3 - do a 360 or more in those 2 seconds and don't get rid of it
PAY A FREE KICK

If the ball gets dislodged in the tackle PLAY ON
 

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Jack5

All Australian
Sep 15, 2017
742
2,808
AFL Club
Richmond
Umpiring is inconsistent and will probably always be perceived to be so in the mind of the viewer as long as they have some emotional or other investment in the outcome. I'm not sure it's possible to completely eliminate this.

What I am interested in is whether there is any bias in the umpiring. It does seem that there are some clear patterns that have existed over many years.

It also struck me that absent stat's on free kicks by umpire there may be information available in betting market movements on this. Ie how do betting markets move upon the announcement of the umpires for a game?

If there is something significant there I wonder who has access to the info at the moment and what they are doing with it?
 

Fadge

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 4, 2007
7,275
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Melbourne
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Collingwood
What I am interested in is whether there is any bias in the umpiring. It does seem that there are some clear patterns that have existed over many years.
I'm pretty confident there is no bias in umpiring, but it is clear that umpiring decisions (including non-decisions) regularly influence the result of games.

Whether it be one team on the receiving end of a good run of decisions to either stay in a game of football, or conversely put the game out of reach of an opponent, or as we have already seen on 4 or 5 occasions already this year - wrong decisions in the dying minutes of a match that prove the difference in a match that is decided by less than a kick.

I yearn for the day where far fewer grey areas in the rules means that the better team on the day wins the game, though I'm afraid as every year goes by and the rules become more difficult to consistently apply, that day will never come...
 

Ron The Bear

Come on Sydney, come on!
Jul 4, 2006
34,350
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I yearn for the day where far fewer grey areas in the rules means that the better team on the day wins the game, though I'm afraid as every year goes by and the rules become more difficult to consistently apply, that day will never come...
Grey areas are OK, they're part and parcel of the game and if you get two perspectives in healthy or even passionate disagreement then it's not a critical issue. It's when crucial decisions are blatantly wrong, or inconsistent with others in the same match, that there's a problem.
 

Fadge

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 4, 2007
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Melbourne
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Grey areas are OK, they're part and parcel of the game and if you get two perspectives in healthy or even passionate disagreement then it's not a critical issue. It's when crucial decisions are blatantly wrong, or inconsistent with others in the same match, that there's a problem.
Was watching the Geelong v. West Coast game today. Blicavs had the ball amongst other players about 5 metres out from goal on the line of the square. He chose not to rush it through, and instead coughed it up with Oscar Allan running onto it for an easy goal.

The commentators were discussing whether it would have been a free kick had he have rushed it through. They had no idea. J. Brown called it a true 50/50. I agree - it would have been an absolute toss of the coin. In fact, I reckon by the 'letter of the law' it shouldn't have been a free kick, but I reckon the umpires would pay it more often than they wouldn't.

That is just one example. Is that really 'healthy'?!?
 
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Ron The Bear

Come on Sydney, come on!
Jul 4, 2006
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That is just one example. Is that really 'healthy'?!?
Not healthy that the players are unsure of the rule, no. There are varying circumstances in which it can apply, and I can’t comment on this one as I haven’t seen it.

A couple of weeks ago Robbie Gray rushed one against Richmond which appeared to contravene the spirit of the rule, if not the rule itself. But there was bugger all discussion about it and in the end I remained not totally convinced the correct decision was made and ready to apply the same standard when the same circumstances inevitably occur again. Not a terrible thing.
 

Frappe

Club Legend
Jul 29, 2006
2,909
2,844
Australia
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Geelong
Was watching the Geelong v. West Coast game today. Blicavs had the ball amongst other players about 5 metres out from goal on the line of the square. He chose not to rush it through, and instead coughed it up with Oscar Allan running onto it for an easy goal.

The commentators were discussing whether it would have been a free kick had he have rushed it through. They had no idea. J. Brown called it a true 50/50. I agree - it would have been an absolute toss of the coin. In fact, I reckon by the 'letter of the law' it shouldn't have been a free kick, but I reckon the umpires would pay it more often than they wouldn't.

That is just one example. Is that really 'healthy'?!?
In the Blicavs situation it would have been easy to fumble the ball through. Poorly handled.
 

Fadge

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 4, 2007
7,275
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Melbourne
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Collingwood
A couple of weeks ago Robbie Gray rushed one against Richmond which appeared to contravene the spirit of the rule, if not the rule itself. But there was bugger all discussion about it and in the end I remained not totally convinced the correct decision was made and ready to apply the same standard when the same circumstances inevitably occur again. Not a terrible thing.
But isn't this a problem?

You thought an incorrect decision was made, but on reflection you're comfortable that an incorrect decision continue to be paid (or in this case, not paid).

But you know that won't be the case - i.e. the rule will not be consistently applied.
 

Fadge

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 4, 2007
7,275
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Melbourne
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In the Blicavs situation it would have been easy to fumble the ball through. Poorly handled.
So if he (intentionally) handballs the ball through the goals, he may or may not get a free kick paid against him.

But if he (intentionally) fumbles the ball through, he is less likely (possibly unlikely) to get a free kick paid against him?

You don't think this is a problem?
 

Ron The Bear

Come on Sydney, come on!
Jul 4, 2006
34,350
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Melbourne
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Richmond
But isn't this a problem?

You thought an incorrect decision was made, but on reflection you're comfortable that an incorrect decision continue to be paid (or in this case, not paid).

But you know that won't be the case - i.e. the rule will not be consistently applied.
The AFL rarely admits fault and they didn’t on this. So if the umpire calls it differently next time, it’s a licence for me to use whatever profanity is necessary to express my disapproval.
 

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