2 Andrew Stephens 16 Brendan Hosking 25 Shaun Ryan and making sense of their destruction


You’d have to be as one-eyed as all one-eyed if you were a Collingwood supporter and didn’t think “crap, he’s been done”.


Enemies become friends?


It would make a small amount of sense if the umpires said ‘we are no longer paying ‘holding the ball’.

But in the same match, they pinged Heppell and Merrett with ‘holding the ball’ when they had absolutely no prior opportunity. In fact they both should have received ‘in the back’ free kicks for those calls. As they both got driven into the ground and made to eat gravel.

But I guess you judge every decision by it’s own merit, right?


A mate of mine umpired at amateur level for a few years.

His first game, he was so scared to blow the whistle that he didn’t give out a single free in the first quarter. In the second he psyched himself up and when he saw an incredibly obvious holding the ball he knew it was his moment.


The players all stopped and laughed at him. Then he remembered that he’s an umpire and blew the whistle instead.


I previously umpired local footy for 15 years. Did a couple of TAC cup matches and some VFL reserves practice games. Never made it further than that because i didn’t have the aerobic capacity.

I remember umpiring my first match when I was 15. Yes, it was hard. But you quickly get used to it.
There seriously no excuses for these umpires. They are at the highest level you can get to.

Every AFL football club and AFL player talks about ‘improvement’. But the umpires don’t. They accept that they are perfect already. If anyone doesn’t believe they are perfect, then they are made to say that ‘the umpires are perfect’.

Guarunteed the sob stories will come out soon about how kids are giving umpiring away, because of the media scrutiny this week… which is total bullsh*t.


This thread should be renamed BOOOOOOO-GATE 2019


Wow, the reach of the EFC or more specifically, the rage of its supporters is a powerful thing. 5 days later, the industry are STILL talking about the Anzac Day umpiring debacle on the back of supporter backlash (and of course, poor umpiring overall in 2019). And they’re talking, as we know, because Ryan’s words smack of arrogance and is excessively contrary to the spirit of the game and what the rest of the football community deem blatantly wrong.

The unjust and highly distressing treatment of players and Hird during the SAGA, and blatant umpire bias against the team, has produced a tsunami of raw emotion in supporters / pent up anger that won’t subside any time soon. You can hear it in the deafening roar of the crowd. Passion is off the charts real. Watch out!


Agree that if you go through the ranks and are a good learner it should not be too hard - although there will always be line of sight limitations. A kid who used to play with my 16 yo son has given away footy for umpiring (he was a very good player). He umpired one of my sons games recently and I remember before realising who it was thinking - this kid is the best umpire I’ve seen at the level and I really hope he goes right on with it to AFL level. The old codger with him was terrible by comparison - no feel for the game. There is hope. Personally I think it again would have made things easier for prospective umps if Ryan had admitted to some grey areas where you can’t be 100 percent right. The absurd claim to perfection (on those 5 decisions - I know they admit to other errors) places the bar unrealistically high for someone thinking they might do this. The kid might think - I’d have paid htb there and - heck - I’d be wrong!


This is it, isn’t it. Umpires need to be distance runners, and everyone knows distance runners are “eccentric”.

(I may have once witnessed a boundary umpire having to be restrained from punching on with the boundary umpires boss in the Brix hotel Stawell late on an Easter Monday because he’d been demoted)


Would love to see the AFL deal with an umpires strike.

Though it should be the fans striking because of the umpires.


There a couple of central issues here.
The first is that Ryan has come out and argued how these free kicks could possibly have been seen a certain way.
Not what they should have been.
That’s not a great look.

The second is that he’s setting the umpires up as The Only People Who Know The Rules.
Not the supporters, not the commentators, not even the players.
That is a massive problem.


They encourage the kids that start out umpiring, to get a feel for the game and pay free kicks based on how they feel about it. Most kids know the basic rules. So it’s important that they develop the muscle memory of ‘see a free kick, pay a free kick’.

When you move into senior footy, umpires spend hours upon hours in lectures, sitting Rule Book exams, watching vision of games, and having robust discussion.

After the interview with Shaun Ryan, nobody in their right mind (especially those that have umpired) would agree with anything that he said. It was completely contrast to what we were seeing in the footage. Then he tries to tie it all up with rulebook jargon, as if to say ‘lesser people wouldn’t understand these rules’.

Get the f*ck out.



On Thursday, players like McKenna were doing a better job of umpiring themselves then the yellow maggots. An umpires’ strike might just prove they’re redundant.


Funny that VFL umpiring is almost always better than AFL umpiring. Likely because of less pressure to “interpret” the game and apply Rule of the Week.


Someone earlier suggested that the ‘prior opportunity’ not being pinged immediately would be on instruction, because congestion ensues from paying frees.

I would suggest the diametric opposite.

Not paying holding the ball when a guy has been held for a reasonable, or very short in the case of prior opportunity, time causes far greater congestion. That leads to sling tackles and the like because the tackler doesn’t know what else he has to do to get a free, viz Crisp in the Anzac Day game 2018, Crisp in the second game 2018, Crisp in the Anzac Day game 2019.

And every other game we saw on the weekend, those prior opportunity calls were made.




You don’t know until you see it, and instead of AFLX and supergoals, this is something that would have been at least worth a trial to see what the game looks like.

Keep genuine no prior, but after that it’s a kick or a handball or a free.
You don’t want to discourage the ball-extractor, but no prior should be enough.

It’s difficult to see how that would lead to more congestion than now, but it might.


Yes, that was one of the things that most ■■■■ me about Ryan and his radio interview. The condescending ‘mansplaining’ approach that he took.

Having said that, I’ve since heard 2 commentators (Wallace and Lyon) explain the prior/no prior aspect incorrectly.


He is a lawyer after all