AFL to abolish Match Review Panel in 2018

Stirling Coates Roar Guru

By Stirling Coates, Stirling Coates is a Roar Guru

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    AFL football boss Steve Hocking has today told media that the league will abandon the match review panel format in 2018, instead appointing Collingwood premiership player Michael Christian as a sole match review officer.

    Much-maligned over recent years by football fans for supposed inconsistency and poor understanding of the nature of the game, the match review panel was previously the independent body assigned to combing match footage for reportable offences and subsequently issuing penalties.

    But today, general manager of football Steve Hocking announced – alongside a number of sweeping changes to the disciplinary system – that the panel would be scrapped, with longtime MRP member and former Channel 10 commentator Michael Christian to take the reins as match review officer.

    Where the MRP was an independent body, Christian will report directly to Hocking and the AFL and will be also be made more widely available to media inquiries than the somewhat-opaque MRP was.

    Christian will consult directly with Hocking before issuing any penalties, but the process will reportedly take far less time than it did previously.

    Hocking claimed this move would help make the match review process far more understandable for the general public.

    “Through the recent 2017 season there was regular public uncertainty on the rationale for key decisions, with only a small number of incidents receiving an explanation or assessed via a full open examination at the AFL Tribunal,” he said.

    In order to encourage more tribunal challenges in 2018, the AFL will also remove the penalty reduction for an early guilty plea, meaning players won’t be punished on the field for challenging their suspension.

    Failed appeals will, however, incur a $10,000 club fine that will come out of the their football department spending cap.

    Other changes to the disciplinary process were announced in Hocking’s conference, including a general increase in all fines for low-level offences and automatic fines for staging, but a removal of the one-match suspension issued for receiving three fines in a season.

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    The Crowd Says (24)

    • Roar Guru

      December 14th 2017 @ 3:03pm
      AdelaideDocker said | December 14th 2017 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

      Good stuff. I feel like these are some much-needed improvements. I particularly like the removal of lengthier suspensions for failed appeals – that always felt a bit unnecessary and somewhat harsh, in my eyes.

      Automatic fines for staging will be fun, though.

      • Roar Guru

        December 14th 2017 @ 3:10pm
        Stirling Coates said | December 14th 2017 @ 3:10pm | ! Report

        Definitely need to nip any staging in the bud.

      • December 14th 2017 @ 4:20pm
        spruce moose said | December 14th 2017 @ 4:20pm | ! Report

        “I particularly like the removal of lengthier suspensions for failed appeals”

        I hate that part. It undermines the point of the process. Now it will be risk free appealing…$10,000 is nothing for some clubs.

        You needed the risk of an increased penalty – that’s what the legal system is like too.

    • Roar Guru

      December 14th 2017 @ 3:11pm
      Cat said | December 14th 2017 @ 3:11pm | ! Report

      They had to remove the 3 fines and your suspended part after it became obvious they wouldn’t give a third fine to certain star players that deserved them.

    • Roar Guru

      December 14th 2017 @ 3:17pm
      Cat said | December 14th 2017 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

      – CHARGES from Thursday and Friday night games will be laid within 24 hours

      – Cases referred directly to the Tribunal will attract at least a three-week suspension save for exceptional circumstances.

      – Automatic loading for players with bad records has been scrapped.

      1st fine = $3k
      2nd fine = $5k
      3rd fine = $8k

    • December 14th 2017 @ 3:24pm
      Birdman said | December 14th 2017 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

      will Christian actually watch every single game to find incidents for review or does he get a package of incidents from the media outlets?

      Other than that it seems worth trying.

      • Roar Pro

        December 15th 2017 @ 9:07am
        Darren McSweeney said | December 15th 2017 @ 9:07am | ! Report

        That’s always been the issue that I’ve seen. The MRP only ever seemed to pick up the incidents that were talked about by the media ad nauseum.

        There were rarely incidents that were discovered during the MRP.

        There were multiple occasions during the year, where an incident was shown on camera in play, but the commentators didn’t notice, didn’t care, or thought there was nothing in it. The MRP never seemed to pick those up.

      • Roar Guru

        December 15th 2017 @ 4:17pm
        Peter the Scribe said | December 15th 2017 @ 4:17pm | ! Report

        Absolutely worth trying Birdman, an ex Pie premiership player in charge means we may finally get the rub of the green. Now, if we can just get Chrisso judging mark of the year too. πŸ™‚

    • December 14th 2017 @ 3:35pm
      Doctor Rotcod said | December 14th 2017 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

      You’d think he might be glazed over by the end of eighteen hours of watching every round

      The commentators’ bias will have to be discounted and extra footage invited from the public…

      I don’t think one man’s view will necessarily be enough.

      Still worth a try

      • Roar Guru

        December 14th 2017 @ 3:53pm
        Cat said | December 14th 2017 @ 3:53pm | ! Report

        No mention that he’d be the only one looking for incidents, only that he will be the sole adjudicator (with approval from Hocking).

    • December 14th 2017 @ 3:43pm
      Mattician6x6 said | December 14th 2017 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

      Worth a try and thankfully means we don’t have to listen to Bartel stammer his way thru match review question anymore

      • Roar Guru

        December 14th 2017 @ 3:54pm
        Cat said | December 14th 2017 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

        He quit before last season concluded anyway.

        • December 14th 2017 @ 4:06pm
          Mattician6x6 said | December 14th 2017 @ 4:06pm | ! Report

          I know, would consider it was a push but each to his own.

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