‘Deliberate’ out of bounds is a rule that remains a point of contention in the AFL, with the free kick stirring fans up every single game.
The interpretation of the rule came under fire during Richmond’s win over Brisbane, with Andy Maher taking to Twitter calling it “a nonsense”.
AFL umpire Ray Chamberlain however believes the issue is with the naming of the rule as much as anything.
“It’s an interesting word (deliberate), I’m a big believer that words are quite powerful, deliberate out of bounds, I’m not sure it’s the right term,” he told *SEN’s Whateley.
Chamberlain explained how umpires have been told to officiate the rule and how it goes beyond deliberately attempting to get the ball out of bounds.
“So, the guidelines that we’re given now is that the player with the football, or who’s handballing the football, knocking the football, kicking the football, they have to demonstrate a sufficient intent to keep the ball in play,” he said.
“The guts of it is if they’re looking to kill the ball, they put themselves in a position where they could incur a free kick.
“We know that it is a dynamic game, 360 degree pressure, it’s an oval football, the field is an oval, so at some point if it doesn’t go through the goals it will go out of bounds, because it’s not like a forever straight line.
“There’s all these different variables that need to be weighed up at any given moment, but the overarching principle is the onus is on the player with the footy to demonstrate a sufficient intent to keep it in play. That’s the guiding principle.”
Retired AFL umpire Matthew Head said similarly on Twitter during the game.
The rule is worded wrong, it’s not ‘deliberate’, it should be ‘should have tried something else’. These decisions are getting marked as correct.— Matt Head (@MattHead__) August 4, 2020