Umpiring is a tricky job; but there’s definitely an upside

Australian umpire Simon Taufel in action (India Today)

Australian umpire Simon Taufel in action (India Today)

I don’t envy the job sport referees, umpires and judges have.  They must make split second decisions under pressure, and they make them numerous times in a game.

Being able to make these decisions is a burden unto itself.  Faced with two teams on the field, the umpire must be the principle instigator of ensuring said teams play the game in a fair and sportsmenlike manner.  At times you are faced with player arguments, heated battles and a lot of noise directed towards you.

As a (rookie) cricket umpire myself, for the Box Hill Reporter District Cricket Association*, I have experienced all of these situations under a range of “game circumstances”. Continue reading

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AFL: Crackdown on troubling issues needs to step up a gear

Sportsbet logo (sourced from Google Images)

Sportsbet logo (sourced from Google Images)

It does not matter whether it is to do with racism, betting, or ensuring player welfare.  The AFL has been standing in shadows for too long, poking at straws in an effort to either eradicate or limit the impact of these issues.

Today’s game is absolutely saturated with live in game odds, posters plastered on shop fronts (and on social media) and almost anywhere you can think of.  Prime Minister Julia Gillard yesterday announced that the advertisement of betting odds would be prohibited doing the broadcast of live sports matches – a big step in the right direction. Continue reading

Cricket: Australian Champions Trophy 2013 Squad Preview

ICC CT13 Logo (from thenewstribe.com)

ICC CT13 Logo (from thenewstribe.com)

It’s almost “the battle before the Ashes“.  Australia will be in England from June 3-23 for the very last installment of the ICC Champions Trophy.  If you wanted Ashes preparation, this is it.

While a few players in the Champions Trophy squad will not be participating in the coveted test series, a fair majority of the team will have several matches to adjust to both the playing and weather conditions in England.  Perhaps not outright favourites for the Ashes, Australia still boasts a very good one day record at the tournament, and will be looking to secure another piece of silverware.

The following is a look at each player in the squad and how they can help Australia to victory: Continue reading

AFL: Essendon v Brisbane Lions: Round 8 Preview

Essendon Football Club

Essendon Football Club (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Overview

Essendon and the Lions are sitting at polar opposite positions on the ladder.  The Bombers have found a rejuvenated strength and belief in 2013, culminating in six victories in the first seven rounds, losing only to powerhouse team Geelong.  The Lions just have not found the gear that they shifted into during the pre-season, and it has proved costly.

Running the ball down the ground, and an incredibly solid backline have been key assets to the Bombers roaring start to the season.  By finding space and not giving their opponents a chance, there is a huge belief in the red and black army.

Have a look at the Lions, and recent weeks have had “danger” written all over them.  There is huge potential on the list, but not being able to stay with opponents for a full game and being caught in defence has caused Michael Voss‘ tenure to become somewhat fragile.
Continue reading

AFL: Where to now – Brisbane Lions

Matthew Kruezer battles it out at Etihad with his opponent, June 2011 (photo mine)

Matthew Kruezer battles it out at Etihad with his opponent, June 2011 (photo mine)

Pressure has come down on the Brisbane Lions like a building would on a footpath.

After their excellent NAB Cup campaign (which ended in the Lions winning the silverware), the season proper has seen a turnaround and letdown on expectations.

The strong side that displayed courage and intensity has been lacking in the first five rounds, and it has certainly put coach Michael Voss under the knife. Continue reading