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11-20-2003, 10:04 PM
Spankatola Jamnuts*
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: ...sucka?
Country: United States
Posts: 10,982
vCash: 500
Diving in general

I think diving is a big problem in the league because it's so effective. The anachronistic officiating culture that has carried over from the days of Yore has created a bunch of See-No-Evil morons in stripes such that they believe that the worse a play looks, the worse it must be, without trying to apply any meaningful rationale to the situation.

It's all about image. Someone went down so something happened. You can see the same influence in the penalty hierarchy of high-sticking: 2 mins, 4 if there's icky blood, and 5 if there's some real oomph behind the infraction, regardless of how dangerous the play may have been prima facie. Another example is the idea of attempted spearing or butt-ending; these are supposedly so dangerous that even if you miss, just the stick motion is supposed to be enough to get you 2 minutes. But it's never called, can't be called in the current culture because no one's face down on the ice twitching if you miss.

The impression that I get is that the officials are either overwhelmed such that they're just reacting or they're complacent (which is what I lean towards). The league has penalties on the books for diving but the on-ice guys are either unwilling or unable to apply them properly. I think it's probably a bit of both.

I'd like to see a radical change in the state of officiating. I'd like to remove referees from the ice entirely and have the game officiated from the upstairs booths. They'd be more able to watch replays, keep an eye on everyone, hell you could even give them their own cameras and angles that they could control. A delayed penalty could be indicated by a light or a noise or something, or could be communicated by radio to the linesmen (who I'd definitely keep on the ice - two guys on the ice isn't as bad as four and they'd be needed to interpose themselves in altercations). Play could be under review at all times, and things that were missed previously could be called. Why? Because the players aren't dogs; if you wait a few minutes to rub their noses in it they'll understand what it's for.

The system would be more impartial because it would be anonymous. It would remove long-standing relationships with veteran players which can't help but taint the officials' minds. I think it would allow officials to call the rules as they're written without distraction or physical discomfort, and I think that it would lead at long last to a real, palpable reduction in the obstruction and grabbing that's plaguing the game. As for diving, one or two replays would only take a second to confirm one way or the other. It might get a little sticky in terms of goals being scored after infractions had been committed but before play had been stopped because of it, but that's nothing that a clear, firm policy couldn't alleviate.

So what do you all think? I'm prepared to hear how sacreligious I am, trying to change our beloved game and I respect that. What I'm not interested in is hearing that I think these things because I'm a jerk, or because Duck fans are whiners, or because everyone hates the Avalanche.

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