Urgent umpiring overhaul needed.

david addison

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Feb 3, 2016
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If I was to take a guess, I'd say the umps put the whistle away in the 2nd half because they made an error in the 2nd quarter where they paid holding the ball against someone who had no prior opportunity. They were informed of that error at half time, and in true AFL fashion, they over corrected. So here's how you get a consistent performance from umpires, and I'm sounding like a broken record, but take those mother ******* earpieces out! Nobody can concentrate on their work when some dickhead on the boundary line is barking orders at them during play. Nobody from the AFL should be talking to the umps for those three hours. In fact not for the entire day. Just p**s off. The game is not hard to umpire. The umps are not having difficulty. They are doing exactly as they're directed. If you have a problem with today's umpiring, it's not the umps you have an issue with, it's Hayden Kennedy, or it's the rule book. Did Stephenson get a toe to that ball when he was being tackled? How would I know? Channel 7 zoomed in so close that I couldn't tell. I might as well take this opportunity to say **** 7. I could have basked in the sun today for 2 hours, instead I go home in darkness because the game has to lead into their piece of s**t fake news service where they give us nothing except a bunch of CIA planted stories, sprinkled with some crap about the royal family, cancer research, the road toll and my personal favorite, the Play School weather with Miss Jane. Roaming Brian stumbled upon an umpire standing in a garbage bin after a game last year. There were no ice baths available for the umps, so they filled a garbage bin with ice, and the umps had to stand in that. If you want to know how the AFL treats it's own umpires, that said it all. When players of both teams come to a stop because they expected a free to be paid, that presents a new low for umpiring. It happened in the last quarter of the West Coast / Freo game last week, and it happened twice today. The players & fans unanimously disagree with the way holding the ball is adjudicated, and the umps get booed off regularly, and yet nothing ever gets done about it. Why is that? In fact that'd be a good question for Eddie's crap quiz show:
What is Gil thinking when he sees his umpires booed off the field?
A. 'It's just part of the game.'
B. 'At least the sheep are invested.'
C. 'We might need more security at the grounds.'
D. 'I've got polo tomorrow.'
 

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nickh32

Club Legend
Aug 9, 2009
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AFL is the hardest game in the world to umpire in my eyes. We have so many rules and all the rules are so open to interpretation that they go either way. Makes it very hard.

I posted in another thread. I would like full time umps across national and state leagues.

In the epl they used to have refs do a media conference after the game where they would rewatch particular decisions and have to give an explanation as to why they paid it. You could sometimes see ok that’s why it was given and then other times they would be like yep I stuffed up(god forbid the afl say they made a mistake).

I would really like that in an afl game afterwards.

Also in soccer if you have some poor games as a ref you could get dropped to lower leagues.

Having full time umpires we could do this in the afl.

Last time I remember an umpire getting penalised was the buddy Franklin decision against Essendon(when he played for hawthorn).

Will never happen, but think it would be great to make them more accountable as their is essentially no accountability on them.
 

Collins-Langford-Ayres

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Need to stop changing the rules.

I don't get how the holding the ball rule is so differently interpreted though.

Surely it could be:

a) If you have had an opportunity to dispose of it and you are tackled, if you do immediately get a handball or kick away it is fine, if not, it is a free kick against.

b) If you have not had an opportunity to dispose of the ball and you are tackled, if you immediately get a handball or kick away, the ball is knocked free or you hold on to the ball, it is fine; if you dispose of it incorrectly (like dropping it), it is a free kick against
 

HairyO

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Jul 13, 2015
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The best part is the afls reason for umpires not being full time is that some of them earn 250k in their real jobs and we would lose them if they went full time....

I'm not even joking either.
They can earn up to $200k in their part time umpiring job too.

Its a shame they havent kept up with the players in terms of professionalism.

A few bad calls sure. But only one howler. The Baguley one which got them close.

There have been far worse games this year and in the past.

Like one where 100 tackles got laid for a single holding the ball. Really? 99 times there was no prior and they made a legit attempt, or they correctly disposed of it?

Bombers fans booing Pendles after the game are a joke.
 

Seth

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The umpires yesterday were atrocious both ways, there were some howlers and some non-calls but the biggest non call was not, correct not a free kick against Crisp. He got a handball away when he fell to the ground. He gets a handball away simple. Not sure about the Stephenson one though but must admit holding the arm of a player isnt really a tackle is it, i know everyone will tell me it is but he got the benefit of the doubt with that one. Anyway bad luck move on, wish there was this much outcry at the non call in the GF last year that was a block every day of the week.
 

greatwhiteshark

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MTW had his head ripped off twice inside 50 and did not receive a free kick on either occasion.
Head is sacrosanct my ass.
Both were blatant free kicks and paid free kicks for over 100 years.
What chance do the players have of knowing what is going on if the most obvious simple free kicks are missed.
 

Coathanger

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There is no doubt that umpiring was biased against Essendon.
Tosser Hocking wants everyone to go easy on umpire bashing but they are losing games for teams & they deserve everything they cop.
 

Arctic fox

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Gil has said that there will be a review of umpiring decisions.
So what does that tell you? It tells you that the umpiring was ******* atrocious.
 

Maybloomer

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Aug 18, 2008
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Without doubt, the best umpired games are the Grand Finals. There are a number of reasons why but I'll take a guess at a few :

1. The best umpires get the biggest game but why are they the best? Do they pick up just the obvious free kicks and let the 50/50 ones go? Do they just let the players just play and not try to set an agenda in their adjudication? Do they understand the game better than rookies and therefore apply common sense?
2. They got to umpire the GF so they don't have to impress or suck up to the AFL to get the gig. H&A umpires tend to look for obscure free kicks to impress the AFL or impose themselves on the game
3. They are under instructions from the AFL to Keep It Simple Stupid as they don't want any controversies spoiling their big day. We always say about controversial decisions " It'll cost someone a Grand Final one day" The AFL can't allow that to happen but they're OK to rob sides of 4 points during the H&A
4. A good umpire pays free kicks when he or she sees them. A bad umpire will look for free kicks. There is a difference.

I'd say it's all of the above and then some so it begs the simple question.
WHY NOT UMPIRE EVERY GAME LIKE A GRAND FINAL ??????
 

oak79

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Anyway bad luck move on, wish there was this much outcry at the non call in the GF last year that was a block every day of the week.
You forgetting the holding the ball not paid to the Eagles in their goal square? Yeh that one was a shocker.

Time to move on buddy.
 

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JoeHawk

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First step is to admit there’s a problem. The AFL will tick off all the wrong decisions made over the weekend at risk of undermining themselves. Pathetic
Yep. Just like those atrocious decisions in R2 for Hawthorn v Bulldogs, particularly the Sicily push and the O’meara free kick reversal for a shove in the chest that happens all the time, which all combined arguably cost us the match when the game was in the balance. AFL subsequently came out and confirmed those decisions were correctly paid yet the push and shove continues to go on without penalty.

So brace yourselves for the spin those clowns will put on it this time.
 

JoeHawk

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If I was to take a guess, I'd say the umps put the whistle away in the 2nd half because they made an error in the 2nd quarter where they paid holding the ball against someone who had no prior opportunity. They were informed of that error at half time, and in true AFL fashion, they over corrected. So here's how you get a consistent performance from umpires, and I'm sounding like a broken record, but take those mother ******* earpieces out! Nobody can concentrate on their work when some dickhead on the boundary line is barking orders at them during play. Nobody from the AFL should be talking to the umps for those three hours. In fact not for the entire day. Just p**s off. The game is not hard to umpire. The umps are not having difficulty. They are doing exactly as they're directed. If you have a problem with today's umpiring, it's not the umps you have an issue with, it's Hayden Kennedy, or it's the rule book. Did Stephenson get a toe to that ball when he was being tackled? How would I know? Channel 7 zoomed in so close that I couldn't tell. I might as well take this opportunity to say **** 7. I could have basked in the sun today for 2 hours, instead I go home in darkness because the game has to lead into their piece of s**t fake news service where they give us nothing except a bunch of CIA planted stories, sprinkled with some crap about the royal family, cancer research, the road toll and my personal favorite, the Play School weather with Miss Jane. Roaming Brian stumbled upon an umpire standing in a garbage bin after a game last year. There were no ice baths available for the umps, so they filled a garbage bin with ice, and the umps had to stand in that. If you want to know how the AFL treats it's own umpires, that said it all. When players of both teams come to a stop because they expected a free to be paid, that presents a new low for umpiring. It happened in the last quarter of the West Coast / Freo game last week, and it happened twice today. The players & fans unanimously disagree with the way holding the ball is adjudicated, and the umps get booed off regularly, and yet nothing ever gets done about it. Why is that? In fact that'd be a good question for Eddie's crap quiz show:
What is Gil thinking when he sees his umpires booed off the field?
A. 'It's just part of the game.'
B. 'At least the sheep are invested.'
C. 'We might need more security at the grounds.'
D. 'I've got polo tomorrow.'
You raise some valid points......but LOL.....”play school weather with Miss Jane”. My wife and I always cringe at her weather reports. So it’s not just us.
 

Hoops

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Need to stop changing the rules.

I don't get how the holding the ball rule is so differently interpreted though.

Surely it could be:

a) If you have had an opportunity to dispose of it and you are tackled, if you do immediately get a handball or kick away it is fine, if not, it is a free kick against.

b) If you have not had an opportunity to dispose of the ball and you are tackled, if you immediately get a handball or kick away, the ball is knocked free or you hold on to the ball, it is fine; if you dispose of it incorrectly (like dropping it), it is a free kick against
What if you don't attempt to dispose of it with no PO?
 

Socrates2

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If you look at footage from the 1960s, players were awarded a free kick as soon as they grabbed the player with the ball.Nowadays they need to rotate the player 720 degrees and slam the player into the turf.
 

Plugger35

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Sep 27, 2008
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Without doubt, the best umpired games are the Grand Finals. There are a number of reasons why but I'll take a guess at a few :

1. The best umpires get the biggest game but why are they the best? Do they pick up just the obvious free kicks and let the 50/50 ones go? Do they just let the players just play and not try to set an agenda in their adjudication? Do they understand the game better than rookies and therefore apply common sense?
2. They got to umpire the GF so they don't have to impress or suck up to the AFL to get the gig. H&A umpires tend to look for obscure free kicks to impress the AFL or impose themselves on the game
3. They are under instructions from the AFL to Keep It Simple Stupid as they don't want any controversies spoiling their big day. We always say about controversial decisions " It'll cost someone a Grand Final one day" The AFL can't allow that to happen but they're OK to rob sides of 4 points during the H&A
4. A good umpire pays free kicks when he or she sees them. A bad umpire will look for free kicks. There is a difference.

I'd say it's all of the above and then some so it begs the simple question.
WHY NOT UMPIRE EVERY GAME LIKE A GRAND FINAL ??????
That used to be the case but that went out the window with the atrociously one sided umpiring we saw in the 2016 GF, the 2017 GF wasn't much better but unlike the Swans the Crows would have lost anyway so it got less attention.

Thankfully last years GF was pretty well umpired in general, there were a few bad calls but they went both ways and didn't impact the game too much.
 

PurpleHornet

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May 9, 2016
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Need to stop changing the rules.

I don't get how the holding the ball rule is so differently interpreted though.

Surely it could be:

a) If you have had an opportunity to dispose of it and you are tackled, if you do immediately get a handball or kick away it is fine, if not, it is a free kick against.

b) If you have not had an opportunity to dispose of the ball and you are tackled, if you immediately get a handball or kick away, the ball is knocked free or you hold on to the ball, it is fine; if you dispose of it incorrectly (like dropping it), it is a free kick against
My understanding of the rule is:

If the tackled player has not had prior opportunity, then only an attempt to dispose of the ball correctly needs to be made. (Which means you can't just drop it).

Under your proposal (b) above, there is no incentive to try and get rid of it. You might as well just hold onto it and it will be a ball up. Why risk trying to handball or kick which, if not executed correctly, will result in a free kick against you.
 

PurpleHornet

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May 9, 2016
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As a matter of urgency the AFL need to do 2 things;

1. Create a pathway for ex players to become umpires. The umpires that have never played the game have absolutely no feel for it.
2. Simplify the rules. Holding the ball, dropping the ball, incorrect disposal, push in the back and high contact. That’s all we need.
Leigh Fisher doesn't stand out as any better (or worse) than other umpires.
 

PurpleHornet

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May 9, 2016
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What value is there in making it public?

What they should do is put up some vision and have an AFL umpire explain some decision.

Run through the last 2 minutes, explain how Stephenson had no prior opportunity, was dragged to ground by one arm and still managed to attempt to kick the ball (he did actually kick it), it was correctly paid PLAY ON.

And they should also critique BTs call, as he clearly has no idea about the rules. What hope do mug punters have when commentators are clueless?
Totally agree with this. I genuinely believe that the majority of the AFL watching public don't fully understand the HTB/incorrect disposal rule. There are numerous replies in this thread complaining about 'all the throws'. Ask the same people 'Was there prior opportunity?' and you get blank looks.

If there is one thing I hope can be learned from this thread is that if there is no prior then you only need to make an attempt to dispose of the ball. of course this opens up 2 interpretations the umpire has to make: 1)Prior Opportunity and 2)was a genuine attempt made to dispose of the ball. i.e. the tackled player just didn't drop the ball.
 

JoeHawk

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The HTB rule that stinks is when a player on the ground gathers in the ball and immediately gets sat upon by the opposition making it impossible to clear the ball. In my eyes should be a ball up but the umps call HTB when they sense he didn’t punch the lock-in ball or wriggle hard enough to appear like he’s wanting to clear the ball. What complete utter BS that is and often inconsistently called.
 

James G

Draftee
May 25, 2017
16
34
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The officiating has been poor thus far in 2019, and really for years. The rules are too subjective, there are so many occasions where during a contest an umpire could easily blow a free for either team, depending on his/her interpretation of the contest.

Simplify, the rules where possible. Personally I think the HTB rule would work well without prior opportunity - if a player its tackled with the ball, without correctly disposing of it - then it is HTB. This allows the umpires to focus on simply 1) disposal and 2) was the player tackled. This would mean players would likely kick the ball a little more to avoid hand-balling in tight contests, players would tap or soccer the ball more to keep the game flowing and avoid being tackled, and it would also reward the tackler!

Nothing more frustrating than when your team gets on the wrong end of a poorly officiated game.
 

Hawthorn United

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it's only going to get worse. The AFL will likely introduce new rules in the off season to fix aspects of the game ****** up by the latest round of rule changes, thus making it even harder to officiate.
It's time to think of AFL not as a sport, but a mobile video game or online video game.

New rules and interpretations are now new content, rebalancing the game and bug fixes.

They've broken the game many versions ago, I hardly bother to watch non Hawthorn games. Didn't even watch ANZAC Day.

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