JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.



If the hissy fits, or not

CARPING about the work of the AFL judicial system is as age-old and predictable as sourpuss Alex Ferguson blaming the referee when Manchester United loses.

The establishment of the match review panel and a scale of set offences and penalties was meant to mitigate the angst, and mostly has. But the new season has begun harrumph-ily. Fans again perceive uncertainty and inconsistency. So do clubs. The figures tend to bear them out. Last year, the panel laid a total of 180 charges. Fifteen were challenged at the tribunal, three overturned.

This year, four charges have been challenged and three overturned by the tribunal already, all in the past fortnight.

Moreover, a fourth tribunal case, against St Kilda's Leigh Montagna, was withdrawn by the AFL at the last minute yesterday.

Either the tribunal is taking a softer line, or the review panel is pressing more speculative charges than previously. Seemingly, it is the latter. Prima facie, the rough conduct cases against Hawthorn's Brendan Whitecross and North Melbourne's Lindsay Thomas always would have failed. The collapse of the case against Montagna adds to an unhappy record.

That does not mean the panel should content itself with bringing only the most blatant offences to book. Neither does it mean that the tribunal should feel obliged to back the panel in every instance. But it does mean that a certain level of confusion again reigns. The review panel was meant to make the process more transparent, as well as the outcome. Instead, it is opaque again.

This sense is compounded by the panel's decision this week not to charge Geelong captain Joel Selwood with striking Brisbane's Andrew Raines.

The panel briefing says that Selwood made high contact with Raines, but with insufficient force to constitute a report.

In recent seasons, the panel has been hot on any contact to the head, however slight. This time, it gave Selwood the benefit of the doubt. The incident was off the ball, the two available camera angles are distant and Selwood's thrust did not stop Raines from retaliating with a much harder parry, for which he was charged and suspended.

There is a sensible argument to say that Selwood should not have been reported. It is just that until this season almost certainly he would have been reported. Unannounced, the policy has changed.

Inescapably, following Ferguson's hissy fit at Manchester City's Roberto Mancini yesterday, sports fans will be watching him; it's pathetic and funny. Inescapably, following Gary Ablett's tweet last Friday night, football followers and officials will be watching the work of taggers. And, inescapably, footy fans are again dwelling on the AFL's judicial system.

1 comment so far

  • When you remove the contact in a contact sport you guarantee uncertainty and variations of interpretation that lead to the current situation. Put the contact back please, the fans want it!

    Commenter
    eyeroll
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    May 02, 2012, 1:14PM

    Make a comment

    You are logged in as [Logout]

    All information entered below may be published.

    Error: Please enter your screen name.

    Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

    Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

    Error: Please enter your comment.

    Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

    Post to

    You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

    Thank you

    Your comment has been submitted for approval.

    Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

    Related Coverage

    AFL 2015

    Round 1
    Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
    CAR 78 vs RIC 105 19:20MCG
    Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
    MEL 115 vs GCF 89 13:40MCG
    SYD 72 vs ESS 60 16:35ANZ
    BRI 74 vs COL 86 19:20G
    WBU 97 vs WCE 87 19:20ES
    Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
    STK 78 vs GWS 87 13:10ES
    ADE 140 vs NTH 63 15:20Adelaide Oval
    FRE 75 vs PTA 68 18:40Domain Stadium
    Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
    HAW 123 vs GEE 61 15:20MCG
    View All Fixtures
    Round 2
    Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
    WCE 131 vs CAR 62 20:10Domain Stadium
    Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
    RIC 66 vs WBU 85 13:45MCG
    GWS 101 vs MEL 56 14:10SO
    COL 63 vs ADE 90 16:35ES
    GCF 76 vs STK 104 19:20MS
    PTA 44 vs SYD 92 19:40Adelaide Oval
    Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
    GEE 60 vs FRE 104 13:10SS
    ESS 78 vs HAW 76 15:20MCG
    NTH 133 vs BRI 51 16:40ES
    View All Fixtures
    Round 3
    Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
    COL 140 vs STK 66 19:50MCG
    Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
    CAR 84 vs ESS 105 13:45MCG
    ADE 80 vs MEL 55 14:10Adelaide Oval
    SYD 111 vs GWS 90 16:35SCG
    NTH 105 vs PTA 113 19:20ES
    BRI 58 vs RIC 137 19:20G
    Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
    HAW 127 vs WBU 57 13:10AS
    GEE 105 vs GCF 96 15:20SS
    WCE 81 vs FRE 111 16:40Domain Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 4
    Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
    RIC 51 vs MEL 83 19:50MCG
    Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
    STK 81 vs CAR 121 11:10NZ
    ESS 40 vs COL 54 14:40MCG
    GWS vs GCF 17:40SO
    PTA vs HAW 19:40Adelaide Oval
    FRE vs SYD 20:45Domain Stadium
    Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
    BRI vs WCE 13:10G
    GEE vs NTH 15:20SS
    WBU vs ADE 16:40ES
    View All Fixtures
    Round 5
    Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
    CAR vs COL 19:50MCG
    Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
    RIC vs GEE 13:45MCG
    SYD vs WBU 14:10SCG
    GCF vs BRI 16:35MS
    NTH vs HAW 19:20ES
    WCE vs GWS 19:40Domain Stadium
    Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
    MEL vs FRE 13:10MCG
    STK vs ESS 15:20ES
    ADE vs PTA 16:40Adelaide Oval
    View All Fixtures
    Round 6
    Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
    COL vs GEE 19:50MCG
    Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
    NTH vs RIC 13:45BA
    WBU vs STK 14:10ES
    GWS vs HAW 16:35Spotless Stadium
    GCF vs ADE 17:10MS
    MEL vs SYD 19:20MCG
    FRE vs ESS 20:10Domain Stadium
    Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
    CAR vs BRI 15:20ES
    PTA vs WCE 16:40Adelaide Oval
    View All Fixtures
    Round 7
    Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
    ESS vs NTH 19:50ES
    Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
    ADE vs STK 13:45Adelaide Oval
    HAW vs MEL 14:10MCG
    CAR vs GWS 16:35ES
    SYD vs GEE 19:20ANZ
    WCE vs GCF 19:40Domain Stadium
    Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
    WBU vs FRE 13:10ES
    RIC vs COL 15:20MCG
    BRI vs PTA 16:40G
    View All Fixtures
    Round 8
    Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
    GEE vs CAR 19:50ES
    Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
    STK vs WCE 13:45ES
    GWS vs ADE 14:10Spotless Stadium
    GCF vs COL 16:35MS
    HAW vs SYD 19:20MCG
    FRE vs NTH 19:40Domain Stadium
    Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
    ESS vs BRI 13:10ES
    MEL vs WBU 15:20MCG
    PTA vs RIC 16:40Adelaide Oval
    View All Fixtures
    Round 9
    Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
    SYD vs CAR 19:50SCG
    Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
    HAW vs GCF 13:45AS
    MEL vs PTA 14:10TIO Traeger Park
    WBU vs GWS 16:35ES
    RIC vs ESS 19:20MCG
    ADE vs FRE 19:40Adelaide Oval
    Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
    BRI vs STK 13:10G
    COL vs NTH 15:20MCG
    WCE vs GEE 16:40Domain Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 10
    Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
    FRE vs RIC 20:10Domain Stadium
    Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
    CAR vs ADE 13:40MCG
    GCF vs SYD 16:35MS
    ESS vs GEE 19:20ES
    PTA vs WBU 19:40Adelaide Oval
    Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
    GWS vs BRI 13:10Spotless Stadium
    NTH vs WCE 15:20BA
    STK vs HAW 16:40ES
    Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
    MEL vs COL 15:20MCG
    View All Fixtures
    Round 11
    Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
    PTA vs GEE 19:50Adelaide Oval
    Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
    GCF vs FRE 13:40MS
    WCE vs ESS 16:35Domain Stadium
    NTH vs SYD 19:20ES
    Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
    COL vs GWS 13:10MCG
    STK vs MEL 16:40ES
    View All Fixtures
    Round 12
    Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
    ADE vs HAW 19:50Adelaide Oval
    Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
    RIC vs WCE 19:50MCG
    Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
    CAR vs PTA 13:40MCG
    GWS vs NTH 16:35Spotless Stadium
    WBU vs BRI 19:20ES
    Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
    GEE vs MEL 15:20SS
    View All Fixtures
    Round 13
    Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
    FRE vs COL 20:10Domain Stadium
    Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
    SYD vs RIC 19:50SCG
    Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
    HAW vs ESS 13:40MCG
    BRI vs ADE 16:35G
    STK vs WBU 19:20ES
    Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
    CAR vs GCF 15:20ES
    View All Fixtures
    Round 14
    Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
    SYD vs PTA 19:20SCG
    Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
    COL vs HAW 19:50MCG
    Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
    RIC vs GWS 13:40MCG
    GCF vs NTH 16:35MS
    WBU vs CAR 19:20ES
    MEL vs WCE 19:40TIO
    Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
    ESS vs STK 13:10ES
    ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
    FRE vs BRI 16:40Domain Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 15
    Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
    PTA vs COL 19:50Adelaide Oval
    Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
    RIC vs CAR 19:50MCG
    Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
    ESS vs MEL 13:40MCG
    WBU vs GCF 16:35CAZ
    NTH vs GEE 19:20ES
    WCE vs ADE 19:40Domain Stadium
    Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
    GWS vs STK 13:10Spotless Stadium
    HAW vs FRE 15:20AS
    BRI vs SYD 16:40G
    View All Fixtures
    Round 16
    Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
    NTH vs ESS 19:50ES
    Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
    GEE vs WBU 13:45SS
    GCF vs GWS 14:10MS
    COL vs WCE 16:35ES
    SYD vs HAW 19:20ANZ
    FRE vs CAR 19:40Domain Stadium
    Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
    MEL vs BRI 13:10MCG
    PTA vs ADE 15:20Adelaide Oval
    STK vs RIC 16:40ES
    View All Fixtures
    Round 17
    Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
    CAR vs HAW 19:50ES
    Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
    GWS vs GEE 13:45SO
    ADE vs GCF 14:10Adelaide Oval
    RIC vs FRE 16:35MCG
    ESS vs PTA 19:20ES
    BRI vs NTH 19:20G
    Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
    WBU vs COL 13:10ES
    MEL vs STK 15:20MCG
    WCE vs SYD 16:40Domain Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 18
    Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
    HAW vs RIC 19:50MCG
    Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
    GEE vs BRI 13:45SS
    COL vs MEL 14:10MCG
    SYD vs ADE 16:35SCG
    CAR vs NTH 19:20ES
    GCF vs WCE 19:20MS
    Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
    PTA vs STK 13:10Adelaide Oval
    ESS vs WBU 15:20ES
    FRE vs GWS 16:40Domain Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 19
    Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
    ADE vs RIC 19:50Adelaide Oval
    Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
    COL vs CAR 13:45MCG
    WBU vs PTA 14:10ES
    BRI vs GCF 16:35G
    GEE vs SYD 19:20SS
    WCE vs HAW 19:40Domain Stadium
    Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
    MEL vs NTH 13:10MCG
    GWS vs ESS 15:20Spotless Stadium
    STK vs FRE 16:40ES
    View All Fixtures
    Round 20
    Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
    SYD vs COL 19:50SCG
    Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
    ESS vs ADE 13:45ES
    NTH vs STK 14:10BA
    PTA vs GWS 16:35Adelaide Oval
    GEE vs HAW 19:20MCG
    BRI vs CAR 19:20G
    Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
    RIC vs GCF 13:10MCG
    WBU vs MEL 15:20ES
    FRE vs WCE 16:40Domain Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 21
    Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
    HAW vs PTA 19:50ES
    Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
    COL vs RIC 13:45MCG
    GWS vs SYD 14:10Spotless Stadium
    GCF vs ESS 16:35MS
    STK vs GEE 19:20ES
    ADE vs BRI 19:40Adelaide Oval
    Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
    NTH vs FRE 13:10ES
    CAR vs MEL 15:20MCG
    WCE vs WBU 16:40Domain Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 22
    Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
    GEE vs COL 19:50MCG
    Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
    GWS vs CAR 13:45Spotless Stadium
    HAW vs BRI 14:10AS
    NTH vs WBU 16:35ES
    ESS vs RIC 19:20MCG
    GCF vs PTA 19:20MS
    Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
    ADE vs WCE 13:10Adelaide Oval
    STK vs SYD 15:20ES
    FRE vs MEL 16:40Domain Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    Round 23
    Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
    COL vs ESS 00:00MCG
    RIC vs NTH 00:00ES
    HAW vs CAR 00:00MCG
    GEE vs ADE 00:00SS
    SYD vs GCF 00:00SCG
    MEL vs GWS 00:00ES
    BRI vs WBU 00:00G
    PTA vs FRE 00:30Adelaide Oval
    WCE vs STK 02:00Domain Stadium
    View All Fixtures
    AFL 2015
    Overall standings
    Team P W L D % Pts
    Adelaide Crows 3 3 0 0 171.27 12
    Sydney Swans 3 3 0 0 141.75 12
    Fremantle 3 3 0 0 138.76 12
    Hawthorn 3 2 1 0 166.33 8
    Collingwood 3 2 1 0 125.65 8
    Richmond 4 2 2 0 118.09 8
    GWS Giants 3 2 1 0 113.47 8
    Essendon 3 2 1 0 104.74 8
    View all
     
    Featured advertisers