AFL Goldfields has appointed a Match Review Panel of independent members who will assess trial by video incidents and make a joint decision if cases are to be referred to the Independent Tribunal for assessment.
- Who will sit on the Match Review Panel – The match review panel shall be made up of independent members who have no direct association with any club across any AFL Goldfields League. Match Review Panel members shall remain anonymous and there shall be no need for MRP members to ever have to attend a tribunal case. Their role will simply be to review incidents picked up by official League footage and make a decision to refer the incident to the tribunal based on AFL Victoria Country rules as outline on a report sheet. AFL Goldfields staff members have no involvement in adjudicating on or assessing Match Review Panel cases.
- How will the process work – Any officially nominated representative of an AFL Goldfields club (e.g President, Secretary, Senior Coach or Football Manager, or any other person so delegated with the authority by the Club), Officiating Umpire, Umpire Observer or AFL Goldfields staff member can request that the Match Review Panel look into a specific incident/s that did not result in an official report by the officiating Umpire/s.Requests to look at specific incidents need to pinpoint exactly when and where the incident may have occurred and at what stage of the match the incident took place. AFL Goldfields will then approach our Match Footage provider (with the information provided) and ask them to review the match footage to see if any footage of the alleged incident is available. If there is footage of the incident, a grab shall be sent to the Operations Manager of the league via email and the footage shall be edited to slow the incident down and replay it in several different speeds. This footage will then be forwarded on to the Match Review Panel who shall have a set amount of time to review the footage and determine whether or not the player involved may have a case to answer at the tribunal. AFL Victoria Country rules shall be used when referring the incident to the tribunal and a specific charge shall be nominated when the club is informed about the report. It is important to note that the Match Review Panel shall take no part in deciding the outcome of the case. This decision shall be left to the Independent Tribunal. The MRP are simply determining if a player/official may have a case to answer.
- What if members on Match Review Panel cannot agree on a decision to refer a case to the Tribunal – The Match Review Panel shall consist of an odd number of people to ensure there is always a majority rules result.
- What are the benefits of the match review panel system – AFL Goldfields is of the view that the officiating Umpires do a fantastic job, but understandably they do not have a 360° view of every incident, and as such they may not always see every indiscretion on the ground. Sometimes their view is impeded by players & sometimes they may be caught on the “blind side”. Where footage is made available – under the auspices of the Match Review Panel - any alleged acts that may have been missed by the Umpire/s and have been captured by video, incidents shall be referred to the Match Review Panel for review. AFL Goldfields does not apologise for using this technology if it means that players who transgress outside the spirit of the AFL Victoria Country Rules are made accountable for their actions. Providing a process where incidents caught on camera are referred to the Tribunal by a panel of independent members reduces the need for clubs to request investigations which take significant time to complete and only end up costing clubs both financially and physically through further requirements for volunteers to prepare reports and go through an extensive interview process. Having the ability to refer cases directly to the Tribunal means that cases can be dealt with in a timely manner at a minimal cost to everyone involved.
- How will clubs be informed a charge has been laid by the Match Review Panel - The league’s Operations Manager will inform clubs if a request to review footage has been received as soon as they possibly can. This early indication is merely to give clubs the heads up that footage is being reviewed and a referral to the tribunal may eventuate. Once the Match Review Panel has made their decision clubs shall be informed officially via email of the charge the player is subject to by the close of business on the first business day following the match the incident took place in or on the same day the incident was requested to be reviewed. Should the case be referred to the Tribunal, Clubs will then be contacted via phone and informed what time the case will be heard.
- Can set penalties still apply for charges laid by the Match Review Panel - Yes set penalties may still apply for charges laid by the Match Review Panel provided all normal criteria is met and both clubs and the league are satisfied a set penalty may be offered. It is important to note that the League Operations Manager shall determine if a player is eligible to accept a set penalty or not. This process does not differ to when set penalties are offered normally. If a set penalty is available, the club shall be informed with the email notification that the charge has been laid.
- Will the footage be made available for review by clubs prior to the Tribunal case - Yes, all parties will be forwarded a copy of the footage with the email informing clubs of the Match Review Panel’s decision. Footage shall not be distributed if the Match Review Panel decides there is no case to answer to. AFL Goldfields feels the implementation of a Match Review Panel will continue to assist us in making sure we are doing everything possible to provide a safe environment for players within our competition and will also assist with making sure the workload of club volunteers is minimal by reducing the need for investigations.
- Deadline for Match Review Panel Requests - Clubs have until 12pm on the Tuesday following a round of matches to request an incident be assessed by the Match Review Panel. Clubs who feel they may have trouble meeting this deadline may apply for a 24 hour extension to provide them with enough time to review the footage however clubs need to apply for this extension in writing by emailing the Operations Manager of the league requesting such an extension be granted. No incidents shall be reviewed by the panel following this deadline or past the time extension should it be granted. Clubs still have the option of requesting an investigation should they feel the incident is serious enough to look into however AFL Victoria Country rules and deadlines also still apply (refer to the AFL Victoria Country handbook for timelines). This deadline has been introduced to ensure cases are heard in the same week the incident occurs.
- Fees for Match Review Panel Requests – AFL Goldfields will also implement the following fees structure for match review panel incidents:
- If an MRP case is requested and the MRP determines there is no case to answer to, the club who requested the case to be reviewed will be charged a $200 fee.
- If an MRP case is requested and the MRP refers the case to the Tribunal then the following shall apply:
- If the reported player(s) is found guilty, the club of the guilty player shall be charged a $200 fee.
- If the reported player(s) is found not guilty, the club requesting the case shall be charged the $200 fee.
If the MRP determine a player may have a case to answer and the set penalty applies, the reported player may accept the set penalty and the club of the guilty player shall be charged a $200 fee.
Match Review Panel fees are to be invoiced and retained by the League in which the player competes in.
10. Appeals – There is no avenue of appeal against a decision made by the Match Review Panel simply because that opportunity is available should a case move through the Tribunal process and an outcome has been determined. This is the point where a club may appeal the outcome of the Tribunal hearing.