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Watching the Friday night game between Carlton and the Swans it was hard not to think that AFL umpiring directives are ruining our game. The protect the head mantra has gone way overboard in this lifelong fan’s opinion. The games have 3 field umpires policing play and the number of tiggy touchwood decisions are numerous and overly influential. The inconsistencies are legion in most matches I observe. AFL is a physically challenging game and one I played myself as a junior. This combative aspect of the game is one of its most endearing features.

The holding the ball rule is a travesty, with each umpire interpreting it differently in a single match.

AFL Umpire Over Reach Spoiling the Contest

AFL umpire directives ruining the game

I don’t watch basketball or soccer because I find the referees too influential on the outcomes of the games. AFL is now in this same category in my view.

Players are asked to compete in a fast and furious game where the rules change more often than most people change their sheets.

In a bid to refute the evolution of the game into a maul prone defensive slog the powers that be have turned AFL into a cousin of netball with this ridiculous stand rule. Now, with the umpire dissent rule the game is a minefield of 50 metre penalties and free kicks. The play is polluted by pernickety umpiring turning contests into penalty-fests. Players do not take possession of the ball if a player is going to tackle them they just drop it cold with no penalty for this. Any physical contact in the marking contest results in a free kick to a player.

If a player’s hair is too roughly mussed by an opponent it results in a free kick.

AFL Bosses A Travesty on a Once Great Game

I don’t blame the umpires, as they are merely carrying out the directives from head office. I do blame those in charge of the rules and the interpretation of these rules.  We are back in the bad old days of footy where players don’t take possession of the ball but hover over it preventing others from getting it. Players play for free kicks like never before, corrupting a once great game. Those in charge of the AFL have destroyed the game through their meddling. Each match is a festering sore of cheap free kicks for physical contact deemed too rough.

It is a bloody disgrace and my dear old dad would turn in his grave if he hadn’t of been incinerated.

Watching the footy on TV is beset by legions of loud-mouthed ex-players lecturing us non-stop. Personally, I don’t watch the footy to listen to boorish, didactic lectures from grumpy old footballers about what teams are doing wrong. I find that I have to turn the sound off completely to escape their tirades. This is a shame because I miss the sound of the crowd.

AFL footy is on the nose and crowds are down. Likewise the viewing audience is also down.

The presentation of an artificially manufactured game is misguided and OTT with so-called expert opinion. Yes, AFL umpiring directives ruining the game big time. Give the game back to the players and fans – and just let them play!