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Mag By Craig Gabriel

SHOULD THERE BE MORE TRANSPARENCY WITH UMPIRES?
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SHOULD THERE BE MORE TRANSPARENCY WITH UMPIRES?

Karolina Pliskova’s behaviour after her loss to Maria Sakkari at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia was wrong and provided a very poor level of attitude. 

She lost the match after a bad call, a very bad call in fact, but her response at the end of the match is inexcusable. However, overall Pliskova’s play was not good enough to beak the Greek player and while it was an important point, the sixth seeded Czech could be pinpointed for not doing enough through the rest of the match to score a win.

Let’s just look at the video via You Tube which clearly highlights Pliskova’s her aggression at the end and look out of Miss. Sakkari’s reaction as she jumps out of the way.

The American commentator, I believe, is right with his remark on Pliskova’s form in the match.

The chair umpire in question Marta Mrozinska handled things poorly and certainly the time has come for clay court events to start installing the Hawk-eye review/challenge system in place. No longer should players and on-court officials have to rely on a ball mark on clay to determine the outcome of a point.

While Karolina Pliskova’s behaviour was unsavoury, and she should be fined and penalised for what she did and made to pay for the damage she caused with her racquet, a follow up question is should there also be some sort of open reprimand for the chair umpire?

Karolina Pliskova’s twin sister Kristyna Tweeted that Marta Mrozinska should never be allowed in the chair for any match that involves herself or her sister and added #blacklistforever. Seriously? Bit OTT on that one. That’s just silly emotions coming to the fore.

The penalty that will be handed out to Karlona Pliskova will be made public. However, any possible or potential reprimand of the chair umpire will not be published and will be, if there is a discussion with her, conducted behind closed doors.

Sure, the chair umpire is under pressure in a match but obviously the player is too, in greater spades. If the player is admonished, then is there not a case for transparency with regards to the on-court officials or are they above board?

Chair umpires or any on-court officials are not permitted to express their views publicly and any comments are delivered through the on-site supervisor or the head of officiating. That’s fine, no issue with that but the question is, is it time for more openness with regards to officials? Their role on court is an important one with plenty of responsibility.

There could be arguments against not subjecting them to public criticism. For example, if it is public knowledge that an on-court official has been admonished maybe a player could use that to slang an umpire during a match, or maybe a player’s confidence of someone in the chair might be compromised if it’s known publicly that the chair umpire has been officially admonished.

Currently if there has been an issue between a chair umpire and a player, the supervisors and head of umpires will work to avoid putting that specific umpire in the chair of the relevant player’s match. 

But is that enough?