The Roar
The Roar



Diver Joe and that monster adjudicator

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Roar Rookie
12th July, 2021

Staging is a huge part of the game.

The connection to the umpire in Aussie rules is pretty emotional and robust.

They get told how to adjudicate constantly by virtually every single person at the ground. Often in high volumes and close proximity by our gifted Gods themselves.

They have the most difficult job in… hang on actually that’s not true. With so much grey area in rule interpretation, it’s pretty much an opinion job nine times out of ten.

It’s actually the easiest game in the world to umpire because you can’t really be wrong when the rules are so unclear.

It’s good for the controversy that is a monster slab of our emotional connection to the game. The umpires also play a huge role in society being maybe the only person in their lives where Aussies are allowed to express that little emotion called anger.

Clear your head and get back to work on Monday refreshed. It’s a cleansing of frustration on a national scale.

Andy Maher and Robert Murphy implore us to celebrate this venting as the true embodiment of our national character.

It’s important to be laughing at all the B/S and hooey while releasing our footy beast for its weekly feed. Yuk it up boys for however necessary the “Joie De Vivre” may be for one’s sanity there is a price to pay….. well maybe not.


Anyway back to Big Joe and his spectacular dives…

Leigh Mathews and AFL Football Manager aspirant Jimmy Bartel are in furious agreement that such dives are okay and that gamesmanship is to be acknowledged as just something all players use at various times.

The best ones can say they don’t and keep a straight face. Tim Lane is not amused, and yet he is constantly bemused by bluff and circumstance.

This is obvious to the true seekers of Aussie rules culture of play. The umpire is there to be bluffed for if you don’t do it to him he won’t respect you. The umpires instinctively know their role too is large part B/S and bluff.

The only time an umpire ever makes a mistake is the couple of times a year it’s mentioned in dispatches on a Monday morning by the AFL. Until then it’s all sheer conjecture and free advertising.


Yet we know they are pretty much stumbling around in the dark like all of us in respect to the subtleties of AFL adjudication. Razor Ray Chamberlain freely confesses to be befuddled by just how great is the variety of interpretations even just within the umpiring fraternity itself.

So back to Joe and his dive.

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It was a five out of ten at best and probably less than that. By moving upward to gain exposure he crossed the line from high drama to slapstick vaudeville.


His previous work was far more subtle and ultimately successful. Dive down Joe, down, or if you do dive up at least smile so we can all get in on the joke.

Apparently “a player is allowed to exaggerate movement” to show the umpire what is going on but such movement is not to be excessive.

That’s such a laugh that one and yet it’s kind of necessary. Every backman worth a piece of Mathew Lloyd’s grass knows that his art relies on little shoves, blocks and hidden grapples.

All that gamesmanship stuff that makes up all the B/S we love to hate … and yet applaud ninety seven point five per cent of the time.

The hypocrites we are.

So get up on your high horses and condemn Joe and his comical antics but only if it’s worth the effort for you and your team.

More importantly celebrate our beloved B/S and its monster adjudicators.