Just for kicks

The weekend before last, in Round 17 of the Northern Tasmanian Football League, a player was reported and red carded for kicking a player to the head while he was on the ground.

The two umpires who separately reported the player informally described the incident as a ten out of ten for gravity – the worst they had seen while umpiring.

The player kicked is possibly the most targeted player in the league because he is a good player and feisty. He recently represented Tasmania (for the second time in consecutive years) in an under 23 team. He is a leader in the two major media awards and no doubt in the umpire-voted Darrel Baldock Medal favourites.

He left the ground semi-conscious with concussion and could not return. He missed a crunch match last Saturday where a double chance was up for grabs. In essence the player was taken out for two games with no assurance it will not be more.

The player reported pleaded guilty at the tribunal. His club stated publicly that it would not defend the charge. They said that they would support the player but not the action.

At the tribunal hearing the player was given a five week suspension. The Umpires association appealed but there is no provision in the Northern Tasmanian Football League rules for any party except the player suspended to appeal. That is unlikely.

As a parent of a player who in the past has been targeted with head high hits, with at least one such assault season ending, I am just a little concerned with what promises to be a keenly fought finals series in the Northern Tasmanian Football League there may be more targeting of players as it is obvious that the independent tribunal is soft on such incidents as illustrated by their unprecedented five week suspension for deliberately kicking a player in the head.


  1. Hi Phantom, this is truly awful to read, and it should have been more like out for a year or more..What the hell is happening, if a player is down, you leave them be. The current terminology is brain fade, but what does that mean, that all sense of right and wrong disappear in a game of footy. Even Selwoods go at his brother who was down was unnecessary. If the head is sacrosanct then the the rules and penalties need to reflect that.

    May your boys be safe.


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