The Sunday Rub Team On Whether The Ump’s Mics Should Be Switched Off

Should they be off?

23 April 2017

Article heading image for The Sunday Rub Team On Whether The Ump’s Mics Should Be Switched Off

GWS defender Heath Shaw’s sledge to Tom Papley in the GWS v Sydney game last night has started a debate on how prevalent the use of umpire’s microphones should be in AFL coverage.

Shaw was heard making an offensive remark to Papley that was picked up by the nearby umpire’s mic, and has since apologised for the comment.

Many have suggested Shaw was a victim of the umpire’s mic feed being broadcast:


The Sunday Rub crew — Paul Roos, Wayne Carey and Wayne Schwass — had their own say on the issue ahead of the St Kilda v Geelong game today.

Roosy said that he would can the umpire’s mics if it were up to him.

“There’s no doubt the players have to be aware of it (the mics picking up their comments),” Roos said.

“I’m not saying it’s necessarily a bad thing for listeners or media people or whatever… I don’t find it that interesting.

“I’ve been involved in football, and I think it’s the most boring thing.”

Roos conceded he might not represent the average footy watcher on this issue, however.

“If I hear a player miced up and he’s running out on the ground before the game going ‘well done mate, good work mate,’ I find that completely boring,” Roos said.

“But I’m the wrong person to ask in terms of the entertainment value.”

Carey felt differently, saying that the umpire’s mics are just part of the game now.

“It’s the umpires miced up, it's the sounds of the game,” Carey said

“I guess we wanna hear the umpire and why they made a decision… now those mics unfortunately are gonna pick up players around them, that’s what the players have to be aware of.”

Duck broadly agreed with Roosy on the issue, but said he wouldn’t get rid of the umpire’s microphone feed.

“I think most supporters — and me as a person that sits up and talks about the game — I think listening to the umpire and hearing the decision they’ve made and the sounds of the game in and around it is interesting.

Wayne Schwass agreed that the mics should stay on.

“That’s the nature of the business, because this is an entertainment business,” Schwatta said.

“Part of playing football is the fact that there is the potential for these situations to happen.

“I actually like hearing… I love hearing players talk as a former player but also just as a punter who goes and sees a lot of footy.

“I just wish we could see the real stuff they talk about… some of the informative conversations that players have, as a former player that would be fantastic because I think that would take the game to a new level.

“But I respect the fact that you’re not going to allow that as a coach because it’s sensitive information.”

Listen to the full chat on the umpire’s mics here:

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