posted on May, 3 2006 @ 03:57 PM
Here in the AFL on the weekend, the siren sounded in a match between Fremantle & St Kilda with Fremantle ahead by one point. However the umpire
failed to hear the siren, play continued and St Kilda scored a point levelling the scores. The siren was blown again and this time the umpire heard
it signalling the end of the game. At which point the scores were tied and the match was declared a draw. Fremantle protested and four days later
the AFL overturned the decision, awarding the victory to Fremantle.
The rules state that a games ends when the umpire acknowledges that the final siren has sounded. This did not occur until the scores were level,
despite the fact that the siren was originally blown when Fremantle led by a point. The retrospective decision made by the AFL is the wrong one,
which will now lead to protests by other clubs to overturn rsults of other matches that suffered a similar fate to this one. The 1980 Night Grand
Final between Collingwood and North Melbourne is an exact replica of this case. Shouldn't Collingwood be entitled to the premiership now?
There are many umpiring decisions in many matches that change the outcome of a game and are later proven to be incorrect. Should the results of these
matches be changed retrospectively? The AFL argue that in this instance the timekeeper failed to carry out his duty of blowing the siren until the
umpire acknowledges it, whereas bad umpiring decisions are a judgement call. However couldn't one argue that it was the timekeepers judgement that
the umpire had acknowledged the siren when he stopped sounding it? I fail to see the distinction.