Analysis Umpires

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Gethelred

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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.
Precisely. The strict liability - ie, you are responsible for your action and the act you've just done on the field, ergo you are in breach of the rules and a free will be paid against you - reduces the role of umpires from interpreters to mere function, with each free kick becoming a question merely of fact. Did he land full on his back? Was that tackle between the shoulders and the waist? Was that contact front on? It also reduces the pressure on the umpires to ensure that their decisions are correct by placing them above scrutiny; you have the MRP/MRO reviewing the games and penalizing anyone who has played for a free kick, with the assertion to the umpires being purely, 'Do not concern yourself with staging, that's to be sorted out in review.'

What you're arguing - to continue the legal metaphor - is that instances of judicial activism are unavoidable; umpires instituting different interpretations or criteria to situations to bring about different outcomes. This would a) be reduced by professionalizng the umpiring corp, as by doing so you allow them to train full time and potentially together, flying them out before games and therefore ensuring collectiveness of interpretation, and b) be a condition of their employment that they themselves are to interpret the rules as black and white as possible, to maintain their distance from the players, and to uphold the game above all else. It is difficult for the umpires to have much respect for the rules they adjudicate at the moment; it is in that respect, for their role and the game, that an umpire becomes a great umpire.

Put simply, the moment an umpire is interpreting intent the battle is lost, and the task for rulemakers is to make it so that the rules govern action, not intent. Inside a courtroom, a judge has time and precident to consider before making their ruling as to intent, and it can certainly be argued that it's at the very least an inexact art; an umpire has split seconds to make their judgement. The entire task of umpiring should be made simpler.
 

Opine

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Precisely. The strict liability - ie, you are responsible for your action and the act you've just done on the field, ergo you are in breach of the rules and a free will be paid against you - reduces the role of umpires from interpreters to mere function, with each free kick becoming a question merely of fact. Did he land full on his back? Was that tackle between the shoulders and the waist? Was that contact front on? It also reduces the pressure on the umpires to ensure that their decisions are correct by placing them above scrutiny; you have the MRP/MRO reviewing the games and penalizing anyone who has played for a free kick, with the assertion to the umpires being purely, 'Do not concern yourself with staging, that's to be sorted out in review.'

What you're arguing - to continue the legal metaphor - is that instances of judicial activism are unavoidable; umpires instituting different interpretations or criteria to situations to bring about different outcomes. This would a) be reduced by professionalizng the umpiring corp, as by doing so you allow them to train full time and potentially together, flying them out before games and therefore ensuring collectiveness of interpretation, and b) be a condition of their employment that they themselves are to interpret the rules as black and white as possible, to maintain their distance from the players, and to uphold the game above all else. It is difficult for the umpires to have much respect for the rules they adjudicate at the moment; it is in that respect, for their role and the game, that an umpire becomes a great umpire.

Put simply, the moment an umpire is interpreting intent the battle is lost, and the task for rulemakers is to make it so that the rules govern action, not intent. Inside a courtroom, a judge has time and precident to consider before making their ruling as to intent, and it can certainly be argued that it's at the very least an inexact art; an umpire has split seconds to make their judgement. The entire task of umpiring should be made simpler.
Your metaphor is correct, it does amount to activism, similar to judicial activism in the legal realm. Expanding on this, for a moment, in your previous post you suggested that an approach be adopted toward umpires; whereby the umpire assumes the role of custodian of the game; whereby his'her primary obligation is to the game and to the pursuit and maintenance of freedom from bias in the way he/she conducts him/herself when umpiring. I don't disagree. it clearly promotes ethical integrity; and I suspect that you have again drawn on the approach adopted by the legal profession and its conduct rules; where by a legal practitioner is an officer pf the court and his primary obligation is to the court in the interests of justice.

The natural consequence of increasing level of integrity is an increase of independence in thought; the umpires guiding approach to interpreting the rules then becomes the responsibility of being worthy custodian of the game, and defender of non-bias. No longer will he/he be a mere mouthpiece of the AFL and so the activism grows; that is precisely what has fuelled judicial activism.

Your point about the court having time to reflect, is correct. Consequently in a game which doesn't afford such reflection, inconsistency which comes from differing interpretations is exasperated. This is precisely what we see, often, on a weekly basis where one play is adjudicated in the affirmative, and another in the negative, in the same game, by differing umpires. Or when one umpire overrules another.

You can simplify the rules, but is that really necessary? furthermore is it even possible given the liabilities associated with a duty to take reasonable care not to increase risk of harm to the players? at the end of the day technology amounts to as many umpires as the game can reasonably accommodate in its desired brand of game.

I think more work needs to be done, not on simplifying rules, because they are not, for the most part, overly complex. But rather reducing inconsistency by reducing the number of those adjudicating; and finding an effective way for a single umpire to utilise technology during a game. As a side note, I think most of the rules are already strict liability anyway.
 

Antonio BlueVein

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and no-one has been able to give me a genuinely credible reason why it wouldn't improve things..........
72 people on a footy field would render the 666 rule moot.

Apparently you can fit 72 passengers on a bus though so the sky is the limit Thy
 

Blue and Blue

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my idea of one umpire per player has been howled down in the past...........
Great idea apart from the logistics of numbers out there as has been mentioned by Antonio BlueVein. Plus it only takes one of the umpires to favour his/her players opponent and there you go back to square one. Also is it 22 umpires or 18 per team?

Honestly we have to stop blaming the umpires for the problems in the game.
The real problem is too many players.

If we can get it down to say one player a side........
 
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No we definitely do not need any more on field umpires. We need to introduce more technology. they should trial the use of videos from above for boundary decisions. Video umpiring should assist on field umpiring but only where the infringement is obvious and the umpire has missed it. It’s not about the umpires..they should be as invisible as possible.
 

ajb72

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No we definitely do not need any more on field umpires. We need to introduce more technology. they should trial the use of videos from above for boundary decisions. Video umpiring should assist on field umpiring but only where the infringement is obvious and the umpire has missed it. It’s not about the umpires..they should be as invisible as possible.
Because video umpiring so far is proving such a positive influence......
 

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Great idea apart from the logistics of numbers out there as has been mentioned by Antonio BlueVein. Plus it only takes one of the umpires to favour his/her players opponent and there you go back to square one. Also is it 22 umpires or 18 per team?

Honestly we have to stop blaming the umpires for the problems in the game.
The real problem is too many players.

If we can get it down to say one player a side........
We'd be flag favourites.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

JustaBattler

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I understand Thy's predisposition to not blame umpires and pretty much sympathise and agree with that position - however:

I'm not in the mood to discuss the obvious and easy fixes to what contributes to inconsistent umpiring outcomes following the game against Collingwood because:

In no world is it possible to see one side get 3X the free kicks of another side playing in the same game with same umpires making decisions - 2X is a stretch 3X is just blatant incompetency - especially in a a very close fought game.

I would expect the Club to be showing video footage of the incidents that were game defining as a start - see Aph's photo montage of the 4 blatant examples of total incompetence if not bias on display - there needs to be a please explain asked or at the very least.
 

thylacine60

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Thread starter #140
Great idea apart from the logistics of numbers out there as has been mentioned by Antonio BlueVein. Plus it only takes one of the umpires to favour his/her players opponent and there you go back to square one. Also is it 22 umpires or 18 per team?

Honestly we have to stop blaming the umpires for the problems in the game.
The real problem is too many players.

If we can get it down to say one player a side........
like my super flash cricket comp - one ball each.....
 

thylacine60

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Thread starter #141
Glouftsis the latest umpire to be dropped

Eleni Glouftsis has become the latest field umpire to be dropped by the AFL in the wake of poor performances.
The Age understands Glouftsis will umpire in the VFL this week, following a string of poor decisions,
including two crucial errors in the St Kilda versus West Coast clash last Saturday night,
which resulted in two goals to the Eagles.
https://outline.com/txTcST
 

Gethelred

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Your metaphor is correct, it does amount to activism, similar to judicial activism in the legal realm. Expanding on this, for a moment, in your previous post you suggested that an approach be adopted toward umpires; whereby the umpire assumes the role of custodian of the game; whereby his'her primary obligation is to the game and to the pursuit and maintenance of freedom from bias in the way he/she conducts him/herself when umpiring. I don't disagree. it clearly promotes ethical integrity; and I suspect that you have again drawn on the approach adopted by the legal profession and its conduct rules; where by a legal practitioner is an officer pf the court and his primary obligation is to the court in the interests of justice.

The natural consequence of increasing level of integrity is an increase of independence in thought; the umpires guiding approach to interpreting the rules then becomes the responsibility of being worthy custodian of the game, and defender of non-bias. No longer will he/he be a mere mouthpiece of the AFL and so the activism grows; that is precisely what has fuelled judicial activism.

Your point about the court having time to reflect, is correct. Consequently in a game which doesn't afford such reflection, inconsistency which comes from differing interpretations is exasperated. This is precisely what we see, often, on a weekly basis where one play is adjudicated in the affirmative, and another in the negative, in the same game, by differing umpires. Or when one umpire overrules another.

You can simplify the rules, but is that really necessary? furthermore is it even possible given the liabilities associated with a duty to take reasonable care not to increase risk of harm to the players? at the end of the day technology amounts to as many umpires as the game can reasonably accommodate in its desired brand of game.

I think more work needs to be done, not on simplifying rules, because they are not, for the most part, overly complex. But rather reducing inconsistency by reducing the number of those adjudicating; and finding an effective way for a single umpire to utilise technology during a game. As a side note, I think most of the rules are already strict liability anyway.
There is a difference between a judge and an umpire; a judge has to demonstrate that their findings are at the very least a sound interpretation of legislation or precedent, as should one not exist and the umpire merely going along with the vibe the case will be appealed and over turned. And a judge cannot be fired for an open instance of judicial activism, provided they can use unconventional means to make their findings sound legally.

That's the leash on activism for mine; it is within the terms of the employment contract to adjudicate the rules as written, and to pay everything you see. If you do not adhere to this measure, you will not possess a job for very long.
 

Blue__Balls

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I understand Thy's predisposition to not blame umpires and pretty much sympathise and agree with that position - however:

I'm not in the mood to discuss the obvious and easy fixes to what contributes to inconsistent umpiring outcomes following the game against Collingwood because:

In no world is it possible to see one side get 3X the free kicks of another side playing in the same game with same umpires making decisions - 2X is a stretch 3X is just blatant incompetency - especially in a a very close fought game.

I would expect the Club to be showing video footage of the incidents that were game defining as a start - see Aph's photo montage of the 4 blatant examples of total incompetence if not bias on display - there needs to be a please explain asked or at the very least.
Why not?

Felt to me that we got caught with the ball a lot more than they did, which led to the discrepancy. Sure, they probably missed some that we should have got, but I reckon if you analysed the game from the other side, you could probably find half a dozen free kicks that Collingwood should have got and didn't.

I hope the club is looking into it closely. While I'm sure we could mount a case to the AFL that we've been short-changed a heap of free kicks, every club could do the same. I think there's more value in us spending more time educating players on tackling techniques to win more holding the ball decisions, and on communication and care for you teammates to reduce the number that get paid against us.
 

JustaBattler

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Why not?

Felt to me that we got caught with the ball a lot more than they did, which led to the discrepancy. Sure, they probably missed some that we should have got, but I reckon if you analysed the game from the other side, you could probably find half a dozen free kicks that Collingwood should have got and didn't.

I hope the club is looking into it closely. While I'm sure we could mount a case to the AFL that we've been short-changed a heap of free kicks, every club could do the same. I think there's more value in us spending more time educating players on tackling techniques to win more holding the ball decisions, and on communication and care for you teammates to reduce the number that get paid against us.
I make my observation purely based on the huge discrepancy - nearly 3 times difference...
 

Blue__Balls

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I make my observation purely based on the huge discrepancy - nearly 3 times difference...
I get that it's a big differential, but why is it impossible for it to be the case without assuming incompetency from the umpires?

There's possibly an element of it, but logic dictates that we're not the only team that has free kicks not paid. So rather than blaming the umpires, why not just worry about what we can do to increase the number of free kicks we get? Improve tackling techniques, improve communication and timing of handballs, learn when to accept the tackle and the stoppage, instead of trying and failing to get the ball out legally.
 

JustaBattler

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I get that it's a big differential, but why is it impossible for it to be the case without assuming incompetency from the umpires?

There's possibly an element of it, but logic dictates that we're not the only team that has free kicks not paid. So rather than blaming the umpires, why not just worry about what we can do to increase the number of free kicks we get? Improve tackling techniques, improve communication and timing of handballs, learn when to accept the tackle and the stoppage, instead of trying and failing to get the ball out legally.
3X the differential is ridiculous and not explained adequately by the difficulty of achieving consistency when you have 3 umpires each with their own level(s) of competency and consistency in each game to consider as the main reason why the game lacks consistency.

3X differential implies incompetency on top of lack of consistency - it is the only point I am making and really the only point that needs to be made regarding the officiating in that game - it was very lopsided - even 2X differential is absurd.
 

goreds

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like a lot of times in life - it's ok to say hey, I'm not sure........except about cripps.......and violet crumbles, cripps and violet crumbles I'm pretty sure about
Does that mean that when both are put under pressure they crumble and tend to spray everywhere??
 
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