Celebrating our Umpires

This week across the nation is Community Umpiring Week with the aim to encourage people to get involved in umpiring Australian Football at the community level.

Throughout the week, April 26 – May 2, leagues and clubs will celebrate their local umpires with various initiatives run by the clubs.

Paul Taylor from AFL North Coast acknowledged the key role that local umpires play. “Umpiring can be a thankless task so Community Umpiring Week is a great chance for our League, clubs, coaches, and players to recognise these men, women, boys, and girls and say thanks.

“Umpires are not only responsible for managing the rules of the game, they also set the tone for behaviour on and off the ground, and for ensuring the safety of players during matches. They do a great job every week of the season and this is our chance to celebrate their contribution.”

National Community Umpiring Development Manager, Damian Anderson said with more than 1.4 million people playing Australian Football, umpire numbers have never been more important.

“There are over 15,000 umpires officiating in community football matches each week and over 12% are female, a significant increase in line with the expansion of female football”, he said.

“Community Umpiring Week is designed to increase awareness of umpiring as a choice as an additional activity to playing or choosing umpiring as a sport of choice as an alternative way to participate in the game.

“Over 94% of umpires currently play or have played junior football. You can play and umpire on the same day or on alternate days. It is a great way to keep fit, earn money, develop life skills and make life-long friends.”

For more information or to register your interest in umpiring community football visit umpire.afl.