Blatant cheating by umpires


Richmond are allowed to break the rules and should be penalised every time they do.

We should have complained ages ago.
Umpires will give us the world now but its too late
The umpires should be an independent body
They know who their boss the AFL want to win.
Which employee goes against their employer?


Clearly a conspiracy. Probably killed Kennedy as well.


It would be obvious to anyone who has any idea what confirmation bias is…


You mean more than they currently do? Given they have the worst free kick differential in the league…


Nice reply CS, good way to ignore the obvious. I understand confirmation bias etc and believe we suffer from it with regards to the maggots where it can explain some of the 50/50 decisions where a maggot has to interpret prior opportunity etc but in this instance unless The Langford has a jumper made of velcro then this is a blatant disregard of the rules which some people call cheating. Whether the AWFUL directed it or the maggots advisors or the maggots themselves decided it amongst themselves it is irrelevant, it is still cheating when you can see a clear breach of the rules and you ignore it for whatever reason.

Imagine the outcry if it turned out a bookie bribed the umpire not to pay this free kick. Just because the maggot ignored this gratis doesn’t mean it is any less cheating.




I think the issue is inconsistancy. There is no excuse for it.

What I have noticed is that the teams that get the best run with frees generally have vertical stripes ie Collingwood, Norf and Dawks.

The Teams that have the Worst run have a sash. ie us and Bichmond.

Just sayin.


Combining your theory with Benzina’s how good would we be if we changed our jumper to vertical stripes in God’s colours.


Re: Holding the ball. & Prior opportunity
It’s the grey area when you allow umpires to interpret the decisions when they become inconsistent.

Worsfold suggested that rather than arguing about prior opportunity, we go back to “incorrect disposal”. If the ball is dropped its a free kick against.
If the ball is held in blow the whistle and its a ball up. - This would have saved Longy where grundy held the ball to him and he got penalised for HTB (Even though gurndy was holding it to him).


We had a huge free kick differential in 2000, in what was the most dominant team of all time.

In a lot of those games, we would have a huge differential in a game we would win by +10-15 goals, I’d suggest the umps feel sorry for the team getting flogged & just give them cheapies to try & keep the game interesting or close.

Same thing is happening with Richmond now, because from what I saw last Sunday, if the Pies are 2nd best in the comp, the Tigers will win this year easily.


Im sure its always been AFL Directive to “Keep games close”

But its no good for us if we are a awesome first quarter team, and need to blow the opposition away and then struggle to hold on. without the umpires interefering.

Biggest thing umpires do is change momentum.
A free kick here/there can interrupt flow of play and also like a turnover, leave the defenders out of position and a easy goal to the opposition.

When games are low scoring and tight like ess pies early, a free kick here and a bonus goal there can be soul destroying.
Same against North really, we played quite well first quarter but they got a couple of easy umpire assisted goals and all of a sudden North were almost 5 goals up.
And we needed individual brilliance of Fantasia and McKernan to get us back into the game.


The issue that we have in the AFL, and why the officiating is f*cked… is The umpiring department and the AFL will keep peddling; ‘every decision is judged in isolation’.

Think about that for one second.

People watching the game don’t judge each umpiring decision in isolation. People watching the game are judging the umpiring based on consistency to make the same decisions. So effectively the umpires have free reign to officiate the game with contrasting standards (within the rules) depending on the team. Whether the bias is conscious or subconscious, it’s there too see. But technically there is no bias.

At one stage during Sunday’s match, I said to a mate. ‘there’s 2 different rules for 2 different clubs today’. That’s the way it was umpired.
Derek Humphrey Smith will tell John Worsfold that the 95% of the decisions were correct in isolation.

Then without any trial, the AFL introduce 4 umpires as a way of improving performance. Well f*ck! That’s not the issue. I’d rather go back to a 2 umpire system if it means more consistency, at the cost of missing one or two.

It is truely a disgrace.


Local footy is umpired better - 2 umpires on from each club.


I agree. But I have sometimes wondered how it is that en masse 30,000 supporters haven’t invaded the field to show their contempt. What are they going to do…arrest and ban everybody. I do not advocate this BTW.


Shawry has been reading Blitz again.

AFL Analysis

Umpiring and Essendon. An open letter to Essendon, (and other club), people.

Dear football followers,

Across the board the umpiring has been confusing, inconsistent and -in my opinion- far too difficult to manage. Umpires are charged with managing the hardest game to umpire in the world, with constant adjustments and tweaks, experimentation and change. Even as we communicate there is so much talk of more change, starting points and wider goal squares. I have given them a 6/10 this year under extreme difficulty. I’m not an umpire apologist. In my playing and coaching days they were the ‘white maggots’. But we did talk and communicate our thoughts after matches with the two teams and always left on good terms and a handshake. Arms around umps on the ground was commonplace and banter- although going too far at times- was funny and clever. Now the fines and the reports stop all this.

I have to be an ‘umpire’s man’, because I want to be. I teach and coach 15-18 years old. I have to set an example and I have to teach RESPECT, CONTROL and RESTRAINT. Have I thought that umpiring decisions influenced the result of a Brighton Grammar game, an Essendon game or a Clarence v Glenorchy game down in my old home town? You bet I have. But not one of those umpires cheated.

In 1991 as a young coach of Fitzroy, we were 1-9 after ten games and travelled to Footy Park, Adelaide. Mission impossible against a juggernaut. There were 21 players 10 staff and 35 supporters versus 50,000. We lead all night against superior forces. We lead with 90 seconds on the clock. The Umpire was Anton McKernan who now umpires in the APS school system in which my team Brighton Grammar plays. McKernan in that last 90 seconds paid 3 free kicks to the Crows. One to Andrew Jarman, one I think to David Marshall and certainly the last one (against Paul Roos for holding the ball) to Rod Jameson who calmly slotted the gaol AFTER the siren. Heartbroken. I dont remember a team giving as much and losing. Fitzroy people painted slogans on AFL House in Jolimont. I understand the emotion of people as they invest so heavily in the love and passion for their club. I never thought of conspiracy theories or accusations of cheating against McKernan. I thought he umpired the last 90 seconds very poorly. The replay on YouTube will confirm this. McKernan is a man of integrity and character. He was in 91, and he is now.

I challenge the conspiracy theorists strongly. Essendon have been on the back end of lopsided numbers, inconsistency, confusion and even incompetence. That’s it. To say that the AFL is complicit in this or consorting to influence games as some sort of continual payback at Essendon is sheer lunacy, rubbish. Absolute rubbish. Accusations of cheating are incorrect. Umpires get it badly wrong but LOOK PAST THAT. Our teams and coaches get it badly wrong. Maybe the current crop of umpires is low on talent, over coached, too defensive, too attacking, under coached or poorly developed. Heard that before, I bet. It could be your own footy team. Injuries to Essendon, a bloke called Scott Pendlebury and the brilliance of DeGoey had far greater influence on the end result than any populist recurring theme about dishonest umpiring. I concede crowd influence at packed opposition stadiums like Perth and Adelaide. I have witnessed that as a coach. I’m not sure how the game gets around that. Human nature or just better, tougher umpires.

The theorists had little to say when Essendon comprehensively outplayed finals aspirant North Melbourne despite conceding free kicks 11-22. Hey, maybe we played good footy and our crowd was vocal in their support?!? Great win-crap free kick count. We dominated one of the premiership favourites, WCE by 28 points on their own dung hill. Yep, in Perth, where the free kick count was 17-33. Another emphatic statement made. Not on Twitter or FB, just the old fashioned way, by the people on the stands (our support) and the people on the ground (our players and coaches/support staff). Great win –crap free kick count. Never Complain: Never Explain.

The Essendon I know and grew up with is beyond that. We fought our own battles internally, solved our own problems on AND off the field, took care of each other, played hard (win or lose) and never ■■■■■■ whinged. We won premierships. That’s why we are Essendon, so please stop dragging us down into the land other clubs have frequened. I know it’s ■■■■■■ hard to cop because you look at the numbers, and they are exceptionally lopsided. But we win because our players suck it up and push through that. Go through procedure and channels which the club is doing but don’t descend to average and mediocre comments. Use ‘us against them’ in the correct way; in the stands and on the ground.

Unfortunately in 14 ½ years the level of play has been mediocre at best without a finals win. The saga embroiled us all and changed lives as we know. I rode that wave too, remember? I get it totally. They are my friends. But that, combined with a below average finals record, has ‘made us all’ finger pointers and complainers. A generation and a half only know Essendon as this and that’s so sad. So those of you that know better and know Essendon, please preach to the generations emerging that this is not the real Essendon and we will eventually return as a power. But if you influence the young generation with these, at times, vile and totally unnecessary accusations, you are doing our next group of young people a major disservice. Is this how we act??

There is no directive, there is no cheating and there is no conspiracy theory to influence games by umpires. There are no phone calls coming from AFL House to umpire coaches to ‘get Essendon’. I share your frustrations Essendon people, but you are beyond that IMO. You are so wrong to target good honest people going about their work in a game they love with the label of cheats. They may not be good enough and may not be able to handle the pressure, or make poor decisions. Gee they sound just like players!

I have enjoyed Twitter immensely and the great friendships I have made (mostly with people I have never met). I enjoy ALL club people, but obviously have a greater passion for Essendon and subsequently its people. These claims are getting us nowhere and diminish our standing when we are trying so hard to win back respect on and off the field. Emotion is a wonderful thing. Use it powerfully but use it wisely to drive your club to be better. You have every right to demand higher standards from your club. Focus on that and ensure you are using your ‘power’ constructively.

The conspiracy theorists may even suggest the AFL “got to Shawry”. Let me assure you that, due to my vociferous support of Tasmania’s own team, I’m pretty sure I find myself in the black book in the top drawer at AFL House. However, if you don’t want to hear my honest thought on this matter you have the option to press the button in the right hand corner, which says UNFOLLOW. But this is me and this is what I stand for. It’s not a contest or for debate. It’s me. I’ve read yours, now you can read mine. Thats fair.


Suaviter in Modo, Fortiter in Re

(Gently in manner, resolute in deed)


IMO the umps are just suckers and buy into media/ AFL narrative about teams/ individuals, and umpire according to that narrative.

Further, I dont think there is a ‘rule of the week’ per se, but if a rule goes un-umpired for a couple of weeks, umps get pulled up on it, then they over officiate it next week because its fresh in their mind. Not because they are told to crack down on this etc etc.

I will guarantee you that the protected zone will be over officiated this week because there were a couple of instances last week where it went unpenalised, and got a bit of media attention.

I dont think there is a grand conspiracy, but the umps are just ■■■■ at their jobs.


The umpires problem (one of) is that they assume there is a free kick. Ben brown goes up one handed so he thinks Hooker has hold of him, little does he know that Brown actually has a hold of Hookers jumper at the front. The umpire cant see the hold, but because brown has one arm there he assumes he is being held.


Some of the time the rules are the problem.
Stop tinkering with the rules.

Make the interpretations clear and concise in other words keep it simple. The more complex the rules, the more confusing in the interpretation.


No doubt. You just make it all the more difficult for already ordinary part time officials to do their job.


Do they review the decisions or the game? Becasue although many decisions around holding the ball are dreadful, due in part to ambiguous rules, its the non decisons that are the problem. If they are not looking at what wasn’t called then its a waste of time.