Umpires to get tough on back chat.

Abuse of an umpire can take several forms, but common examples include:

1. Incessant questioning of decisions, 

2. Audible calling of the game,

3. Personal insults and

4. Threats.

An umpire can respond to such action by awarding a free kick to the opposition at a point on the ground which gives them maximum advantage, imposing a 50-m penalty if a free kick has already been imposed, removing a player from the ground, or reporting a player, or both. A player who practices such tactics is plain dumb, as he will penalise his side, not only for the immediate incident, but umpires will look less favourably on  tenuous incidents.  Smart players will read how the umpire interprets the rules and play to their advantage. Coaches and captains are encouraged to discipline their players. Visiting umpires and new players are shocked at the amount of back chat that comes from AFL players in Canterbury. Umpires are only human; treat them with respect and you will be doing yourself and your team a geat favour.

Rule close up: Kicking in danger

There is actually no such rule, but this is an expression used by most umpires to describe rule 15.4.5 (m) "kicking or attempting to kick the ball in a manner likely to cause injury"

At the top level, this rule is rarely invoked. A player who stabs at the ball in a safe manner is unlikely to cause injury, whereas a player who lifts his leg is more likely to make contact with the arm or head of surrouning players. Just because a player cries "kicking in danger" doesn't mean the umpire will see it that way. Many players in the AFL will kick the ball clear of a pack to create space. A player who smothers the ball being kickd by an opposition player is not entitled to be paid a free kick as he has placed his hand in a potentially dangerous zone as a secondary action.


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