Tag Archives: field-umpires

Weekend musing – AFL, sledging, EPL final week……

There have been instances of good sportsmanship and bad sportsmanship in the AFL last weekend.

On the good side it was pleasing to see Dyson Heppell and Joel Selwood chair James Kelly off after last weeks game to celebrate Kelly’s 300th game.

On the flip side, you had the sledging allegations levelled at St Kilda players for targetting Marc Murphy in the game against Carlton targeting. This is a difficult issue and hard to assess and monitor. By drawing attention to the sledging and the content of the sledging, it brought to light rumours that I and a lot of other footy fans who aren’t on social media sites were not aware of. Where do you draw the line when it does not involve issues that are currently in the code of conduct?

Another good story in the AFL this week is the appointment of the female umpire, Eleni Glouftsis for the Essendon v West Coast game this Sunday. By all reports she has got there on her merits and deserves the chance. Another way of getting females involved in the game of Australia Rules Football.

The EPL concludes this week with Chelsea and Tottenham wrapping up the top two spots before the weekend and Manchester City almost safe in third spot. That leaves Liverpool and Arsenal in the fight for fourth position and the all important Champions League qualification. Liverpool have the easier game, but the Gunners have come with a rush in the last month and are not without some chance of finishing fourth. With Manchester United playing off for the Europa Cup and possible qualification for the Champions League, more may need to play out before the final positions are known. I have had a look at the qualification criteria and it is by no means clear. My personal view is that it would not be a bad thing for the Gunners to miss out on Europe and only concentrate on the League next season. Chelsea and Leicester have won the League in the last two years without having to worry about the Champions League.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – football, AFL umpires, golf, Spieth, soccer…..

Chris Barwin HillsAfter watching the first couple of rounds of football I must say I think the umpiring has been okay. However, I have a couple of observations regarding interpretations. Firstly, there are high tackles, usually umpires won’t pay a free kick for a high tackle if the offended player has ducked his head. What is the difference when the player drops his knees to influence the high tackle. Luke Shuey, the Sellwoods and Paul Puopolo seem to be masters of this tactic Unknown-7and it seems the umpires fall for it all the time. It is certainly more difficult to adjudicate than a player dropping his head, but to my mind no different. The other issue is the sling tackle. I thought the sling tackle had been banned and yet two weeks in a row we have Hawthorn players execute the sling tackle. Firstly we had Duryea on Bartel, which resulted in a concussion and then last week McEvoy on Melksham and Baguley in separate incidents. Has this rule been shelved?

Last week I raised the issue of the Scott brothers both losing by big margins in round one. Well North bounced back for Brad, but Geelong suffered their worst defeat for sometime at home and they are still in last position. Geelong have played Hawthorn and Freo, so Unknown-4it is no disgrace to lose to those sides, but the way they have lost would worry the hierarchy at Geelong. I am certainly not ruling Geelong out for the season based on two bad loses, but I doubt they will be good enough to make the top 4-6 this year. Having said that, they will win this week and could easily win the following three.

I must also give myself a pat on the back picking Jordan Speith to win the Masters. Very rarely does a player lead the first round of a major and take out the title, but with a chasing pack of major winners he maintained a four stroke buffer over the last two days and don’t forget he is only 21. Two starts at the Masters have delivered a second and a first. This guy is clearly a special talent who now sits at number two in the world and with the way he has played you Unknown-5wonder how long it will take before he displaces Rory McIlroy as number one. What world golf does have at the moment is a number of quality golfers who can put pressure on each other, rather than a Tiger Woods or a Greg Norman being number 1 for an extended period of time. It has to be good for golf.

In the Champions League I was extremely surprised to see Bayern Munich lose to FC Porto. Bayern are a team absolutely chock full of stars although a few of these were missing and I would expect them to bounce back in the return leg, however, they do have a two goal deficit to overcome.

Have a great weekend!

Friday musing – NAB Challenge, AFL, cricket, ICC World Cup….

Chris Barwin HillsThis week the NAB Challenge commenced and the AFL has decided to trial four field umpires. I have no particular problem with the trial of four field umpires, however, why not trial using the boundary umpires and/or goal umpires assisting with the decision making. Often times the boundary/goal umpires are in the best position to see infringements, particularly those behind play and to me it makes more sense to use what you have got instead of adding more ingredients to the pudding.

The ICC World Cup continues to roll on and I must say with most of the games being covered by Foxtel, there is very little discussion and very little vibe around the place regarding the tournament. I think the organisers have made a mistake by not showing games, other than those involving Australia on free-to-air television. Imagine the free-to-air audience for the India v Pakistan and the India v South Africa games and the number of people that would have tuned in once news about Chris Gayle’s innings during the week got out. The Big Bash did it very well having a game on most nights and the World Cup could have tapped into that interest.  A chance lost in my opinion.

Have a great weekend!

The Professor’s Wednesday rant

MarkThe AFL will be trialling four field umpires in the NAB challenge. Just what we need, one extra person on the field. If the increase in the decision making fraternity continues, the umpires will eventually outnumber the players.

AFL umpires coach, Hayden Kennedy says the fourth umpire will allow another umpire closer to the play to get a different angle. I thought that was why the third umpire was introduced!

I have said before that the AFL needs to stop playing around with the make up of the game. Although this is just a small alteration, I query whether it is really necessary. I haven’t heard the fans demanding more officials on the field to adjudicate decisions nor has the media suggested it.

Given the worrying downturn in crowds during the 2014 AFL season, I am sure there are other, far more important issues that require time and thought by the AFL for 2015 and beyond.

Gillon McLachlan would be wise to adopt a ‘hasten slowly’ stance on any changes to the game.