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McQueen

Suggestions to fix the MRP

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Well this is the most frustrated I've ever been with the MRP. There is plenty of talk about if the players were guilty- which most of us agreed with - although the severity and complete lack of consistency the MRP has with adjudicating the offences is beyond pathetic. Is the club being dealt with more harshly than others? It could definitely be argued given the likes of Thompson's forearm to Dangerfield's head was deemed less forceful than Jesse's open-palmed jab. We know that the player symptoms, whether directly following the incident or in the weekends case with Rowe, headaches after the game which are deemed as delayed concussion, are the greatest variable in the decisions the MRP dish-out. 

But is that right?

I posted this in the other thread but thought it be a topic of discussion due tot he large majority of posters agreeing that the system continues to be broken.

Quote

The AFL need to review the 'review' process whereby they rely on the club in questions medical report and treat that as gospel.

The review needs to be brought forward to game day and essentially concluded before the players and club officials leave the playing venues - 2 hours would be ample time. The MRP can conduct their own medical reviews where an official/club doctor from each club is present to verify the evidence and reach consensus on the findings.

All this lagging rubbish is half the problem. It gives people too much time to form opinions which invariably get swayed due to public pressure and added media coverage.

Sort it out on game day.

Amongst other thoughts I've had, I believe television and radio commentators should be banned from talking about incidents on game day as this is just more opinions that invariably influence the overall flawed process that the MRP try to follow.

Also, the club/s should have the right to take their players case to the tribunal without fear of risking a longer sanction. This is purely a mechanism to provide a buffer so the MRP don't get regularly made to look like fools. In our case should have been able to plainly disagree with the severity of the sanction and been allowed to question the veracity of the claims. But hey, this may have happened in an informal manner that we as supporters are not privvy to..

Anyway, the MRP stinks. Their outcomes are so variable it causes them to lack any credibility in my books.

The demerit points system was a failure and now a couple of years on it's still not working.

I'm keen to hear other peoples ideas about how this could be improved.

Cheers

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The whole system lacks representation. 

Ticking boxes is far too general

we are in grey areas right now and have nowhere to argue a case

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18 minutes ago, McQueen said:

Well this is the most frustrated I've ever been with the MRP. There is plenty of talk about if the players were guilty- which most of us agreed with - although the severity and complete lack of consistency the MRP has with adjudicating the offences is beyond pathetic. Is the club being dealt with more harshly than others? It could definitely be argued given the likes of Thompson's forearm to Dangerfield's head was deemed less forceful than Jesse's open-palmed jab. We know that the player symptoms, whether directly following the incident or in the weekends case with Rowe, headaches after the game which are deemed as delayed concussion, are the greatest variable in the decisions the MRP dish-out. 

But is that right?

I posted this in the other thread but thought it be a topic of discussion due tot he large majority of posters agreeing that the system continues to be broken.

Amongst other thoughts I've had, I believe television and radio commentators should be banned from talking about incidents on game day as this is just more opinions that invariably influence the overall flawed process that the MRP try to follow.

Also, the club/s should have the right to take their players case to the tribunal without fear of risking a longer sanction. This is purely a mechanism to provide a buffer so the MRP don't get regularly made to look like fools. In our case should have been able to plainly disagree with the severity of the sanction and been allowed to question the veracity of the claims. But hey, this may have happened in an informal manner that we as supporters are not privvy to..

Anyway, the MRP stinks. Their outcomes are so variable it causes them to lack any credibility in my books.

The demerit points system was a failure and now a couple of years on it's still not working.

I'm keen to hear other peoples ideas about how this could be improved.

Cheers

Something needs to change.

I disagree on television and radio commentators being banned from talking about incidents. That just makes it worse. Transparency is the key and when a MRP decision is inconsistent or ridiculous the media should be able to call it out.

 

 

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There's a certain irony to the points system trying to remove ambiguity, but at the same time have sufficient flexibility around grading to allow for variations on similar incidents.

My memories of the 80's system was that there were still the same inconsistencies, even without the demerit points - and if it looked really bad, you could get anywhere from 3-8 weeks. Yep, the current system isn't right, but that said I don't have a solution on how to fix it.

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I agree Bullet.  It is ludicrous to hand down sanctions, without thoroughly examining all of the relevant facts. A number of MRP members are close to the media themselves and human nature will tell you that even if by osmosis, you must be influenced by media commentary on such topics.  To me Lewis' action was the worst of the two, but he was slammed in the back by Weitering, while he was unprotected and unsuspecting, following the incident with Cripps.  Is that action justifiable? 

I know we are clearly not talking courts of law, so I won't present that analogy, other than to say, I cannot think of any other jurisdiction, whether it be civil or in sport, where the person facing the charge does not have a right of reply or the opportunity to defend himself, without fear of an increased penalty.

 

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6 minutes ago, iv'a worn smith said:

I agree Bullet.  It is ludicrous to hand down sanctions, without thoroughly examining all of the relevant facts. A number of MRP members are close to the media themselves and human nature will tell you that even if by osmosis, you must be influenced by media commentary on such topics.  To me Lewis' action was the worst of the two, but he was slammed in the back by Weitering, while he was unprotected and unsuspecting, following the incident with Cripps.  Is that action justifiable? 

I know we are clearly not talking courts of law, so I won't present that analogy, other than to say, I cannot think of any other jurisdiction, whether it be civil or in sport, where the person facing the charge does not have a right of reply or the opportunity to defend himself, without fear of an increased penalty.

 

I've had the same thoughts on this as well. The speed that Lewis's head was flung back was quite substantial that it could've caused an injury by itself. This however does tend to happen in many footy contested situations.

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Appeals without risk of additional weeks!! Simplest and easiest change. Would improve the system 10 fold on its own. 

The club should have been able to argue a case that there is no way to conclusivly prove that Rowe's "delayed concussion" came from Hogans slap and not any of the other 50 impacts he had throughout the game. That doubt accompanied with the video evidence should have it downgraded to low impact and thus hogan be offered a 1 match ban. A very reasonable case. But they cant do that because that would risk him getting a 3 week ban. It's madness. Ben Cunnington also might have gotten off his ridiculous ban from the JLT if there wasnt the risk of an extra week.

But I guess the AFL just likes it left so that people cant do anything but accept any ruling regardless of fairness.

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The problem with allowing players to appeal without the risk of additional weeks is that every player would do it. It would make the MRP totally redundant.

My main gripe is that I don't think the level of injury should be relevant. Rather, the risk of causing injury should be what is taken into consideration. Take for example two elbow strikes to the head, each of the same force. One may cause a sore head, the other a fractured cheekbone, dependent entirely on where the contact takes place. Both should receive the same penalty because the action itself should be what is penalised because of the risk of damage to the other player, not the result.

 

 

 

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It needs to be based on intent and action, not outcome.

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My thoughts.

Problems with the current system

- Reliant on reports from a doctor representing the aggrieved party. Not only are doctors varied in opinion, as is everyone, but they are also not immune from emotion playing a role in any report they write no matter how much they try and remove it, it is human nature.

- The consequence has far too great an impact on the sentence when in fact it is the action we should be condoning. Probelm with this is a little tap on the wrong part of the jaw could cause a fracture while a big hit on a different part will have no impact. Currently the big hit gets off or less of a punishment than the little unluckily placed tap.

- you realistically cant appeal

Solutions

- Each game should have an independent AFL paid for (of the irony of independence and the AFL) doctor present. This doctor should oversee the club doctors. During the game their role is to give final clearance for any concussion tests, or the need to do so. They over rule the club doctor but work with the club doctor in making a ruling. After each game the club is given 2 hours in which to make any medical reports of injuries sustained to the AFL doctor. If a report is made the AFl doctor will conduct their own assessment of the injured player and provide a report to the MRP if necessary. 

- Even penalties is a harder system to fix and make fair. I think degrees of actions must be the first step, something like hit to the head with little force = 1 week, hit to the head with medium force = 2 weeks, hit to the head with a lot of force = 3 weeks. Then you look at injuries, if no injury then no further punishment, injury where player will miss 1 or 2 weeks you add a week to the suspension, injury to the player of more than 2 weeks and you add 2 weeks to the suspension. You could set up this with lots of scenarios for kicks, bites, open handed hits, elbows, head high bumps etc etc etc. The only ambiguity is in determining the force of the impact. 

- I agree with not encouraging appeals as it drags the whole thing out, it has gone too far the other way. I like the idea of being able to appeal the sentence with no consequence. Take Jesse for instance, he should be able to appeal and say 'yes I am guilty but due to factors x,y,and z I think the penalty is too much. This at least gives him the chance to put his case forward. Appeals where you are looking to have a guilty changed to not guilty should stay with the extra week if you lose. I don't mind this as it is pretty rare you are found guilty when you aren't, it is far more common to be let off when you are guilty. 

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3 minutes ago, Chris said:

- I agree with not encouraging appeals as it drags the whole thing out, it has gone too far the other way. I like the idea of being able to appeal the sentence with no consequence. Take Jesse for instance, he should be able to appeal and say 'yes I am guilty but due to factors x,y,and z I think the penalty is too much. This at least gives him the chance to put his case forward. Appeals where you are looking to have a guilty changed to not guilty should stay with the extra week if you lose. I don't mind this as it is pretty rare you are found guilty when you aren't, it is far more common to be let off when you are guilty. 

I would be much happier with this. Might actually result in some more consistent rulings if there was some accountability for the MRP. Currently there is no accountability at all.

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Our boys got what they deserved. Time to move on.

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16 minutes ago, La Dee-vina Comedia said:

The problem with allowing players to appeal without the risk of additional weeks is that every player would do it. It would make the MRP totally redundant.

My main gripe is that I don't think the level of injury should be relevant. Rather, the risk of causing injury should be what is taken into consideration. Take for example two elbow strikes to the head, each of the same force. One may cause a sore head, the other a fractured cheekbone, dependent entirely on where the contact takes place. Both should receive the same penalty because the action itself should be what is penalised because of the risk of damage to the other player, not the result.

 

 

 

I agree.  However a good deal of the legal system (outside football) puts weight on outcome.  Punch someone and they just fall over and it  is just assault, but if they hit their head on the way down and die you are lucky to get off with manslaughter.  But at least there the offender has a chance to make a defense in mitigation, unlike the MRP. 

Chris' suggestion that you can appeal the severity without extra penalty is a good one, though still may get too many unrealistic appeals.  Maybe  solution would be to have a cash penalty for a lost severity appeal  one to make players think twice.

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4 minutes ago, WAClark said:

Our boys got what they deserved. Time to move on.

They deserved a sanction.  There is no doubt about that.  However, what is at issue here is exactly how the process works and whether it is equitable.  Clearly it is not.

 

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#: 15   Posted (edited)

22 minutes ago, Clint Bizkit said:

It needs to be based on intent and action, not outcome.

i think the outcome is relevant where the action is intentional, and should carry some weight in determining sentence, but not all

consider someone shot. the result could be a murder charge or a lesser charge. the difference could be millimetres. the sentence difference could be large.

Edited by daisycutter

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4 minutes ago, iv'a worn smith said:

They deserved a sanction.  There is no doubt about that.  However, what is at issue here is exactly how the process works and whether it is equitable.  Clearly it is not.

 

Yeah, fair call. I do shake my head at some decisions as compared with others e.g Scott Thompson, but certainly don't believe we are hard done by, generally, at the tribunal.

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12 minutes ago, sue said:

I agree.  However a good deal of the legal system (outside football) puts weight on outcome.  Punch someone and they just fall over and it  is just assault, but if they hit their head on the way down and die you are lucky to get off with manslaughter.  But at least there the offender has a chance to make a defense in mitigation, unlike the MRP. 

Chris' suggestion that you can appeal the severity without extra penalty is a good one, though still may get too many unrealistic appeals.  Maybe  solution would be to have a cash penalty for a lost severity appeal  one to make players think twice.

I take your point about the difference outcome makes in the non-football world.

With respect to the cash penalty for a lost appeal, I had thought about that, but it gives wealthier clubs an advantage. A poorer club might be less inclined to make appeals whereas wealthier clubs may not care as much and proceed every time to appeal.

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Just now, WAClark said:

Yeah, fair call. I do shake my head at some decisions as compared with others e.g Scott Thompson, but certainly don't believe we are hard done by, generally, at the tribunal.

Jesse.  No priors and I would say debatable as to the damage actually caused by the blow.  But we will never know, because the AFL treat us like mugs.  One week for mine and with an early plea, down to a fine.

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22 minutes ago, daisycutter said:

i think the outcome is relevant where the action is intentional, and should carry some weight in determining sentence, but not all

consider someone shot. the result could be a murder charge or a lesser charge. the difference could be millimetres. the sentence difference could be large.

Players can control their intent and actions.

They can't always control the outcome.

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Just now, Clint Bizkit said:

Players can control their intent and actions.

They can't always control the outcome.

that is obvious clint, but note that i never said an eye for an eye, merely that the outcome should have some bearing on the sentence and i meant especially in the context of an intentional action the weight would be greater than say the weight for a careless/reckless action.

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Can someone remind me: why does the MRP even exist? Why did the AFL move away from the old tribunal system where each party has to rock up on a Monday night and give their version of events?

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2 minutes ago, Deemented Are Go! said:

Can someone remind me: why does the MRP even exist? Why did the AFL move away from the old tribunal system where each party has to rock up on a Monday night and give their version of events?

i think they copied it from the nrl where reports said that it was quicker, smoother and generally accepted than the tribunal, but that was in the points system era

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5 minutes ago, daisycutter said:

i think they copied it from the nrl where reports said that it was quicker, smoother and generally accepted than the tribunal, but that was in the points system era

The NRL where a toe-to-toe punchathon was deemed unworthy of any sanction.

The AFL are so good at taking other sports policies, giving them the AFL treatment just so it looks different but ultimately stuffing it up.

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1 hour ago, WAClark said:

Our boys got what they deserved. Time to move on.

Not enough outrage in this post for my liking. 

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27 minutes ago, Deemented Are Go! said:

Can someone remind me: why does the MRP even exist? Why did the AFL move away from the old tribunal system where each party has to rock up on a Monday night and give their version of events?

 

22 minutes ago, daisycutter said:

i think they copied it from the nrl where reports said that it was quicker, smoother and generally accepted than the tribunal, but that was in the points system era

The AFL was supposedly also concerned that the old Tribunal system sometimes required players to travel across the country to give evidence. However, that is obviously now unnecessary given things called cameras and video links. The AFL's other concern was likely also to be the blatant dishonesty which went on with victims swearing blind that they never felt a thing.

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