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AFL umpire Ray Chamberlain in the dark over finals omission

AFL umpire Ray Chamberlain says he has not been told why he’s been dropped for the rest of the season, more than 12 months after officiating the grand final.

Known as ‘Razor Ray’, he is arguably the most recognisable whistleblower in the game, but he will not feature in this week’s preliminary finals, meaning he will also not be in contention to officiate in the season decider.

Speaking on SEN this morning, Chamberlain said he knew mid-afternoon on Monday when he got a phone call telling him he’d been dropped.

“I’ve been around long enough, I’ve umpired in the AFL for 16 years and I’ve been a part of 14 years of finals, so I’ve sort of been here before,” he said.

“There isn’t probably an experience that I’m ignorant to around that. Sometimes you’re the hammer and sometimes you’re the nail.

“You do prepare yourself because ultimately you’re not in control of decisions that have to be made.

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“We’ve got six of our teammates that are left and the following week there will only be three. For me, there was always that chance. You have to ready yourself for that.”

Chamberlain denied it was his inconsistent bouncing, which had come under criticism this finals series, which had cost him the chance of a grand final.

Umpire Ray Chamberlain is arguably the most recognisable official in the AFL.
Camera IconUmpire Ray Chamberlain is arguably the most recognisable official in the AFL. Credit: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

“No, I don’t think directly,” he said when asked about the bounce.

“I think we have a tendency to catastrophise certain things and I’m not just talking about umpiring or bouncing or a free-kick here or there. I think just in general.

“We get to 11 out of 10 real quick on just about every issue you can think of.

“Career-wise I probably go at about 85 per cent contestability with bouncing. It’s not my one wood. Season 2020 I was 92 per cent, above where I normally sit.”

Chamberlain said he expected to find out why he was dropped on Friday during his exit interview.

“I’ve stayed out of the coaches’ grill now because they’ve got work to do, we’ve got three games to go our team,” he said.

“All 34 of us in one way, shape or form have a responsibility to support and get those three games done.”

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