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Thread: AFL changes HTB interpretation

  1. #1
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    AFL changes HTB interpretation

    AFL has instructed umpires to give less leniency on prior opportunity. Will commence this week, nice we have the bye to observe from afar.

    As a pressure and tackling side, it should suit us

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    Quote Originally Posted by 707 View Post
    AFL has instructed umpires to give less leniency on prior opportunity. Will commence this week, nice we have the bye to observe from afar.

    As a pressure and tackling side, it should suit us
    Prior opportunity yes, but what about incorrect disposal where they just drop the ball? That farce continues it seems.

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    I don't think prior opportunity is the issue (or necessarily what is being changed). At least not if we're talking about prior opportunity to dispose before the tackle starts to be laid. That remains inconsistently applied, but doesn't seem to be worse this year.

    I think the issue is where there was no prior opportunity before the tackle was laid but the umpires let the tackle and tackler wrestle on for ages. It is difficult to apply a hard and fast set of criteria because there are different degrees to which a player is being tackled. I think there's a real desire, for example, to let players try to break tackles. I know we want Chad and Blakey to have that chance. But when a tackle has really stuck, then it becomes about how much time the tacklee is given to get rid of the ball if he has a realistic chance to do so, or the umpires realising he doesn't (because BOTH arms are pinned) and blowing the whistle more quickly for a ball up to stop the tackle before the tacklee is brought to ground.

    The Andrew/Curnow tackle from last weekend that's been highlighted, together with Steve McBurney's comments on it, illustrate that the decision making process is difficult for the umpires. Andrew didn't have Curnow wrapped up. He just had hold of one arm. Curnow had an arm free and two legs free so should have been able to try to dispose of the ball. But was the umpire giving Curnow a chance to break free of the tackle altogether? At what point do they decide that the tackle has stuck, even if the tacklee isn't wrapped up, and thus assess that a legal tackle has been executed?

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    Can of worms

    Let's see what changes. I notice the umpires have been to Collingwood training to give them the heads up, did they do that for all clubs?

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    I didn't get to watch any of the game last night. Was there a notable change to the HTB adjudication?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel_C View Post
    I didn't get to watch any of the game last night. Was there a notable change to the HTB adjudication?
    A little bit quicker blowing the whistle, generally when a player was being spun around. Not a huge change, but I thought it was a change for the better.

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    I think they’ve been, at least to the eye, better this round. They seem to both be properly paying HTB rather than letting players drop it and claim knocked out in the tackle, and not letting the wrestle drag on endlessly.

    As a strong tackling team, I think we will on balance benefit - particularly if the harsher standard on blokes just dropping it continues. That’s the one that tends to do my head in anyway. Chad might need to make a marginal adjustment, but I think he tends to break free quickly or get tackled anyway and besides, you don’t want him changing too much.
    'Delicious' is a fun word to say

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    I thought so, too! In fact, I thought the first 3 quarters in particular were extremely well umpired.

    (That was a reply to deja's post number 6!)

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    I think it's been better too. And I reckon players have already started to adjust by disposing of the ball as soon as they are tackled if they have an arm free. There've been a few of HTBs paid (one I saw today; a couple yesterday) where the player had no prior and was wrapped up (or taken to ground) immediately. But there have always been a few dodgy HTBs paid, and I don't know that these arose from the recent readjustment.

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    Ego alta, ergo ictus Ruck'n'Roll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by liz View Post
    I think the issue is where there was no prior opportunity before the tackle was laid but the umpires let the tackle and tackler wrestle on for ages. It is difficult to apply a hard and fast set of criteria because there are different degrees to which a player is being tackled. I think there's a real desire, for example, to let players try to break tackles. I know we want Chad and Blakey to have that chance. But when a tackle has really stuck, then it becomes about how much time the tacklee is given to get rid of the ball if he has a realistic chance to do so, or the umpires realising he doesn't (because BOTH arms are pinned) and blowing the whistle more quickly for a ball up to stop the tackle before the tacklee is brought to ground.
    The umpires are supposed to be the games on field decision makers., they are becoming indecision makers.
    Over the years the AFL have gone from a single decision maker who dispensed decisions swiftly (but occasionally got them wrong) to a committee.
    ANyone who know committees will tell you when you quadruple the size of the decision making body, the result is never to increase the efficiency of the decision making - and that's exactly what the AFL appear to have done on field.
    More umpires has resulted in more indecision than decisions.
    Sure there may be less OTT howler decisons made, but the delay in decision making means there are multiple infringements in every tackle. The longer the delay in a decision on a tackle, the longer a tackle goes on, the greater the certaintly that a players hand will slide high, or the tackler will have to be brought to the ground etc. etc.
    The indecision is making the decision process more complicated.
    FWIW I think the same indecisive process is taking the high mark out of the game. For a mark to be paid the player is supposed to control it, these days the player get's control, and while the umpire is vacilating his opponent slaps his arm and causes the ball to spill. At which point it's either a free or play on - to the detriment of the game.

    To be fair the umpiring indecison is not just their numbers, I think the main issue with tackle frees is that the fad for excessive leniency (prior opportunity) also complicates the decision making process.
    Loose translation from the Latin is - I am tall, so I hit out.

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    I think there have been some shockers. In the Geelong/Richmond game Graham of Richmond picked up the ball in his defensive goal square and didn't have a chance to dispose of the footy, free kick against. Then Baker got tackled as he got the ball and got pinged. Then in the WC game Edwards of WC he took possession in his defensive goal square, took 2 steps and IIRC he jumped 2 players, got well tackled....ball up. I don't think they should have tweaked the rule. I think the umpires were interpreting the rule well enough before the change. There were times when players took on their opponents. Sometimes a free was paid other times a ball up.

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    I have watched some snippets this weekend and they have called a lot more HTB and the game has looked a lot better.

    However, it is so amateur and to change the way the game is adjudicated mid season.

    More free kicks for second half of the season opponents only, impacting results and percentage.

    Those with byes this week get to see the change before they play their next game.

    They should have left it till next year, and applied the new rules in the 2025 pre-season community series to let teams adjust over three games.

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