I agree it's a hard job, anytime you are asking an official to rule on things like intent, genuine action and the time of prior opportunity then there is going to be some subjectivity. Having said that the two most complained about decision (holding the ball and deliberate out of bounds) are at opposite ends of that scale so removing the grey area doesn't always help.
Personally I don't agree there are many incidents at all that can go either way, I think that's a small field.
Read back through the discussion on the Woods decision and you will see that further education is required.
Did he have prior opportunity? No. Was he legally tackled? Yes. Did he make a genuine attempt to dispose of the ball when he was able to? Yes.
Under the rules, the only place that can possibly take you is play on, yet you have the commentators calling for a free kick and fans going beserk with all sorts of theories that just don't fit the rules.
Ok, so it is hard for an official to determine prior opportunity, but you can determine it in the Easton Wood case?
Is it hard, or can it be determined conclusively?
Too many grey areas, and the determination to reduce the free kicks awarded each game means they just don't pay everything they see. A recipe for inconsistency and no way to adjudicate a professional sport.
Plus, the consistent free kick differential for a number of sides has no logical explanation as it spans a lot of players, game styles and coaches. Why do GWS get so few free kicks, what's with Footscray's consistent advantage, What explains West Coast's home advantage? Is there a good explanation or is it just inconsistency and umpiring not being at a standard we should expect in a professional sport?