A memo from the National Umpiring Director Peter Schwab to all umpires regarding the Deliberate Out of Bounds Rule (DOOB) has been leaked. Here it is in full.
FROM: National Umpiring Director
To: ALL UMPIRES
In recent weeks, the deliberate out of bounds rule has been the source of significant criticism from key stakeholders in the Football Marketplace of Ideas.
As a result, and to make your job easier, we have clarified the rule and added even more interpretation, the solution to all umpiring problems.
Here is the updated rule, to be applied from this round:
Law 15.6.1(c) A free kick shall be awarded against a player who:
- Intentionally kicks, handballs or forces the football over the boundary line, without the football being touched by another player.
The primary consideration in determining DOOB is the player’s intent or what mood the closest umpire is in at the time.
A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t rewarded DOOB for a while, just decide that the next ball out will be deliberate, then pause a long time when it happens for the drama and award it.
The below indicators can assist your decision-making process:
- Do you like the player or are they on the secret protected list?
- Has the player made a genuine skill error? If they have, don’t worry give a free against them anyway.
- Is the player kicking the ball off the ground under pressure? If so, the player will not be penalised unless it’s a critical moment in the game and the resulting free kick will significantly affect the outcome of the game.
- Is the player kicking the ball up the field to teammates, or is he kicking the up the ground with the intention of finding the boundary line? The ability to read minds comes in handy here, if you can’t do that, just take a wild stab.
- Did the ball travel past several opponents who could have picked it up but didn’t in the hope you’d pay deliberate? Then reward this as DOOB. It’s a wonderful look for the sport.
- Did the player dispose of the ball in a clever ruse of fumbling and even though it’s obviously deliberate you appreciated the acting skills? Then don’t pay a free.
- At least once a quarter, don’t reward an obvious DOOB to keep things interesting.
- If DOOB is awarded up the other end, wait until an identical situation occurs up your end, then make the polar opposite decision.
As always, Razor can interpret this rule based on the camera being on him and the theatrical potential of the moment.
A reminder, with Mark Evans leaving, the Hawthorn Special Treatment Loading is no longer in place.
DOOB is less science, more art. As always, we are not looking for consistency or fairness, our aim is uncertainty and confusion, transitioning to anger.
I hope this makes things more difficult for you.
Yours in confusion
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