Analysis Umpires

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footyfan78

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They should all be tarred and feathered. Except Darren Goldspink. He should be hung, drawn and quartered.
Ian Robinson on a rack is fine with me too.
 

Opine

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... which can generally be broken down into a difference in angle, because the umpire is on the wrong side of the play. This can go one of two ways; an umpire lets it go, where up the other end the other umpire had a better angle and paid the free, or the umpire up the other end had the worse angle and so did you but you guessed about the location of a hand on the blind side of a stoppage (concerning a high contact free). In both cases, the umpire is wrong to pay the free kick or wrong not to.

And umpires almost have to guess sometimes, such is the speed of the play and the sheer number of players around the ball. It's part of what makes staging so shithouse; umpires job is hard enough as it is without dickheads making it even harder.
Your idea of improving the ability for umpires to see incidents more clearly is valid: but it supposes that differences in interpretation, particularly regarding plays on the margin of a rule, primarily occur because of a diminished view of a like incident. I'm not so sure that is the case. I lean to the view that there is an unavoidable human element to split interpretations; which increases in occurrence as the number of adjudicators increases.

Take the rampke goal post incident as an exaggerated example. Though fortunately, not likely to occur again in the same game, as lets say a holding the man incident, the umpire concerned gave a warning; another may have applied the rule strictly and awarded a free kick. As the number of public umpires has increased, you me and every other Tom Dick or Thy, so has the difference in interpretation; AFL CEO supported a practical approach, other commentators have suggested that it was a technical breach which should have been penalised.

In last weeks game, there was a somewhat technical free kick paid against JSOS, I think it was JSOS, for arms around the Pie defender. Yet at the other end a similar incident was adjudicated in favour of the Collingwood forward; neither incident impeded the player on the receiving end. Those are the types of incidents that are annoying and unfair. I don't mind if an incident is interpreted strictly, provided a like incident is not later interpreted practically.
 

Gethelred

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Your idea of improving the ability for umpires to see incidents more clearly is valid: but it supposes that differences in interpretation, particularly regarding plays on the margin of a rule, primarily occur because of a diminished view of a like incident. I'm not so sure that is the case. I lean to the view that there is an unavoidable human element to split interpretations; which increases in occurrence as the number of adjudicators increases.

Take the rampke goal post incident as an exaggerated example. Though fortunately, not likely to occur again in the same game, as lets say a holding the man incident, the umpire concerned gave a warning; another may have applied the rule strictly and awarded a free kick. As the number of public umpires has increased, you me and every other Tom Dick or Thy, so has the difference in interpretation; AFL CEO supported a practical approach, other commentators have suggested that it was a technical breach which should have been penalised.

In last weeks game, there was a somewhat technical free kick paid against JSOS, I think it was JSOS, for arms around the Pie defender. Yet at the other end a similar incident was adjudicated in favour of the Collingwood forward; neither incident impeded the player on the receiving end. Those are the types of incidents that are annoying and unfair. I don't mind if an incident is interpreted strictly, provided a like incident is not later interpreted practically.
Unfortunately, AFL's a sport of rules lawyers, and everyone - including me - thinks their take is the best one.

With the Rampe thing, I'd argue that you can accidently break the rules (when tackling, getting full into someone's back or going too high) and be penalized anyway, because you've broken the rules; ergo, Rampe may have intended to obtain more height in order to spoil the ball, but his intention is irrelevant to the fact that he shook the point post. You can argue the specific wording of the rule until the cows come home, whether intentional or not the result is the post is shaken.

I agree that interpretation of the rules is not universal, but it isn't that which irks me, as what appears on one hand to be a difference in interpretation between two decisions can be as simple as the umpire not seeing something in the split second it occurred, the umpire not having the right view of the play, or the umpire letting things go in the pursuit of 'letting the game flow'. How are we to know the difference, whether in hindsight or in the moment?

It's down to this that simply makes me think that we need to pay everything, whilst at the same time simplifying the rules (you land on someone's back, it's in the back - as per traditional rules - you tackle someone high, it's a free their way regardless of if you ducked into it - whilst penalizing stagers with bans - and if you don't get off a clear handpass or kick it's incorrect disposal) to make them more black and white. You also need to cut down on player/umpire contact; you don't talk to the umpire during the game, doing so garners for your opposition a free kick. You want to discuss something with the umpires, do it before or after the game. And, finally, you peel back the amount of interference rules in ruck contests, to prevent it just being an exercise of who's got the bigger leap or who's taller. Short of belting someone dead in the head with no eyes for the ball - or tunneling a bloke with a titanic leap - there is no reason for the sheer number of ruck infringement rules that exist.

To do this, you would need to develop a professional umpiring core, and you need to promote above all else their impartiality. You don't exempt them from criticism, you instead hold them above it, to a higher standard. They're custodians of the game, even more than the players, because their duty is to the players; they have a duty of care, and a duty of fairness. They protect the players from being injured; they ensure a level playing field. If you added this to my 3 umps thing, you'd see a significant upswing in umpire recruitment; not only do you need more umpires, but you also have a faintly noble calling in becoming one. You walk the hallways with giants of the game, yet you yourself have a role in things, all at once to one side yet equally as important.

You do this, you'd see immediately a huge rise - understatement - in frees paid, which is why the AFL would never adopt it. If it did, though, I'd be interested in how the coaches cultivated a) defense, as that's what they try to do first, exploit new rules in defensive ways, then b) how would they react to losing their A++ mid for staging; would they take it lying down, would they attack the umpiring fraternity or the MRO/MRC; and c) how would this affect the players in the game? Just how swiftly would they go from the obnoxious and aggressive stuff you see today on the football field to acceptance and not doing stupid things in an umpire's face?

It'd grant a level playing field, which is all you want as a fan of the game.
 

Gethelred

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I know our ground is the biggest in sport but I'd like to see most umpire-player interaction through the captains.
If it has to happen, it should happen at the breaks between the umpires and the captains.

None of this ridiculous, 'Let go of him, Patrick! Let go, I've paid the free!. Let go, good boy!'

Reverse the decision; he's holding onto the opponent's jumper, it's not even in play, he's breaking the rules. You don't need to know him by his name; you don't need to address him by his name. Pay the free, and get on with it; you're holding up the play with your kindergarten-esque spiel. That, in my opinion, is truly an umpire making it about them, lording their power over the players. You're not their coach, their boss; you're not their parent.

******* get on with it. If someone wants to give you **** for a decision you made, pay a fifty or reverse the decision. Shut them up; these are the rules, and I'm the umpire. You want my job? No? Then get back to position, before I pay another free out of the centre square because you're holding up play.
 

dumb

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what about more umpires on the field, but each umpire only officiates a certain part of the rules. there's always 2 in play umpires each knowing half the rules. this way they only have to learn and concentrate on half the rules.

don't know that it's possible, but would create a slightly more 'specialist' approach to applying rules.

i agree that the umpiring has gone downhill, regardless of the effect on our games. the talk about it seems to dominate a lot more internet inches than it used to.
 

Opine

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Unfortunately, AFL's a sport of rules lawyers, and everyone - including me - thinks their take is the best one.

With the Rampe thing, I'd argue that you can accidently break the rules (when tackling, getting full into someone's back or going too high) and be penalized anyway, because you've broken the rules; ergo, Rampe may have intended to obtain more height in order to spoil the ball, but his intention is irrelevant to the fact that he shook the point post. You can argue the specific wording of the rule until the cows come home, whether intentional or not the result is the post is shaken.

I agree that interpretation of the rules is not universal, but it isn't that which irks me, as what appears on one hand to be a difference in interpretation between two decisions can be as simple as the umpire not seeing something in the split second it occurred, the umpire not having the right view of the play, or the umpire letting things go in the pursuit of 'letting the game flow'. How are we to know the difference, whether in hindsight or in the moment?

It's down to this that simply makes me think that we need to pay everything, whilst at the same time simplifying the rules (you land on someone's back, it's in the back - as per traditional rules - you tackle someone high, it's a free their way regardless of if you ducked into it - whilst penalizing stagers with bans - and if you don't get off a clear handpass or kick it's incorrect disposal) to make them more black and white. You also need to cut down on player/umpire contact; you don't talk to the umpire during the game, doing so garners for your opposition a free kick. You want to discuss something with the umpires, do it before or after the game. And, finally, you peel back the amount of interference rules in ruck contests, to prevent it just being an exercise of who's got the bigger leap or who's taller. Short of belting someone dead in the head with no eyes for the ball - or tunneling a bloke with a titanic leap - there is no reason for the sheer number of ruck infringement rules that exist.

To do this, you would need to develop a professional umpiring core, and you need to promote above all else their impartiality. You don't exempt them from criticism, you instead hold them above it, to a higher standard. They're custodians of the game, even more than the players, because their duty is to the players; they have a duty of care, and a duty of fairness. They protect the players from being injured; they ensure a level playing field. If you added this to my 3 umps thing, you'd see a significant upswing in umpire recruitment; not only do you need more umpires, but you also have a faintly noble calling in becoming one. You walk the hallways with giants of the game, yet you yourself have a role in things, all at once to one side yet equally as important.

You do this, you'd see immediately a huge rise - understatement - in frees paid, which is why the AFL would never adopt it. If it did, though, I'd be interested in how the coaches cultivated a) defense, as that's what they try to do first, exploit new rules in defensive ways, then b) how would they react to losing their A++ mid for staging; would they take it lying down, would they attack the umpiring fraternity or the MRO/MRC; and c) how would this affect the players in the game? Just how swiftly would they go from the obnoxious and aggressive stuff you see today on the football field to acceptance and not doing stupid things in an umpire's face?

It'd grant a level playing field, which is all you want as a fan of the game.
It's interesting that you've made reference to AFL being a sport of rules and lawyers. I agree. On that basis consider the countless split decisions where 3 to 5 judges adjudicate the very same case on the same set of facts. But, often, one or more may interpret the same set of facts, or rules, differently to another; some adopt a purposive/practical approach, others a stricter approach. Especially where rule is on the margin; and no matter how strictly you compel interpretation there will always be a margin. That's why judgements are often not unanimous.

In a footy sense you favour the strict liability approach; where you pay everything that is breached; its seemingly less ambiguous because removing intent appears to remove an umpires subjective take on practicality. I don't disgarre, to a point, The issue will still turn to the margin of a breach; how technical is technically sufficient to warrant a free etc. If the law is any example, regardless of whether an umpire is compelled to intercept a rule strictly, different umpires will still be guided by their own internal take on incident and on the rule itself. Like judges, they're human. That's why I'm in favor of reducing the number of umpires.
 

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Blue and Blue

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It's interesting that you've made reference to AFL being a sport of rules and lawyers. I agree. On that basis consider the countless split decisions where 3 to 5 judges adjudicate the very same case on the same set of facts. But, often, one or more may interpret the same set of facts, or rules, differently to another; some adopt a purposive/practical approach, others a stricter approach. Especially where rule is on the margin; and no matter how strictly you compel interpretation there will always be a margin. That's why judgements are often not unanimous.

In a footy sense you favour the strict liability approach; where you pay everything that is breached; its seemingly less ambiguous because removing intent appears to remove an umpires subjective take on practicality. I don't disgarre, to a point, The issue will still turn to the margin of a breach; how technical is technically sufficient to warrant a free etc. If the law is any example, regardless of whether an umpire is compelled to intercept a rule strictly, different umpires will still be guided by their own internal take on incident and on the rule itself. Like judges, they're human. That's why I'm in favor of reducing the number of umpires.
Which cat said that? Got to be Nigel yes?
 

Opine

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Which cat said that? Got to be Nigel yes?
Truth be told, they were split in their interpretation and individual decision's. It was a 2 to 1 judgment. See, I told you that's what happens when you increase the number of cats involved in making a decision; same dilemma applies to umpiring
 

Antonio BlueVein

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I ask my dog heaps of questions about the umpires whilst the game is on.

He is not particularly fond of my loud BALLLLLLLL calls. But, he is very loyal and he goes and grabs his ball. Such a champ.
 

GoBlues!

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Soccer being the worst. The way the players charge at the ref is disgusting
True, there’s a lot of carry on when a big decision is made like a penalty is paid.

But I love it when a strong umpire just shakes the head and points to the spot. Or when they reach for a card and defiantly hold it up.....basically saying **** off, I’m refereeing this game not you.
 

Blue and Blue

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True, there’s a lot of carry on when a big decision is made like a penalty is paid.

But I love it when a strong umpire just shakes the head and points to the spot. Or when they reach for a card and defiantly hold it up.....basically saying **** off, I’m refereeing this game not you.
I think its less about anger and more about nerves. That ball aimed at their nether regions really does cause a few gulps in the throat..........;)
 
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