Adelaide Showdown Controversy Will Live On Indefinitely

The score review systems that were supposed to overcome human error and provide definitive proof or rejection of on-ground rulings seems to have created more problems than it has solved.

The most recent example to make it onto our highly fallible radar was during the Adelaide – Port Adelaide AFL match where a narrow win for the Crows has left a bad taste in the mouths of many, including Port Coach Ken Hinkley, who said that the score review system in place for the past 10 years is inadequate, although he did not say it quite as diplomatically.

The game winner was kicked by Crows’ key forward Josh Jenkins in Saturday night’s Showdown at the Adelaide Oval, with Jenkins telling Fox Footy that he thought his kick shave the inside of the post.

“My grandma taught me not to tell fibs; I thought it hit the post.”

Tom Hawkins hit the post with a kick in the 2009 AFL Grand Final between his Geelong Cats club and the St. Kilda Saints and the league went looking for a way to eliminate errors of this type, but they have yet to find anything incontrovertible, as the game Saturday night demonstrated all too clearly.

AFL 360 co-host Gerard Whately summed up the failure of technology to solve the issue succinctly, saying, “Ten years of failure wrapped into one moment as we just couldn’t tell if the ball hit the post or not.”

It would seem a simple matter to put a sensor or two in the post, something akin to the Cyclops system in tennis that provides replays of shots near the boundary lines.

Video review alone is not sufficient, as there are often instances where the distance and angles of the cameras do not provide the answers.

It has become almost a cliché refrain that lacking conclusive evidence, a controversial ruling is permitted to stand.

In the instance of this game, you had the player kicking the winning goal acknowledging that he thought the ball had hit the post, while an opposition player standing underneath the post reacted as though it had not.