Field umpires are in control of the whole game. They make decisions on all contests and complete the official paperwork.
Field umpiring is a challenging and rewarding activity, field umpires take control of 36 players and call the shots on the big stage! The field umpiring career path involves three progressive stages, with the pinnacle being umpiring at AFL level.
The field umpire is responsible for the daily running of the match, including (but not limited to):
- Ensuring all match paperwork is completed correctly
- Ensuring teams follow all AFL laws and WRFL bylaws
- Ensuring the match is conducted in the spirit of the game and according to all relevant laws
- Ensuring a safe environment for all players
- Umpiring the game during general play
- Assisting the other umpires in their jobs where applicable and necessary
- Making fair, unbiased and consistent decisions
The field umpire must be fit and have an excellent understanding of the laws of the game. They must be able to work as part of a team, be fair, consistent and calm under pressure.
For those who enjoy running or want to learn about the game, boundary umpiring is ideal. Boundary umpires are responsible for making decisions to whether the ball is in play, performing the boundary throw-in and returning the ball to re-start the game after a goal is scored. They also assist goal umpires with scoring decisions
Boundary umpires are some of the fittest people in our game, often fitter than many of the players. Many boundary umpires average 15 – 20km in a Division 1 game, with much of the running being long distance strides and brief bursts of high-intensity sprinting.
Boundary umpires are responsible for adjudicating whether ball is in or out of play, and also coordinating with the field and goal umpires to ensure the match is run as smoothly as possible. They are responsible for deciding whether a player enters the centre square prior to a centre bounce, and for assisting the goal umpire in making decisions about whether the ball has pass over or outside the behind post. Boundary umpires may also assist the field umpire in reporting any player they deem to have committed an offence.
Boundary umpiring is a great entry point for umpiring and many young umpires decide to try their hand at boundary umpiring before committing to the slightly more complex pastime of field umpiring.
The goal umpire adjudicates and records all scores in a match. They work in conjunction with boundary and field umpires to ensure the match is managed smoothly and have a complex task in ensuring that times are kept, scores are recorded accurately, and that they are always in the best position to make any scoring decision. Goal umpires, like boundary umpires, may assist the field umpire in reporting any player they deem to have committed an offence.
Goal umpires usually umpire multiple matches on any given day.