Welcome to World Footy News
Friday, August 07 2020 @ 11:11 am ACST

The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Umpiring divergence across the world
Authored by: Adam Bennett - AFL England President on Friday, September 19 2008 @ 08:24 pm ACST

You have to appreciate umpires - yes some are better than others, but it's a tough job at the best of times, and the sport could not continue without their dedication, effort and persistance in the face of sometimes pretty harsh barracking. Through-out the tournament, the umpiring was pretty consistent, with few notable exceptions, and overall I think they did a good job.

An observation I would make is that you can see the professionalism of the game advancing in both the raised issues - whilst some of the less-experienced players, probably from rugby backgrounds - would duck their heads into tackles, you could clearly see the most experienced people there doing so regularly - if it gets you a free, what is to discourage them?

On the issue of proper disposal, you could clearly distinguish between experience. The new guys into the sport, you could generally see taking a wild swing with a hand to try and get a handball out of the tackle - and even if they missed and dropped it, you were happy they had tried. The number of times that experienced players could be seen dropping the ball when tackled and not getting pinged for it was concerning - again, professionalism creeping in - if you can avoid a free against yourself doing this, why wouldn't you? There's a fine line between dropping the ball and it being knocked out in the initial contact - definitely something that bears scrutiny moving forward.

Umpiring divergence across the world
Authored by: Niels Sch√łnnemann on Saturday, September 20 2008 @ 01:22 am ACST

Im not against using the rules to gain an advantage, even though it might not be in the spirit of the game. Im just unhappy that umpires to a large extent (at least in a quite a few of the games I played) doesnt penalise non-diciplined players, who simply use the "un-experienced" tag to gain leniency from umpires. The un-experienced players should also get penalised, as this is the easiest way of learning what to do in a game.

Also, I umpire frequently in Denmark and everytime I hear someone saying "come on, give him a chance, its his first game" to me paying the opposition a free, I find that pretty pathetic. They learn by mistakes, not by leniency.

PS: I actually like umpiring myself, so even though I get abuse, as long as its because of the heat of the game, I dont mind. It just shows the players are intrested in the game.

Umpiring divergence across the world
Authored by: Brett Northey on Saturday, September 20 2008 @ 07:23 pm ACST

As I suggested, these issues in some respects come back to the difference between AFL umpiring and the rest. I'm watching the Hawthorn vs St Kilda preliminary final (on TV) as I type, and frankly it's absolute rubbish due to the umpiring, and no doubt due to their instruction, not their own volition.

Late in the first quarter there are no marks inside forward 50m, but many free kicks resulting in goals. A ruck infringement was due to a St Kilda player's hand brush over the shoulder of his opponent. The high contact rules against that were no doubt written to stop players holding down their opponent or hurting them with a high strike. But this accidental contact, that had no effect on the player, was penalised and cost a goal.

The play that led to Hawthorn's previous goal was initiated by a free for high contact in which the tackled player shrugged and ducked to force the contact high (even that was questionable) and was given the free.

No, I'm not a supporter of either side. It's just sad to see most of the scoring in a game we love for its physical testing being decided by frees that most supporters and most leagues would not pay. I believe the reason the umpires are directed to pay such frees rather than have a "feel for the game" is because footy is difficult to umpire, so they have been trying over recent years to make it easier - high contact, regardless of whether it was intentional or firm, they pay the free. It removes the need for an umpire to decide whether the player was affected at all.

But to see 22 free kicks in about 30 minutes of football is very frustrating. In fact the match has been very brutal and just what people want to see in a final - just a shame that the first quarter was marred by soft frees and was the difference between the two sides. Then when Hawthorn actually earn a few goals early in the second quarter, suddenly they are 5 goals up. No doubt they probably would've got there anyway, but not what we want to see. Fortunately the second quarter is being won on the merits of the footy.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN

Umpiring divergence across the world
Authored by: Landon Blackhall on Saturday, September 20 2008 @ 10:39 pm ACST

You are dead right Brett - AFL umpires are completely different to those umpiring in grassroots footy matches, due to their instruction from those up above. If you ask me, they have the wrong man for the job (i.e. Jeff Gieschen). To have somebody in there that has had no umpiring experience at an elite level, let alone locally, to speak of is a travesty and is causing a great blight on our game.

As for the International Cup, I found the umpiring standard to be of a very high quality, however I can empathise with most of your readers here with the concerns of appointing those who are less experienced to the feature matches. Having said that, there is no reason why that younger umpires should miss out on the opportunity to officiate in these games, as they can learn from the experience and come back to the next carnival with more confidence.

What I believe should be done is that all volunteer umpires wishing to put their hands up for the job must have their accreditation checked. I recommend that umpires must hold, or are in the process of completing, an AFL Level II Accreditation regardless of discipline (field, boundary and goal). I also believe that the invitation should be extended to more umpires from overseas to officiate in future carnivals - but they must also hold the relevant accreditation and "buddy" with an Australian umpire.

As for the age factor, it shouldn't even come into the equation - I know of plenty of young umpires under the age of 18 that have already completed their Level II and are officiating at senior grassroots level or in the VFL Development Squad. But I applaud those who have commented on this issue so far - it has been constructive and ethical and I am pleased that we can talk about umpiring without the all-too-commonplace prejudice. Kudos, guys!

Umpiring divergence across the world
Authored by: Brett Northey on Sunday, September 21 2008 @ 12:15 am ACST

Having said all that, Hawthorn were very impressive and the scene is set for what could be a fantastic Grand Final. You would have to think the Hawks' captain Luke Hodge has broken ribs, but kept playing anyway, so despite modern interpretations of the rules, there's no question these guys are tough.

Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN