VFL Grand Final match umpires
The officiating umpires for this Sunday’s Peter Jackson VFL Legendairy Grand Final have been announced, with an impressive range of experience and talent set to take the field, as James Szabo writes.
Hayden Gavine (pictured, centre), Daniel Butcher and Heath Ryan will be the three field umpires for the clash between the Casey Scorpions and Footscray, with James Davey the emergency field umpire. Gavine was named the 2016 VFL Field Umpire of the Year and also officiated in last year’s VFL Grand Final alongside Butcher. Ryan’s last VFL Grand Final was in 2006.
The three umpires have 259 VFL games of experience between them and have been selected based on consistent performances this season.
Ben MacDonald (pictured, left), Nick Laurence, Patrick Dineen and Damien Main have been named as the boundary umpires for the game. MacDonald won the 2016 Boundary Umpire of the Year and officiated in the 2015 VFL Grand Final along with Laurence and Dineen. This Sunday’s clash will be the first Grand Final for Main after officiating in 47 VFL matches.
The Grand Final goal umpires will be 2016 Goal Umpire of the Year Dylan Benwell (pictured, right) and Matthew Maclure – who will umpire in his first VFL Grand Final. Chris Doyle has been named as the emergency goal umpire. The starting pair have 199 VFL games of experience between them.
State League Head Coach of Umpiring Cameron Nash explained the process behind selecting who the best candidates are to officiate in the biggest game of the year.
“The umpires are assessed on their performance throughout the season and in the finals, which determines where they are ranked come the end of the season,” Nash said. “The umpires selected have performed to a high level throughout the season and in the finals.”
VFL GRAND FINAL MATCH UMPIRES:
Hayden Gavine – 70 VFL matches, 2015 VFL GF, 2016 VFL Field Umpire of the Year
Daniel Butcher – 68 VFL matches, 2015 VFL GF, 2015 VFL Field Umpire of the Year, 2016 State Game
Heath Ryan – 121 VFL matches, 2006 VFL GF
James Davey (emergency)
Ben MacDonald – 154 VFL matches, 2012 and 2015 VFL GF, 2016 State Game, 2016 Boundary Umpire of the Year
Nick Laurence – 182 VFL matches, 2015 VFL GF
Patrick Dineen – 68 VFL matches, 2015 VFL GF
Damien Main – 47 VFL matches, 1st VFL GF
Dylan Benwell – 104 VFL matches, 2013 VFL GF, 2016 Goal Umpire of the Year
Matthew Maclure – 95 VFL matches, 1st VFL GF
Chris Doyle (emergency)