AFL Considers ‘Significant Adjustments’ To Goal Rating System After Tigers Controversial Loss
AFL considers ‘significant changes’ to goal rating system to prevent a repeat of Richmond’s controversial elimination against Brisbane
The AFL is considering changes to its scoring system in the wake of the controversial end of the Brisbane-Richmond elimination final earlier this month.
According to Jon Ralph of The Herald Sun, the league could do away with the “soft call” to allow goal umpires to refer incidents to the AFL Review Center (ARC) without making a decision on the field.
As is the case with cricket umpires, under the current system goal, umpires are required to make a call on the field – the so-called ‘soft call’ – which can then be assessed by the ARC.
The AFL is reportedly considering changing its scoring system following a controversial end to the Brisbane vs. Richmond earlier this month
Like the third umpire in cricket, the ARC may uphold a decision on the field or ask the umpire to change it if he has found sufficient convincing evidence to determine that the soft call was wrong.
The proposed change would allow the ARC operator to make a call, rather than overturn the goal umpire’s decision. Significantly, it would also avoid scenarios where the ARC has to abide by the on-field decision purely because of a lack of conclusive evidence.
“I believe there is an important change to the goal rating system that the AFL is considering,” Ralph said Fox Footy’s on the couch on Monday.
“What we have now is the goal umpire being forced to make a decision, the soft call, the goal or the deficit – even if in this case [Richmond’s controversial loss to Brisbane], they have no idea. So I think what they can do next year is if they’re all confused, you refer it without that soft call, which means the people in the ARC make a decision based on probability.”
Tom Lynch appeared to have sealed the win for the Tigers, kicking his fourth of the night in the Gabba to clear Richmond nine points with less than two minutes to play
The goal umpire’s ‘soft call’ marked a goal for Richmond, but Lynch’s effort was eventually downgraded to a deficit after an ARC assessment
Three points ahead of the Gabba, Richmond appeared to have secured a place in the semifinals as Tom Lynch kicked off his fourth major of the evening.
Lynch didn’t celebrate, but the goalscorer gave a ‘soft’ call of a goal to his oblique set shot before it was sent up for review.
Despite no conclusive evidence to overturn the on-field decision, the goal was reversed to a back after the footy sailed over the upright.
That put Richmond ahead four points instead of nine and gave the Lions just enough time to take a dramatic 16.10 (106) to 16.8 (104) win, with Joe Daniher scoring the match-winning goal.
It gave Joe Daniher (center) just enough time to kick a dramatic game winner as the Lions defeated Richmond 16.10 (106) to 16.8 (104) to book a berth in the semi-finals
While Tigers players were distraught when their season ended in controversy
After the game, Hardwick called on the AFL to scrap the technology because it was “not good enough” to make decisions.
“I just feel like the technology isn’t good enough and hasn’t been for a long time,” he said.
“Obviously it’s still indecisive. We have referees. Choose which way you want to go. The whole thing is that the technology isn’t at the level it should be. Either you get better or you don’t have it.’
The AFL appears to have taken the feedback to heart and invited Hardwick to the ARC to delve into the process involved in undoing the call that effectively cost Richmond a place in the semi-finals.
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick wants the AFL to scrap its goal rating system
And Ralph noted that the league could go even further than just changing the scoring process by trying a ball-tracking system.
The suggestion of including microchips in football to allay doubts about fringe calls has been on the table for a long time, but any meaningful progress has been limited by a lack of adequate technology and significant costs.
However, things may change.
“There’s going to be a trial of the ball-tracking system,” Ralph added. “It may cost money, but if it costs millions, and we have a final call, I think you’re in.”