First female boundary umpire in VFL
History will be made in the Peter Jackson VFL this weekend with the first female boundary umpire to officiate a senior game.
Shannessy Adams will run the boundary in the Round 12 Collingwood versus Sandringham top eight clash, having progressed through the Development League and TAC Cup in her first year on the AFL Victoria umpire development squad.
It continues a breakout year for female umpires in the competition, with Eleni Glouftsis last month becoming the first female field umpire in the VFL, and Kate Griffiths now a regular senior goal umpire in the competition. Griffiths will umpire with Adams this Saturday.
Head Umpiring Coach Cameron Nash said AFL Victoria will continue to promote and drive female participation in umpiring.
“It is pleasing to be able to appoint the first female boundary umpire to a VFL match,” Nash said.
“She has been selected on merit and hopefully this shows other girls umpiring that if you work hard and set your goals high you can achieve what Shannessy has."
Nash said Adams has shown quick development since her progression to the AFL Victoria umpire development squad from the Western Region Football League.
“Shannessy trains extremely hard and her performances this year have been to a very high standard, so she thoroughly deserves this opportunity.”
Adams commenced her umpiring in the Essendon District Football League, before a successful playing career with St. Albans in the Victorian Women’s Football League where she captained the reserves to the 2012 premiership.
She officiated in the historic all female umpire panel in the TAC Cup in May this year, with the same female panel to also umpire the AFL Women’s Exhibition match in August between Melbourne v Western Bulldogs.
In a match of firsts, former Northern Blues captain Andre Gianfagna will also umpire his first VFL senior match this weekend in the same game, after performing well in the first half of the season in the VFL Development League and TAC Cup.
Gianfagna is in his second year of umpiring and is on the AFL player to umpire program.