Community Umpiring Round
This week AFL Sydney will take part in Community Umpiring Round to support umpires at the community level of the game.
Community Umpiring Round encourages everyone involved in Australian Football – coaches, players, administrators, parents and supporters – to play a role in creating a positive match day environment to retain and recruit umpires.
At the community level, a welcoming environment ensures umpires feel supported to officiate to the best of their ability. Each weekend of club football there are more than 3800 umpiring appointments required in NSW/ACT many of these are filled by club umpires, mums and dads just helping out for the day. It is critical that the AFL community works together to create a positive atmosphere for the officials of the game whether they are league appointed or club umpires.
Often umpires are lost to the game due to the reception and abuse they receive from spectators and fans at matches.
AFL Sydney will participate in a number of initiatives that will help improve the overall umpiring experience which I ask for each clubs assistance with. These initiatives include:
- All players and coaches lining up prior to EVERY AFL Sydney match just prior to the start of the game (when the coin toss occurs) and shaking the umpires hands.
- All players are to wear a green armband this weekend (green tape will be sent to the home team with the Football Records this week which is to be provided to all teams and umpires)
Clubs are encouraged to get their ground announcers to promote umpiring and how to get involved , players and coaches to attend an umpiring training session and inviting umpires to an official match function.
At the AFL level, this will be extended with all club coaches shaking hands with the umpires prior to the opening bounce of each match.
It is extremely important that umpires are made to feel welcome at football matches.
By shaking hands with the umpires before the game we are trying to create a level of respect and ensure they feel an important part of the game.
When surveyed, 68 per cent of umpires said their number one reason for umpiring was their love of the game. Sydney Swans coach John Longmire says both players and spectators may not realise that umpires are as committed and passionate about the game as they are.
"As a coach, I help prepare my players to perform at the best of their ability each week," Longmire said.
"It may not be common knowledge but umpires train and prepare themselves just like the players do. It takes a tremendous amount of commitment and dedication to become an umpire and we respect the work they do – umpires play an integral role in our great game."
With participation rates booming across the country, the number of umpires needs to increase in order to meet the demand for the game. In 2014, the number of umpires in NSW/ACT increased to a record 1611 umpires, coaches and mentors. The aim is to reach 2000 umpires by 2016.
GIANTS Coach Leon Cameron said that all participants should recognise the contribution of umpires.
"Umpires are essential to our sport, so it’s important that we get behind Umpiring Round and show our appreciation for umpires at all levels of the game," Cameron said.
"Decisions may not always go your way, but just remember that without the umpires we wouldn’t have a game each week so please respect their judgment and play the game in good spirits."
Over the course of this year a number of new umpiring initiates have been introduced including a new Umpire Coach Accreditation Course, targeting female and people from diverse backgrounds, a new "Get in the Game" campaign to recruit umpires along with additional state support to talented umpires in all three umpiring disciplines.
If you could also update any recruitment for umpires linking to the website
Also please give a like / follow to the NSW/ACT Umpires Facebook and Twitter pages:
– AFL New South Wales & ACT Umpires
Please note that we don’t encourage the following activities:
- Umpires receiving guard of honour from players and coaches
- Ground PA requesting supporters to clap umpires or ‘appreciate them’
Thank you for your continuing support around umpiring and for next weekends Community Umpiring Round.