Referees are not the problem
The referees are not perfect. The current officiating in relation to the shepherd rule is, clearly, a mess, to cite a primary example.
Yes, there is consistency yet to be achieved in certain areas; referees are making calls and then sending it upstairs, much to the consternation of players.
The video refs, even with all the trappings of modern technology and (clearly) unlimited time to adjudicate, still manage to get it wrong occasionally.
But there’s something worse than the worst mistakes a referee can make.
That is the legion of idiots constantly complaining about the referees.
Add up the number of meaningful errors referees make in the course of a round, mistakes that are indisputable which, all by themselves, dramatically alter the course of a game.
Is it too high? Maybe. But I’m not sure. And neither is anybody else right now. They’re too busy yelling to intelligently assess the situation.
Now we have those same bullies calling for a ‘challenge’ system. Okay, so now we’ve got two refs, a video ref and a captain weighing in on decisions. I think the lead cheerleader from the home team should also get a say.
It’s time to stand up to these people. It’s time for Jamie Lyon, Michael Ennis and the rest of the mug captains who question a ref’s cholesterol level to stop challenging every puny little decision and get back in the line.
The concept of a shepherd has become more complex because teams’ patterns and decoy plays have become faster and more nuanced. The refs haven’t quite caught up. But with good administration and a thoughtful approach they’ll figure it out.
Referees should have the ability to change their rulings upon review with their colleagues. They will design the best protocol with which to execute this.
None of this is a big deal. Players and coaches with limited imaginations and fragile egos have been blaming the referees for their teams’ failings since league was first played in ancient Greece, over two millennia ago.
The referees do a fair job. They could do better. They’re working on it. In the meantime, I have something to tell the knee-jerk, bullying naysayers.
Enjoy the superb games being played. Stop bullying those who wear pink. And tell Jamie Lyon to shut up.
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