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Whispering in the Umpires Ears



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In summary:

AFL umpires are receiving in-game feedback via earpieces from officials at the ground, raising concerns among senior coaches about the potential impact on the game's integrity. An investigation revealed that some coaches were unaware of this practice and worried it might influence decision-making. AFL umpiring boss Steve McBurney clarified that the communication is meant for positive affirmation during breaks and not to direct in-play decisions. While this system has been in place since 2013, its usage has increased recently, sparking debates on whether it compromises the sport’s fairness. Despite assurances from McBurney that the system does not affect game integrity, some coaches remain uncomfortable with it. The league confirmed that these communications are recorded but not publicly shared, and umpires can opt out of receiving in-game feedback.

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i'd like to speak to them during the game.

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1 hour ago, Biffen said:

i'd like to speak to them during the game.

I thought I did. I yell loud enough at the TV!!

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What could an AFL employee possibly be saying to the umpires that impacts the game as it’s being played?

I suppose things like ‘play on advantage’ when a team was only points in front in a grand final where the financial gain to the AFL by one team winning was literally millions of dollars. But apart from that it’s not like this is a huge story that calls into question the very integrity of the entire sport, and makes a mockery of the money supporters spend attending games.

It’s crazy to suggest otherwise. Crazy.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, The heart beats true said:

What could an AFL employee possibly be saying to the umpires that impacts the game as it’s being played?

 

So why do it?

This only re-inforces suspicions that supporters hold, like "evening up the frees" . 

Or as has been suggested,  it is using the contact to provide positive feedback....not needed if the decision is correct in the first place.

Just makes light of the "howlers", and continues further bad calls if the umpire is told he was right.

Any feedback can be relayed at breaks in the game. 

Edited by george_on_the_outer
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12 hours ago, Demonland said:

In summary:

AFL umpires are receiving in-game feedback via earpieces from officials at the ground, raising concerns among senior coaches about the potential impact on the game's integrity. An investigation revealed that some coaches were unaware of this practice and worried it might influence decision-making. AFL umpiring boss Steve McBurney clarified that the communication is meant for positive affirmation during breaks and not to direct in-play decisions. While this system has been in place since 2013, its usage has increased recently, sparking debates on whether it compromises the sport’s fairness. Despite assurances from McBurney that the system does not affect game integrity, some coaches remain uncomfortable with it. The league confirmed that these communications are recorded but not publicly shared, and umpires can opt out of receiving in-game feedback.

The 'system' has never seemed to work for Max Gawn. All we can presume, therefore, is that over the years, his extremely high reception of head bashings, leg-breaking impact collapses, neck wringing and kneed abdomen or kidney punches have been adjudicated as 'fair play' by the advisors of the snot goblins who frequently lose the pea from their whistles. 

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Pity none of them are whispering "Petracca is being held all the time" to the umpires lol

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Despite the article suggesting that in game decision making isn't affected, I've been of the opinion that this actually has been the case for some time. I've seen multiple instances where the umpire has paid a very late free kick and I've said to my boy "that one he missed has come down from upstairs". That said, I haven't been unhappy with any of these perceived third party decisions (I think we've generally been on the receiving end).

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13 hours ago, Biffen said:

i'd like to speak to them during the game.

I've tried it but it didn't work.

 

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I don't see anything wrong with this and i think it can be used wisely to maintain integrity and seek out those who play the system. For example a certain ruckman from TWSNBN for a free kick which directly cost a team a win. Also a touched ball, kick for goal which cost a result to the wrong team .

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Posted (edited)

I wonder how many more secret changes to umpiring are festering at HQ.

In the last month:

  • Revealed they had told goal umpires to score review just about everything, until they were exposed and the media started complaining ... fans had been doing so for a fair while. 
  • Admitted they coached umpires to extend 'reasonable time' and treat DTB as 'falling out in a contest' etc until coaches started complaining.
  • This 'whispering' in umpires ear and lord knows how many decisions were influenced. I just can't see any reason to do so in game.  The 'positive encouragement' is just bs. (btw very fitting that 'Whispering Jack' started this thread).

HQ has walked back on those but the scary thing is they didn't tell anyone, not even the clubs. 

I wonder what umpiring gem will be revealed next ... ?

Frustration at umpires is part of the sport but the above just hangs them out to dry.

Edited by Lucifers Hero
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So if the "suit" upstairs calls decisions, and if he is working to the TV vision, then he should be calling throws as well as non disposal of the ball. It's clear to us watching. I have been saying this for years about the "fifth umpire" and cannot believe that club officials are in the dark about it. Yet another nail in the coffin for me attending/watching games. Don't take us/me as fools AFL. You will lose us.

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Considering how 'late' some frees are paid I have suspected for some time that the umps have been talked to during the game.

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42 minutes ago, Willmoy1947 said:

I've tried it but it didn't work.

 

Clarko did it on the weekend, look where it got him 😅

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Many people have been saying for a while that the umpires have been unnecessarily impacting the game.
 

In my opinion it’s hard not to see it. I’ve sat at so many games where it’s felt like the agenda of the umpires has been pretty clear at times and also shifts within a game. Not just Melbourne games. It’s easier to confirm when you are a neutral obviously. 
 

many say questioning these things are ridiculous. They claim you are entering conspiracy. There is evidence that meddling has gone on in bigger leagues around the world in the same way. Why wouldn’t the afl be a place where this was also possible. Once you introduce advertising, gambling etc you are backed into a nasty corner. Obviously we can’t have the game without some of these things. 
 

I always assumed the umpires were talking to a “boss” of sorts. Why else would they have their ear pieces. 
 

from now on when you feel the free kick count start to even out later in a game when it’s inconsequential or you feel like one team is getting a certain type of free the other team is not it will be even harder to give the umpires and the afl the benefit of the doubt. 
 

This administration again shows that the integrity of the game is secondary to them. They mess with rules to suit to the point that people who have been watching the game their whole lives have no idea what’s going on. They continue to strip away grass roots football to maximise profit for the main product. They still apply different rules to things like head knocks depending on the player and the time in the season and their preferred outcome. They ban media personnel who don’t tow the company line. They are business people first, not custodians. They are as a group deeply involved in themselves and their own importance. Rewarding themselves financially more than any star player receives. 
 

this all fits the “conspiracy theory” and will turn more and more people away. The game has been rotten for a while now. 
 

 

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