03 June 2007

How to umpire an AFL game

Here we are, my Dad and I, last night at one of our favourite places - the Sydney Cricket Ground, during the half time break at the footy. We look pretty happy because, honestly, there's no place better to watch our beloved Swans. Thanks to Jackie, our neighbour at the footy, for taking the photo.
However, it is a great mystery why the AFL continues to employ umpires who are blind and deaf and don't appear to know some of the rules. In an attempt to add to their education, I will explain a few of the basics.

When a ball is taken over the boundary line, it means the play stops. The boundary umpire, whose sole function is to blow his whistle when the ball goes over the boundary, is meant to blow his whistle. He is not meant to ignore a ball which is taken over the boundary and allow play to go on so that a goal is kicked.

After the siren goes for the end of a quarter, the field umpire is meant to put his arms up in the air and blow his whistle to indicate the play is over. When this occurs, dear umpire, if a ball goes through the goal post, it does not count. So why did you award a point after you had signalled that the quarter was over?

Umpires are meant to be impartial. They simply apply the rules (however stupid some of the rules are, such as the new hand-on-the-back rule that the autocratic AFL bureaucracy has imposed on the game this year - but don't get me started on that). Umpires are not meant to allow certain players to have the privilege of free kicks simply because they grace the football field with their presence.

I am available to assist the umpires with their training, if required. I cannot guarantee, however, that I will be as polite as I have been here today.


  1. Ouch... umpires look out Erica is on your case!! Love the photo, never seen two more happy Swannie supporters - but did they WIN??? cheers Pennie

  2. Stephanie4:41 pm

    Phil has great sympathy . He said at the Hong Kong sevens the umpires parade at end of game with dark glasses and white canes to reassure those who doubt judgements that they are in fact blind.


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