With record umpiring numbers across the state, AFL Victoria has introduced Training Umpire Sleeves to recognise and respect first year umpires.
Season 2018 showed record umpiring numbers across Victoria. The retention of community umpires remains the most critical issue local umpiring groups experience as they continue to strive to develop and further educate their inexperienced recruits.
AFL Victoria has developed a strategy that highlights first-year umpires in the hope that clubs, spectators, coaches and players alike recognise that the umpires wearing a Trainee Umpire Sleeve are new to the game and should be given increased respect and understanding as they develop their skills and knowledge of the game.
Likened to a ‘learner driver’ displaying ‘L’ plates, Trainee Umpire Sleeves have been developed to increase tolerance and understanding by all stakeholders towards first-year umpires, enhancing their match-day experiences and allowing them to return to the game year after year.
As the 2019 season commences, community umpires will undoubtedly continue to perform with integrity and impartiality aiming to obtain the most effective decision-making position whilst clubs strive to achieve success early in the season.