'Above average': Iconic AFL umpire dismisses 'lopsided' controversy

Chris Young
·Sports Reporter
·2-min read
Veteran AFL umpire Ray Chamberlain is pictured on the ground during round four of the 2020 AFL season.
Veteran AFL umpire Ray Chamberlain has defended himself and his colleagues as criticism of the state of umpiring continues. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Veteran AFL umpire Ray Chamberlain has dismissed criticism of the lopsided free kick count in last weekend clash between Geelong and Collingwood.

‘Razor Ray’ as Chamberlain is affectionately known, said a standard review of the match had shown the free kick count, which was 22-10 in favour of the Magpies, arguably should have been even more lop-sided.

'JUDGE SO QUICKLY': WAG slams claims of $3 million 'holiday'

SPEAK OUT: Father details Shane Tuck's devastating struggle

Fans were left frustrated by the free kick count, but Chamberlain said it was too simplistic to simply point at the tally of free kicks for each team and draw concrete conclusions.

“We had a very good night from an umpiring perspective,” Chamberlain told SEN’s Gerard Whateley.

“I know there are things in particular that a fan through that lens might find alarming.

“So initially the first thing that hit my SMS was a lopsided free kick count.

“I think it was 22 to 10 to Collingwood. Now, on review after having all of our assessment that number was meant to look more like 25-8.

“Sometimes games are incredibly imbalanced in how those things happen.”

‘Razor’ Ray Chamberlain confident in umpires

Chamberlain said every AFL game was different, depending on the conditions, the teams playing and their style of play.

With the rules around holding the ball generating weekly controversy, Chamberlain said there were three such decisions in the Magpies’ win over Geelong that were erroneous, but that by and large, he was satisfied with their performance.

“In some games we may only pay 20 free kicks. In some games we pay 50 because some games are played in a contested manner and some aren’t, different game styles, all sorts of things that get thrown up.

Ray Chamberlain is pictured gesturing while umpiring an AFL match.
Ray Chamberlain says the umpiring performance in last week's Collingwood v Geelong clash was 'above average'. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

“Holding the ball was one thing, we had three holding the ball errors in our game on Thursday night.

“It wasn’t the biggest issue for us. We had a couple of other issues around some marking contest situations, but overall from a decisional perspective, Thursday night we had a good night.

“We had an above average night in terms of our accuracy.”