Umpiring AFL at Local Level: A Message From SFNLUA

Header image is of Sam Ritchie - Umpire of the V Line Carnival 2022

Our role is to officiate in a fair and consistent manner with care and protection to the ball player.

Ensure all players are given equal opportunity to compete contest and enjoy the game without fear or favour.

The game is full of emotion, as the person invested with power to ensure the game is played in a safe and fair manner. We must stay calm, be composed, not over react however command respect and give respect.

Speak to the players in a manner you would want to be spoken too.

Never should we as Umpires be subjected to or tolerate abuse, be it physical, audible or by actions.

We need to show some empathy but not allow players to dis-respect nor be little us on the field in front of others being players, officials and supporters.

Our game can be controlled and umpired in an acceptable level by showing strength, strong whistle, voice and action, most importantly being consistent and not influence the result.

Go about our job without shining the light upon ourselves, almost go un-noticed and only intervene when required.

Know your rules, treat both sides equally without prejudice nor favouritism.

Players should be able to ask questions at the appropriate time in the appropriate manner.

Waving of arms, disputing your decision, encroaching your space, raising their voice and at worst abusing in any fashion should result in:

  • free kick

  • 50 m penalty

  • send off

  • possibly a report


Let’s not over react in light of the AFL Direction we have witnessed.

Our Game is to be enjoyed by all.

The game is not about us, we play a part an important part but we are not the main part.

AFL is a difficult game to adjudicate, try to keep it simple, use common sense, most importantly enjoy your umpiring.


Peter Marshall – SFNLUA Director of Umpiring

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