What is the use of a blog without pictures?

Latest First Next Previous About This Site (and me) Home page Table of Contents Contact

Options

Earliest first

Don't show social entries

Don't show personal entries

Don't show creative entries

Number of entries to display:

Start date: //

End date: //

Justice or the rules?

The rules for Australian Rules Football (social engineering of the last twenty years not withstanding) are supposed to be about safety first and fairness second. What, then, to make of the events of the last week. As I understand it, Fremantle led St Kilda when the siren went, but the blind white maggots were also deaf, didn't hear it, and let play go on until St Kilda levelled the scores a short time later. The result: A draw.

Now, however, there is talk that a win might be awarded to Fremantle. My sympathy extends to Fremantle. They had a moral victory. Unfortunately for them, the lesson every 8 year old starting out is told: play to the whistle; play to the siren - don't stop until the umpire tells you to - was forgotten by the Freo players. They might deserve a win, but they shouldn't get one. Football history is littered with matches being decided by a wrong umpire's decision. Two weeks ago Melbourne lost when a goal was signalled as touched. Last year Hawthorn lost to Essendon when a goal was given to Essendon off the boot of a Hawthorn player. Mistakes happen.

If the AFL is prepared to say that a mistake which affected the result, no matter how clear-cut and provable, can be overturned on appeal, where do we go from there? It should be that when the siren goes and the umpire raises his arms and blows his whistle to signal the end of proceedings, the result is known. If the AFL allows this appeal, what then when a mark is taken or a goal is kicked fractionally after the siren? And if we accept that, what then for a less black-or-white, but still clear decision? I hate the thin-end-of-the-wedge cliche, but in this case it has to apply.

Moreover, if we are to suspend the rules just because they conflict with a sense of fair play and justice, why bother having rules? Why not just give a broad framework for the game and tell the umpires they can adjudicate as they see fit? Why not give the Australian batsman out unfairly against Bangladesh, just because they are better players and it's not fair? The rules are devised so that they are as fair as possible without trying to predict every single future contingency. If the AFL sees the need, they can add in more rules for next time this happens (if ever). They can't, however, break the rules to favour one team, even if it does provide the just result.

In science, you are not allowed to falsify data to get the result you want. This is what the AFL will be doing if they give Fremantle the points.

Update: The AFL has announced that rules can be suspended whenever they become inconvenient.

Well, in a disgraceful decision, the AFL has announced that the rules will be ignored whenver they conflict with the AFL's sense of justice.

The next step, of course, is that the AFL now puts itself in the position to correct every past or future injustice. Look for Collingwood to start appealing some past grand final losses.

The thing to remember: this isn't an extraordinary event. It is an extreme example of an ordinary one. Officials make mistakes all the time. If these decisions aren't supported, the game loses out.

Comments

Insert comments

Please feel free to comment. I value dialogue and want other people's involvement. Please put your email address in. I will publish pretty much any comment which is made, but if you do not give your email address, I reserve the right not to publish your comment. I will not pass on or publish an email address (unless you specifically ask me to), but I may want to verify details, and cannot do this without an email address. Besides, its polite. Also, feel free to put in html tags. If you don't, I will stick them in, but I will just stick in simple ones. If you want anything more, you'll have to do it yourself.

Your name:

Your e-mail address:

Your webpage:

Public comments:

Private comments:

Rorschach test: What do you see in this picture (compulsory, but won't be published with your name)?

Rorschach pic

This is not spam

Links

Recent entries

"There's Klingons on the starboard bow"

"What's verse - it's the end of paternity leave"

"Mark - the first week"

"Mark - part 2"

"Mark Gerald Allen Lubansky - the birth"

My favourite procrastinations

Rev's page

Guido's musings about soccer, politics etc in Australia

The Head Heeb - Jonathan provides a balanced view on various Israeli and (former) colonial states in less developed regions of the world.

The Bladder - a sports satire site. Well worth a look.

Other stuff

<< List
Jewish Bloggers
Join >>

The comprehensive history project