Over-official umpiring makes the AFL invisible



Wait. Wait. Wait. Invoice. One meter behind. Wait. Invoice. Invoice. Wait. Two meters behind. One more. One more! Wait. Wait. Invoice. Wait. Do not violate. Don’t give away a free one. Wait. One meter behind. Wait. Invoice. Insufficient intent. Wait. Communication is prohibited. Wait. Out of arms. Dissent. Fifty meters. Get out. Out! Wait. Wait. Invoice. Play, play, play! Violation. Wait. Five meter area. Fifty meters. Out! Wait. Invoice. One meter behind. Wait. Insufficient intent. Wait. Wait. You’ve got the ball, don’t give a free. It’s up to you. Communication is prohibited. Conversely. Out of arms, it disagrees, 50 meters. Wait. Invoice. Wait. Invoice. Nominate. Maximum? Shawn? All right. Caution. Six six six. Wait. Wait. Invoice.

All this and much more, within 15 minutes of a game. Of course before quarter time.

What happened to our game?

It was bloody exhausting to watch, the endless shaking of the umpires heard. And notice, almost all of the above, which is ridiculous to look at in isolation, is related to the rules bought in the last few years.

The umpires are whistle-blowing at the moment, and it’s annoying. This makes the game invisible.

There are three types of free kicks – undisputed free, 50-50 and soft free.

Undisputed free kicks are easy. A corner tackle. A jumper jump. A sudden blow to the face. A clear push back (unless it violates Tom Hawkins).

Soft free kicks are the most annoying. Incidental marginal communication that has no effect on the player or the competition. Push or shove between two agro players, usually out of the ball. None of them are in distant danger of injury, but one of them has been pinned down.

Field umpire Jacob Mollison walks off the field

(Photo: Paul Kane / Getty Images)

What is the real thing? Why are they paid? They will not affect the drama. No one is hurt. What is the relationship with the officials? Are they fearing a widespread outbreak of anarchy?

And there are 50-50. Arguably the worst. What makes them so difficult to manage is that if they were all paid, we would have 100 free kicks per game.

Every year seems to have more rules, more explanations. It never whistles less. More free kicks. More flutes. More frustration for the players, which leads to more free kicks, more penalties and more flutes.

How can the powers that be in the AFL House not be embarrassed by what they have created?

The Geelong-Adelaide game on Saturday had 184 marks and 49 free kicks. It has more than 230 opportunities to stand and shout, one every 30 seconds. Even if the stand rule adds a value that is perfectly reasonable, why do we have a game where participants are treated like children and all games are shouted for standing for a long time? Seriously, what is it?

In rock competitions players have to choose to go for the ball as they are in kindergarten.

Giving someone a slight push or bump can result in a free kick, reversal or a 50-meter penalty.

The AFL tried to praise the umpires this year. As the standard practice for this organization, the reverse has been applied. The umpires have been given more hard work, more work and more gray space, which has led to more frustration and more noise from fans, players and commentators.

The crowd stays away from the AFL match. Is umpiring a factor? Of course, falling in love with the game was not easy.

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