THE AFL has reached out to both Adelaide and St Kilda in order to address a series of incorrect umpiring decisions during Monday night's clash at the Adelaide Oval.
Both coaches were asked to respond to the officiating after St Kilda's 23-point win, with Saints coach Brett Ratten conceding it would be "pretty hard to be a ball player and put your hands on it" given the current interpretation of the holding the ball rule as it stands.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the League's football operations manager Steve Hocking described a series of calls during the game as "missed or unwarranted", and looked to provide clarity around how the holding the ball rule should be officiated this season.
"We acknowledge there were decisions in last night's game that were either missed or unwarranted free kicks and we will continue to work towards ensuring stronger consistency in decision making, particularly with regards to holding the ball decisions," Hocking said.
"Earlier this season, we identified a number of instances where players failed to make a genuine attempt to dispose of the football when legally tackled and should have been penalised for holding the ball (no genuine attempt). This was then communicated to clubs with the following description:
Where a player is in possession of the football and has not had prior opportunity, a field umpire shall award a free kick if the player is able to, but does not, make a genuine attempt to correctly dispose of the football when legally tackled.
"Like many people in our game, umpires have made significant sacrifices to keep the game going for all fans across the country, including moving interstate at short notice for extended periods of times, and we thank them for their professionalism and commitment throughout this unprecedented season."