Richmond vs Essendon – The wrap up!

What an absolute nightmare! Never have I seen a game that made me so lost, angry, upset… I’m struggling to find the words to describe it… Andrew Demetriou, Kevin Bartlett and their respective departments within the AFL have ruined our once loved game! If you haven’t read my letter to the AFL in a previous post, please do, it is the pre-cursor to this outburst I am about to unleash…

Where do I start? The game as a spectacle wasn’t something to behold, skill errors all night and neither team really put a mark on the game. Richmond had control for most of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th quarters but once again, they just couldn’t hold on in the end being run over in the last 5-10 minutes of the game.

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Now to the point – What a disgrace of a game from an umpiring perspective – Unfortunately the umpires cop the brunt of this when realistically it is wholly and solely the AFL (Andrew Demetriou) and the rules committee’s (Kevin Bartlett) fault! They have sent their employees to work without the correct tools to complete their job – like lambs to a slaughter, these guys have got no hope with the current Hierachy.

This could be considered bias in some areas however, I am a Richmond supporter and I’m sure that these types of decisions have been paid against your team on numerous occasions…

First Quarter

Incident 1 – Matthew Lloyds first kick of the night – A free kick, in the back… From where I sat, there was no push whatsoever – I question if his hand even touched his back – disgrace – Is the rule “push

in the back” or “hand on the back region”??? Let’s get it right!

Incident 2 – Angus Monfries – takes a mark and clearly plays on. Not just one step, he took 2-3 steps on the run – The richmond player, Kane Johnson, Grabs him, doesn’t throw him, down, just retatrds him and the goose of an umpire – No.4 pays fifty metres!!! Can’t blame the AFL for that one – that umpire is clearly just a incapable of making a pressure decision in the big leagues!

Second Quarter

Incident 3 – Polak attempts to mark and gets a hand in the back no free kick – in the grand scheme of things, this is probably ok because it is a rubbish rule, but when you pay the same thing 20 minutes earlier to Lloyd, and this one was much more obvious, just give us some consistency… I think the problem here is that the other umpire (not No.4) paid the right decision in the context of the game however his less than capable collegue (No.4) built the rod for his back with the earlier, disgraceful decision.

Incident 4 – Daniel Jackson – courageously runs back with the flight, eyes on the ball the entire time, tries to mark the ball and a free kick is paid against him for interferring with the essendon player coming towards the ball. GIVE ME A BREAK!!! Reward the player showing courage – We need to be encouraging that type of play, not penalising it!!! Again it was umpire No.4 – clearly showing his ineptitude and inexperience paying an uneducated and ridiculous free kick!

Third Quarter

Incident 5 – Shane Edwards – Gets tackled and slung and handballs the ball off but is penalised for holding the ball.. HOW??? HE DISPOSED OF IT!!! Umpire No.4 again – say no more!

Last Quarter

Incident 6 – Richo’s mark, goal and consequential 50m penaly against! Where do I start? I was completely dumbfounded! How could anyone – AFL, umpires, supporters want to see that type of play removed from our game??? How could the AFL design a rule that tries to remove that? It was inspirational from a supporter perspective – I am completely baffled – He didn’t even push him in the back!!! All he did was hold him at bay and stopped him from backing into him!!! Idiot umpire, buy cialis uk ridculous AFL!!! What are Andrew Demetriou & Kevin Bartlett trying to do? i cannot see any legitimate need for this rule at all in our game? Instead of making it stricter, remove it completely!!! Another one they got wrong (one of many)

Incident 7 – Matthew Lloyd – free kick after the final siren. He took a mark and played on – the umpire CLEARLY waved his arms signalling play on and then the siren sounded… The umpire then blew full-time and gave him the kick again!!! Just blatant ineptitude from guess who? Umpire No.4. If you call play on, you cannot take it back after the siren!!! Just a simple basic rule that has been in effect for over 100 years!!!!!!!!!
Finally, I was astounded that james Hird won the BOG award!!! Hird is a champion and played a good, serviceable game but to be awarded the best on ground!!! I was clearly watching a different game! I would have had 5-6 players above him on the night. Richo, Deledio, Lloyd, Lucas all played far better than Hird – that to me was the biggest insult of the night – Do they think we are idiots??? Just another sign that the AFL is not in touch with what is happening…
And the commentators and media – Are these guys actually watching these games – they show no emotion whatsoever which just frustrates me even more. Do they not see this rubbich happening? Are they on an AFL contract and must refrain from commenting against umpiring or rules??? Stand up and be counted!!!

As for Umpire No.4 – I feel more sorry for the other two umpires because he made some horrendous decisions on the night yet they are now tarred with the same brush because of their collegaues ineptitude!

The AFL need to do something quick smart – our game is crap and getting worse! If I didn’t love Richmond so much I would refuse to go to another game but the AFL have got me by the balls – I’m not going to boycott AFL and affect Richmond! We need to take a stand – stay tuned.


Andrew Demetriou's response to My Letter

I write in regard to your letter detailing the interpretation changes we have made to the game in recent years, and particularly the hands in the back Laws of our Game.

The AFL has looked closely at the Laws of the Game for several years and the overwhelming feedback from our supporters has been to make as few changes as possible.

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That said, the AFL Commission and the Laws of the Game Committee have studied detailed examinations of the trends in AFL football over the last 40 years.

This research had shown the style of game to the end of 2005 at the elite level had continuously trended towards a greater density of players around the ball, less contested marking and less one-on-one contests. Further, the ball moves quicker than ever in our game, when it moves, but it had begun to spend more time at stop-play situations than ever before in our history, with a greater number of bounces and throw-ins than ever before.

At the end of 2005, we had reached a point where the ball was moving less at any time in the game’s history, and we have sought to address that.

It was the AFL’s view therefore, through the Laws of the Game Committee, that we should direct umpires to return more strictly to the letter of the Law Book, and umpire towards what is directed in the Laws of our game. Not to change or introduce new Laws, which is what our supporters do not wish us to do.

In regard to the Law you talk about, it says plainly in our Law book that any hand in the back, for any marking contest, should be a free kick. We have asked umpires to use this strict interpretation, which it fact makes it easier for our umpires to umpire the game.

Where you mention that players will have someone coming back towards them, the AFL’s instruction to our clubs has been that players viagra tablets 100mg should return to traditional bodywork to hold out an opponent – using a hip, a shoulder, their body or a braced forearm – but not a hand at any stage.

The AFL, as one of our core objectives when examining the direction of

our game, is to enhance and maintain the appeal of AFL football as an outstanding sport for spectators and players.
Our focus for the changes that occurred in 2006 and 2007 was to see a more continuous style of play, with less players around the ball and a reduction in the likelihood of high-impact collision injuries.

That has been the reason behind what we have done as the AFL is determined to ensure our game remains different to every other sport and I would happy to forward to you the the detailed background research viewed by the Laws of the Game committee and the AFL Commission as part of their deliberations.

Kind regards
Andrew Demetriou


Push In The Back – My Suggestion

The problem with the current rule is that it is nearly impoessible for an umpire to interpret the difference between a push in the back and someone trying to stand their ground and hold the player in front at bay. To say that the player in the rear can use his forearm is ridiculous, all this will do is reduce the amount of marks taken in a game, to be quite frank, that is already overumpired and ugly !!! More time on the ground scurrying after the ball – no thanks!

My suggested improvement is as follows – If the player in front that is alledgedly being infringed upon is in a forward motion then the rule should be enforced – This is what the rule is for, the player first to the ball should not be disadvantaged by a nudge in the back to get him out of the way. Now, this rule should be restricted to a push by hand or forearm only. Body on body contact should be considered incidental and not penalised.

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If the player

in front stops, props or tries to push back against the player behind him, then he loses all rights relating to the in the back rule.

I can see issues already with Matthew Lloyd diving forward but this has been a problem for years and will remain a problem when it is left to human interpretation.

Interested to hear anyone elses thoughts on this subject or a better way to interpret the rule because quite clearly, it isn’t cheap viagra working in its current form!

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AFL Rules – My Letter to the AFL

Our game is almost in state of disrepair. Our rules are without question the worst of any sport going around in the world. I am a proud and paid up RFC member however I thank god that Melbourne Victory and Storm have emerged because I get no satisfaction watching the poor excuse that has become AFL and it’s rules.

For years I have blamed umpires and have left games incensed imaging how satisfying it would be to hurt the umpires but as I’ve aged I’ve come to the realisation that it is not their fault 80% of the time. They have been forced to employ ridiculous and ambiguous rules that most of the time make no sense whatsoever. 99% of the time at any given match, when an umpire blows his whistle I’m forced to look his way in anticipation that maybe he’s picked something out that goes our way because god knows, there is no way of identifying the real free kick.

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I also find myself watching body on body incidents, which make up 80% of the game and each time contact is made, no matter how small, I find myself looking towards the umpire in prayer that he will not once again blow his whistle and pay another ridiculous, indecipherable free kick!

I watched the Richmond v West Coast game recently and saw some of the most frustrating umpiring in the AFL. I then read Jeff Gieschen’s review stating that they didn’t get it that wrong, only 5 decisions were questionable… The problem wasn’t with the decisions that were made, it was with the ones that weren’t!!! This entire incident was just a clear indication of the AFL and Umpires complete disconnect with the game. You can’t imagine the frustration that this brings to the general public, myself included.

I implore you to review the rules immediately as I can no longer put myself through the torture that is an AFL game. I miss the days of old, just being able to support my team.
The rules that need refinement are as follows:

Holding the ball – this is the most ambiguous rule going around and it is also the most frustrating, especially “dragging it in?. Nine out of ten times a player will get the ball, whilst on the ground and then be pinned by an opposition player giving him no possible way of disposing of the ball. This should not be a free kick. The opposition player is the one delaying play by locking the player and ball down, why should the play maker be penalised for this?

Another extremely appalling interpretation of this rule comes from the definition of prior opportunity. If a player grabs the ball and is under immediate pressure and tries to run his lines and break a tackle, he is penalised for trying to break the tackle, apparently this relinquishes any claim to prior opportunity! How I’ll never know… If that same player stops in his footsteps and is tackled, a ball up is called due to lack of prior opportunity!!! This rule paints the unimaginable picture of; try to create play and you’ll be penalised, stop and give up, and we’ll let you off! How can the AFL knowingly enforce this rule???

In the back – I still can’t feasibly understand the purpose of this rule. I think that the rule should be applicable if moving towards a boundary fence or if a player is “dangerously? pushed in the back directly into other players but in general play, what is the point of it??? This new interpretation of the rule is nothing more that pure torture… watching the umpires employ this rule just leaves me sitting emotionless thinking, this is what our game has come to now, getting frustrated only pains me, no-one else, especially when I watch a player protect himself from someone backing into him and is penalised for it!!! You have got to be kidding!

If a player is chasing another player from behind, the natural force of inertia always forces both players forward and 9 times out of 10 ends up in an in the back decision. How can you tackle someone in this manner without giving away a free kick? You can’t because once again, our rules are the most comedic of any sport or code going around.

Rethink this rule, there is little to no logic in having it, you are legally allowed to push some in the side but not the back? Remove it completely and replace it with a rough or dangerous play rule. It serves absolutely no purpose in protecting players.

Head high – I watched a disgraceful decision in the VFL in the Geelong v Casey game where a player (1), running back with the flight attempted to get a hand on the ball, all the time, eyes up watching the ball. A guy leading out (2), doing the same thing ended up running into him and falling down. Player 1 had his arm in the air attempting to get a hand on the ball and player 2’s head hit his arm on the way through. Free kick head high!!! I agree the head is sacrosanct however it should not be the sole responsibility of the opposing player to ensure safety. Responsibility should be shared between the two. Player 2 has the same duty of care going into that contest and therefore the decision should have been play on.

Players are now onto this rule and now simply duck towards the player in anticipation of getting touched head high and it is starting to pay off because the umpires are trigger happy and immediately blow the whistle in any head high encounter.

This rule needs to be scrapped and replaced with a dangerous clause where the player recklessly or intentionally causes harm. Accidental inconsequential contact should not be penalised as the infringed player should have some responsibility in the incident. Use Gaspar’s incident on Lynch as the perfect example, Gaspar, eyes on the ball, was charged by Lynch to put him off balance and get a better position. In this exchange, Gaspar’s hand flung up in a natural balance gaining manner and Lynch’s face ran straight into his hand. Lynch’s free kick!!! The exchange was accidental, inconsequential contact and it was completely and utterly caused by the infringed player. This is the prime example of the poor execution of this rule and should be the catalyst for the rule’s revision or replacement.

I hope that this letter is read as it is intended which is a plea for help for my once much loved game. I can barely bring myself to

go anymore and as I said no prescription amoxicillin earlier, thank god for Melbourne Victory and Storm as it at least gives me some sport to watch in these times where our game is nothing short of a train wreck.

=== Footnote ===
I have sent this to Andrew Demetriou ([email protected]), Andrian Anderson ([email protected]), Kevin Bartlett ([email protected]), Morning Glory @ SEN ([email protected]), Mike Sheehan ([email protected]), Herald Sun ([email protected]), The Age ([email protected]), Umpires Association ([email protected]), Sams Mailbag ([email protected]) 4 times now and still no response…
Please help and support me by sending through your thoughts and feedback to all of these people – maybe we will finally be heard!

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