Put an end to video nasties

WHERE'S 'Snicko' when you need it? Or 'Hot Spot' or 'Hawkeye' for that matter?

Such is his tone when he is handing down his decision to the field umpires, you could be forgiven for thinking the AFL's video referee was the voice of God himself.

But far too often since the review system was hurriedly introduced on the eve of the 2012 season, this particular 'man upstairs' has been left none the wiser due to a lack of resources at his disposal.

The inadequacies of the AFL's much-maligned referral system was again in the spotlight over the weekend, particularly at the MCG on Saturday during the clash between Melbourne and Richmond.

Demon James Magner appeared to kick one of the more bizarre goals you'll see in the second quarter when his set shot from 40m out dropped short but appeared to bounce around a pack of players and make it through the big sticks without being touched.

It certainly looked like a goal, especially when taking into consideration the stunned look on the faces of both the players and the Tiger cheer squad just over the fence.

The goal umpire agreed, and informed the field umpire he would just like a "quick check of the vision" to confirm his decision before giving it the all-clear, but a boundary umpire wasn't so sure, believing the ball may have deviated off the foot of Tiger ruckman Ivan Maric "but I can't be certain".

Even though the replay looked to back up the goal umpire's original verdict, and the fact big Ivan's lackadaisical attempt to kick the ball resulted in nothing more than an "air swing", and the only deviation came the ball actually bouncing, the vision (incredibly via just one camera angle directly in front) was ruled 'Inconclusive. Umpire's call'.

On this occasion - and even more astounding than the kick itself - the field umpire decided that 'call' would be the boundary umpire's and not, as it should have been, that of the goal umpire, who was in the best position.

Then, in the third term, a snap at goal from Richmond's Matt White clearly went through the correct side of the goal post only for the goal umpire to this time not even bother asking for a review - despite the begging being done by Tigers players for him to do so - and signal a behind.

It was later revealed the ball did brush the goalpost, but the umpire clearly wasn't aware of that fact at the time as there was no signalling of a 'poster'.

The two situations were prime examples of both the AFL not having the right technology in use, and an umpires brigade not knowing the right time to use it and when not to use it. It's getting farcical.

Footy commentator slash Collingwood president Eddie McGuire voiced his opinion in no uncertain terms when calling the Tigers-Demons clash, saying the league should "ban this stupidity".

For once, I'm actually inclined to agree with Ed, at least until the AFL is prepared to throw a few more bob at the system - it can certainly afford it - and get some more cameras down each end, in the posts themselves a la cricket's stump cam for one, and some form sensing device wouldn't go astray either, to turn a few more of those inconclusive decisions into conclusive ones.

There has got be some form of review system, but it has been terribly implemented. For a professional sport, it's coming across as very amateurish and leading to more and more frustration for clubs and fans alike.


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