Written by AFL Online on 23rd Mar 2012
If you haven’t already heard, today the AFL announced that the video review system trialled in the NAB Cup will be brought into the 2012 Premiership Season. Effective immediately.
Before i argue why I think it’s a mistake to bring it in to the season proper I want to say that I think the idea is good. Who wouldn’t want 100% accuracy with all scoring decisions?
The problem is we still wont have 100% accuracy and for me the flaws of this system outweigh the positives.
The AFL were right to trial the video umpire during the NAB Cup to see how effective it was and whether it would benefit the game or not. But in my opinion it became clear that the trial was ineffective and still needs a lot of work.
I didn’t watch every NAB Cup match televised so I didn’t see every decision referred but from what I did see it was obvious that the system was flawed due to a number of reasons.
For starters it was overused. We all want our game to be as accurate as possible when it comes to scoring but what we don’t want is for the well paid umpires to lose confidence in their own ability.
Secondly, it takes to long. The AFL stated pre-trial that the time to review a decision would be about the same time it would take to take the ball back to the centre after a goal. This sounds fine but what it does is take twice as long for the ball to return to the centre if a goal remains a goal after a review and if a point remains a point it takes away the ability for a team to exploit a team moving the back quickly out of defence after kicking it in.
Finally and most importantly, the technology just isn’t good enough. I would love to see some statistics from the AFL on how many decisions were ruled inconclusive. This is one aspect that can be dramatically improved at least. The AFL’s 1.25 billion dollar tv rights deal is great for supporters getting to watch every game live on Foxtel but the downside is that Foxtel’s coverage can be a bit lacklustre due to less cameras at any given match.
But this isn’t Foxtel’s fault. Even with more cameras it wouldn’t make much difference. Whats needed it cameras used specifically for video reviews. The NHL who use a video review system have cameras directly above each goal to see whether the puck crossed the line or not. Similar angles are needed in the AFL.
The AFL knows this but they would have to fund it, but won’t. At least not yet.
I am for the continued trialling of a video review system but based on the evidence provided form the short trial in the NAB Cup I just cannot believe that it has been brought straight in using the current format.
Do you agree or disagree with my opinion? Add your thoughts below.