The significant role community umpires play in our great game will be highlighted this weekend, as AFL Victoria and the wider football community pause to celebrate 2018 Community Umpiring Week.
Held from May 4 – 6, the annual event is designed to recognise those patrolling the boundary, manning the goal line and controlling the action out in the middle each week, and the contribution they play in our game.
In Victoria alone, there are more than 7,000 registered umpires at community level, along with thousands of club-based umpires, who commit their time and energy to allow those chasing the Sherrin the chance to do so safely.
To celebrate the occasion, a host of AFL Umpires will forgo their usual training session and instead disband and travel to several community umpiring groups across Victoria to engage with local members and facilitate training sessions.
These opportunities are highly valued by local umpiring groups where their members are provided with an extended chance to engage with members of the elite AFL umpiring panel.
In addition, a number of young developing community umpires will head to IKON Park to develop their skills and knowledge of the game in a special coaching session under the guidance of some of the game’s national umpiring coaches.
AFL Head Umpire Coach Hayden Kennedy will lead the event and take the fortunate umpires through their paces in an on-field training session and provide an insight to how AFL Umpires are coached.
Furthermore, in all Round 7 AFL games, a host of local community umpires will meet the appointed AFL umpires prior to the game and have the chance to walk with them out on to the ground.
Community Umpiring Round – List of strategies for implementation by community Umpiring Groups together with Regional Commission / Football League staff
We again strongly encourage all AFL Victoria affiliated leagues to work with their local umpires to embrace this Round to continue creating positive match day environments recognising the importance of umpiring in our great game.
Originally, the “Umpiring is Everyone’s Business Campaign” was designed to further educate the football public about the important roles and responsibilities umpires have in the game of Australian Football.
The Campaign focused on using influential people within Australian Football to advocate positively about umpiring and for all participants within our game to take responsibility for their behaviour on match day.
Supported by the AFL Players’ Association and AFL Coaches’ Association, the campaign was geared towards the football public increasing their understanding of the role and importance of and appreciation of the umpires.
Some time ago, AFL Victoria developed a guide that lists strategies and outlines how umpiring groups can implement these procedures to maximise members’ enthusiasm and interest with the aim of retaining current members.
This resource is available by clicking AFL Umpiring Retention Initiatives Guide.