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Speaker: Play by Discretion

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  • Paul Campbell,

    all this talk of relative ball motion and refs just makes one wonder what happens when they all start moving close to the speed of light .....

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2074 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Irvine,

    Here's a good example of a forward / not forward pass from Andrew Merthens (I was at this game BTW, it looked OK to me. From end on).

    Watch also for nasty Lawrence Dillaglio kneeing Lomu well after he touched down.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 241 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Whoops. Just fixed the blockquote formatting there.

    But yeah, the relativity argument about forward passes will never die.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18709 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    This training video found by Sideline Mike encourages referees in Australia to ignore the official idea of the rule and instead go with their relative observation.

    Yeah, I've seen that too. Didn't know it wasn't consistent with the rules but... what a surprise!

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2209 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    As far as Collingwood goes, at least he did apologise after the match. I suspect that's a damn sight more than, say, Ponting would do.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    all this talk of relative ball motion and refs just makes one wonder what happens when they all start moving close to the speed of light .....

    As player speed reaches c (the speed of light) everyone will look like they are playing for Wales/Tonga or France/Samoa (due to red/blueshift) depending on which way they are heading.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    So when English captain Paul Collingwood did not withdraw the appeal the New Zealand camp was furious.

    And thanks to Mark Richardson for reminding us that we're not only sinned against...

    Richardson was referring to an incident in 2006 when, in a test match against Sri Lanka, Brendon McCullum ran out Muttiah Muralitharan while he was walking down the pitch to celebrate Kumar Sangakkara scoring a century.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2209 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Richardson was referring to an incident in 2006 when, in a test match against Sri Lanka, Brendon McCullum ran out Muttiah Muralitharan while he was walking down the pitch to celebrate Kumar Sangakkara scoring a century.

    I was glad someone mentioned that, because that seemed to me to be worse than what Sidebottom did. It may be that Vettori has a different ethos for his team than Fleming did, and really wouldn't have made the same call that Collingwood did in his position, but I dunno.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4340 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Emma; first of all Sidebottom did nothing wrong; it was an accident. The issue is whether KP should’ve then run him out, and whether Collingwood should have gone through with the appeal. In the past even Brett Lee has refused to run someone out after a collision.

    The Murali incident was the fielding side taking advantage of the batsman’s stupidity.

    In the Elliot case it was the fielding side taking advantage of an unfortunate accident.

    A subtle distinction, perhaps, but in the unwritten spirit of the game, it’s a significant one.

    Where NZ lost the moral high ground, however, was in the embarrassingly petulant display on the balcony.



    RI, Dillaglio didn’t knee Lomu; he was looking for cocaine. :)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Grant Dexter,

    Professional cricket has less and less room for the notion of "the spirit of the game". If there were any spirit in the game then people would be motivated by it. Instead the only motivation left is what can be gained for oneself. The spirit of the game is constantly being legislated away. With each new penalty for over rates or behaviour or something equally ridiculous the freedom of expression that any sport thrives on is being turned into another set of rules by which we must conduct ourselves.

    Collingwood acted correctly and Vettori is crying like a little baby. Easily evidenced by the fact that he bases his reaction on the outcome. If there is injustice then it deserves addressing regardless of the result and New Zealand's approach to the game, where they constantly push the letter of the law and further erode the spirit, is only helping to destroy tradition, fair-play, gentlemanly conduct and any respect they might have earned.

    Taipei, Taiwan • Since Mar 2007 • 256 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Emma; first of all Sidebottom did nothing wrong; it was an accident.

    I saw some suggestion, early in the day before I'd seen film of the incident that either a)Sidebottom had deliberately got in Elliot's way, or b) once he'd hit him, he held onto him for a couple of seconds. There was a still up at The Guardian of Sidebottom with his hands on Elliot's waist. But yes, once I'd seen the vision, I entirely agree with you, he'd done nothing wrong.

    It's worth noting, too, that the English cricket crowd still appear to be big supporters of the spirit of the game. They booed their own team, and I wonder how many Kiwis would do that.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4340 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    With each new penalty for over rates or behaviour or something equally ridiculous the freedom of expression that any sport thrives on is being turned into another set of rules by which we must conduct ourselves.

    Please. If players didn't cynically knobble their bowling rates to cripple the opposition, there would be no need for formal regulation of over rates. You're confusing cause and effect.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Where NZ lost the moral high ground, however, was in the embarrassingly petulant display on the balcony.

    It might not have been on the moral high ground, but I don't think you can fault them for reacting in the heat of the moment. And it did have high amusement value. My fiance doesn't even like sport and he was still trying to find a clip which he could slow down to see what Vettori was really saying.

    I really don't see in cases like this why they just don't institute a contact rule: cricket is a non-contact sport, contact between runner and fielder/bowler makes it a dead ball. It'd save fuss in cases like this and I can't think of an easy way for anyone to use it to their advantage.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    Professional cricket has less and less room for the notion of "the spirit of the game". If there were any spirit in the game then people would be motivated by it. Instead the only motivation left is what can be gained for oneself. The spirit of the game is constantly being legislated away

    Yes and no. Most of the game’s dramas, like that Indian – Aus soap opera from earlier in the year, are all about the spirit of the game.


    BTW, I think slow over-rates are a genuine blight on the game, in all forms.

    I’m not disagreeing with you re Vettori though.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    all this talk of relative ball motion and refs just makes one wonder what happens when they all start moving close to the speed of light .....

    Wait a minute...if they are traveling at or close to the speed of light and then they throw it forward then the ball will be going faster than the speed of light (much like the old "train" thought problem).

    Basically: any speed added to c (the speed of light) equals c. This means that as the players reach the speed o light they can never throw a forward pass as the ball can never travel faster than them with respect to (or "wrt" as we used to write) the ground.

    So if the Flash ever played rugby he would only ever throw flat line balls.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • Hadyn Green,

    My fiance doesn't even like sport and he was still trying to find a clip which he could slow down to see what Vettori was really saying.

    I think it's pretty clear at full speed. Slowed down it would be "FFFFFAAAAARRRRKKKKYYYWWUUUU" :)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2081 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    The balcony scenes were fantastic. A cross between the football terraces and a mosh pit.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 718 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I really don't see in cases like this why they just don't institute a contact rule: cricket is a non-contact sport, contact between runner and fielder/bowler makes it a dead ball. It'd save fuss in cases like this and I can't think of an easy way for anyone to use it to their advantage.

    I presume they don't have such a rule, as if the bowler was trying to field the ball (as compared to just his follow through), he shouldn't be obliged to get out of the way. But neither should the batsman. In that instance if there was a collision, I could understand the batsman ending up out.

    But this looked to me like Sidebottom running where he shouldn't have been, and not watching the batsman, who surely had right of way given that the ball was no where near the bowler.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6162 posts Report Reply

  • Grant Dexter,

    Please. If players didn't cynically knobble their bowling rates to cripple the opposition, there would be no need for formal regulation of over rates. You're confusing cause and effect.

    I understand why they introduced the rules regarding over rates, but it will always be impossible to legislate against the inner workings of a captain's mind. Rules are black and white things (by definition). When you try to make laws that determine a player's intent then it restricts freedom. In order to limit the damage the over rate rules have conditions and exceptions written into them to excuse captains in certain situations. But of course we will never be able to judge what his intent was.

    If I am to make a point then it will be this: A rule must describe a particular behaviour or action as unacceptable. It should never describe an intent as unacceptable. A player should be held accountable to the spirit of the game because of the freedom the game offers. The rules will never ensure a players freedom of expression.

    Taipei, Taiwan • Since Mar 2007 • 256 posts Report Reply

  • Grant Dexter,

    Yes and no. Most of the game’s dramas, like that Indian – Aus soap opera from earlier in the year, are all about the spirit of the game.

    What spirit was upheld there? All I saw were more rules against things we can say on the pitch. We aren't allowed to call people monkeys now? I enjoyed the fight, but the draconian measures in order to "stamp out" people's freedom to act like 4 year olds is ridiculous.

    BTW, I think slow over-rates are a genuine blight on the game, in all forms.

    Sure. I don't think rules against over rates are wrong. I just see no way that they can be used to determine intent.

    Taipei, Taiwan • Since Mar 2007 • 256 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    One warm fuzzy for your Friday: I can't recall a sport controversy where there was a lower correlation between nationality/allegiance and opinion. In rugby it's usually close to 100%. But on this one there is a widespread view in England that Collingwood was wrong, and quite a few (though fewer?) Kiwis who don't think our lot would have done anything different. Craig McMillan, as feisty as anybody when he played, was commentating on BBC radio when it happened, and said that he couldn't think of any current international captain who would have recalled Elliot.

    Footnote: when there's A Big Talking Point, everything else gets forgotten. Like Elliot running out his partner Styris and starting a mini-collapse from a winning position. He was lucky he stayed out there and became the victim, or we'd all be blaming him for yet another implosion in sight of victory.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 718 posts Report Reply

  • LegBreak,

    The only thing that is not intent is stoppages for things like ball changes / injuries / changing sightscreens / spanking streakers etc, and that time is taken off now. The rest is up to pure time management; there’s enough time to get through the overs.

    There was more than the name-calling during the Soap Opera. There were people getting upset that Michael Clarke, for example, was lying about claiming catches.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1162 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    simon g, thanks for the backstory - McMillan's comments are very interesting and I'd missed most the NZ innings so didn't know about any of the earlier wickets... I did however see McCullum get out to a remarkably wide ball that he chased with his bat and not feet!

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2209 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Irvine,

    I'm wondering WWTAD? (What Would The Aussies Do?). Here's what I reckon by captain:

    Greg Chappell - I trust this guy as far as I can throw him off a tall, tall building, so yes
    Kim Hughes - No
    Allan Border - No
    Mark Taylor - No
    Steve Waugh - No, but he'd have been sorely tempted
    Ricky Ponting - If playing India, yes, otherwise no

    As for the Black Caps, the balcony swear-fest, while entertaining was just... not very classy.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 241 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    In that instance if there was a collision, I could understand the batsman ending up out.

    Make it no contact where the ball is not involved, then? In reality, probably too much effort to sort out something which just doesn't happen all that often.

    I have to say I thought that the comparison to the underarm incident on the news was a bit far-fetched, too; that was malicious, this was a bit unsporting but, I think, not deliberately so. And surely by now we have other cricket scandals to call up when trying to invoke the atmosphere of bad sportsmanship.

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

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