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Timekeeping – The AFL’s next big problem

Timekeeping – The AFL’s next big problem
Jul
13
43 1

Written by Michael on 13th Jul 2015

It’s caused controversy in the past and it’s sure to rear it’s ugly head again very soon.

The AFL is concerned about the integrity of the game more than they have ever been and they have a chance to get on top of a timekeeping issue before it causes extreme controversy.

Many may not see this as being a current problem at all but if the AFL aren’t proactive then it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a major issue.

One of the current issues is with the bounce of the ball. When an umpire fails to bounce the ball at centre stoppages correctly we’re losing about 3 seconds. The simple solution for this is to restrict centre bounces to only the start of each quarter. All other centre stoppages will be thrown up, this way should a bounce be recalled the clock can easily be reset.

That’s just one aspect that can easily be fixed. Others may not be so easy to resolve in such a fast paced game but it’s vital that the AFL do everything they can to avoid future errors in future.

The AFL has been known to have timekeeping issues in the past, in 2012 when 39 seconds were added to a match between Fremantle and Gold Coast. In another match a quarter had been shortened by 14 seconds. These games we know about because they were decided by no more than a kick or two. I’m sure other games have been affected but gone unnoticed or deemed irrelevant.

Most other professional sporting codes around the world are already on top of the issues the evolve around timekeeping. One great example is the NBA who would be the leaders in making sure that the timekeeping is as precise as it can be.

The AFL should consider using a similar method to the NBA where the LED lights in the scoreboard light up at the end of each quarter. Many AFL venues now have LED advertising boards around the ground that could be triggered to bright red board as soon as the time expires at the end of each quarter. LED lights could also be installed in goal posts ensuring that there will be a camera that captures those final milliseconds and judge whether a mark or kick should be paid or not.

I have never been one to support the goal review system by the AFL, purely because they refuse to invest in the required technology that could eliminate many of the inconclusive decisions. However the system used by the NBA to determine those final buzzer-beater plays is relatively flawless and should be adopted by the AFL.

The result would have almost certainly put an end to any speculation as to whether this goal by Josh Jenkins in a match at Adelaide Oval last year should have been paid or not.

This controversial error never would have occurred with a similar system in place.

And let’s not forget the controversy of the famous #Sirengate down in Tasmania many years ago.

I’m sure this will be laughed of by many that read it. However I’m certain that this article will become relevant in the not to distant future when we have another timekeeping issue that may have effected the result of a match that so many people are invested in.