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“I just can’t see that working”: Beveridge not a fan of Hardwick's bold umpiring suggestion


Luke Beveridge doesn’t see Damien Hardwick’s idea to better utilise umpires during games working.

The Richmond coach suggested training goal and boundary umpires and allowing them to pay free kicks in order to take work load off the field umpires, reduce the amount of running they need to do and put more eyes on incidents behind the ball.

"There's nine umpires on the ground – boundary umpires, goal umpires and (field umpires). We can use them better,” Hardwick told AFL Media.

"We've got some great umpires. I want these guys to be able to umpire until they're 50 or 60 years of age. At the moment they're done by 40 because they've got to run so far. There has to be a better way."

The Western Bulldogs coach however believes that change would lead to chaos on the field.

“No (I wouldn’t support that),” Beveridge told SEN Breakfast.

“I think one of the hardest things for the three field umpires is understanding who is making the decision.

“If you’ve got a boundary umpire, a goal umpire and a field umpire in the same vicinity, you could get three blokes making a decision and three different decisions at the same time.

“I just can’t see that working.”

Beveridge also hopes the AFL make some tweaks to the new man-on-the-mark rule before the 2021 season, believing it will simply be too hard to umpire.

“The umpires need to rub their tummy and pat their head at the same time with this rule,” he said.

“It’s like a gun fight on the streets of Tombstone, it’s whoever flinches first really.

“The umpire has to keep his eye on the player with the ball and the guy on the mark. It’s too hard to do that, so whoever moves first, it’s either play-on because the guy with the ball moves first, or it’s a 50-metre penalty if the guy on the mark moves first.

“My feedback was, it’s not about the ones they’ve paid, it’s the 15 to 20 during the game that they didn’t pay when they were there, whether it’s play-on or a 50-metre (penalty).

“You can’t actually umpire the rule to the letter that they’re trying to umpire it. They’ll have to bend and let the guy on the mark move a little bit, or it’s not going to work.

“If they don’t do that, the grandstands are going to fall down at the MCG with these 50-metre penalties.”

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