1 TFLUA BOUNDARY UMPIRING MANUAL SEASON 2007 2 IMPORTANT NOTICE This manual has been written solely for the purpose of coaching boundary umpires in the Tasmanian Football League Umpires Association. The views expressed by the author are not necessarily representative of those held by the Executive of the TFLUA. Umpires should always consult their medical professional for a check up before commencing any physical exercise. The information contained in this paper is accurate as at the date of publication but will be subject to change as the season progresses. This is the first edition of this manual and I am sure it will significantly develop over future seasons. 3 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION There are two reasons why I have gone to the trouble of putting together this manual on boundary umpiring. The first reason is because I believe the AFL Accreditation System is inadequate and does not properly prepare you for umpiring and indeed progressing beyond the local football level. It seems to me that the AFL needs to introduce a level 3 boundary umpire accreditation program aimed at those aspiring to umpire VFL or AFL football. The second reason is because I have always felt that umpires are not “coached” enough. Unfortunately there has been far too much emphasis placed on running around an orange running track. How does this teach you to umpire? How can you become a better umpire by doing this? Another benefit of this manual is that it will enable you to read it during your own time and will alleviate the need for you to spend many hours after training sitting at an umpiring lecture when you would rather be at home having your tea and watching the television. You can read it as many times as you like and you do not have to worry about understanding everything the first time you read it. I hope you find this booklet improves your umpiring and perhaps answers those questions you have always had but have been reluctant to ask. Good luck! Cameron Lee 12th February 2007 4 CHAPTER 2 DECIDING TO BECOME A BOUNDARY UMPIRE Congratulations not only becoming a boundary umpire but also a member of the Tasmanian Football League Umpires Association. Some people say the hardest decision is always deciding to become an umpire and the second hardest decision is actually retiring. I say this because umpiring is addictive – one you start it is very hard to stop. It keeps you fit, gives you greater confidence and enables you to make a lot of new friends – some of which will stay with you for the rest of your life. There is no need to be concerned at being abused by players and spectators. It is not as bad as people make out. Try and see the funny side of it. About 98% of spectators do not know the rules and never will. They are generally commenting out of frustration at their teams performance and are looking for someone to blame. Just smile, chuckle to your self and cop it on the chin. There is no point talking back to them as it only makes the situation worse. Boundary umpiring is a common way to start your involvement in umpiring. It provides an opportunity for you to have a support role while allowing you to experience what an umpiring career can offer. As a boundary umpire you can increase your awareness of aspects of the game and develop a greater feel of the game without having to worry about the pressures of being a field umpire. 5 CHAPTER 3 THE ROLE OF A BOUNDARY UMPIRE Your role as a boundary umpire is rather simple. You follow the play up and down the ground whilst performing the following six tasks: 1. Determining whether or not the ball is “out of bounds” or “out of bounds on the full”. 2. Throwing the ball back into play after it has gone out of bounds. 3. Returning the ball to the field umpire in the centre of the ground after a goal has been scored. 4. Determining whether or not a player has entered the centre square illegally at a centre bounce – otherwise known as a “centre square infringement”. 5. Providing assistance to the goal umpire in relation to a score. 6. Detecting reportable offences and making same. I will go into much more details about the above tasks later in this manual. 6 CHAPTER 4 ABOUT THE TFLUA The Tasmanian Football League Umpires Association was formed in 1951. The Association is the largest umpiring body in Tasmania but only operates in the southern part of the State. Umpires are supplied to the AFL Southern Tasmania Premier and Regional Leagues, Old Scholars Football Association and the AFL Tasmania Under 17 Youth League. Some of our members have the honour of being appointed to Victorian Football League (VFL) and Mariners matches whilst others like to help out by umpiring in the Southern Tasmanian Junior Football League (STJFL) on a Sunday morning. The Association operates through an Executive Committee consisting of a President, Vice President and four committee members. There is also an Association Administrator who is appointed by the Executive Committee each season. The person you are likely to have the most dealings with is Graeme Hamley. Graeme is the Umpiring Administrator, Treasurer, Pay Master, Head Trainer and Property Steward. You can therefore see how it literally pays to keep on the right side of him. You can do that by remembering the following: 1. Never pull out of your match without a very good reason and try and give him as much notice as possible. 2. Always let him know when you are unavailable in writing 3. Inform him of any changes to your contact details throughout the season. 4. Return your registration sheet to him as early as possible. 5. If he contacts you at the “eleventh hour” needing someone to do a game, help him out if you are able to. Graeme retired from goal umpiring at the end of the 1993 season after having amassed a record 10 senior grand finals and more than 310 senior games. His knowledge of boundary umpiring over the years is rather high. If you are a younger umpire and Graeme happens to be at your match as a trainer or just watching, it would be worth your while asking him for some a few tips. 7 CHAPTER 5 COACHING STAFF The Association currently has seven coaches. They are: Tony Gibson Regional Umpires Coach Gary Poultney Field Umpires Coach Steve Jewell Development Coach Cameron Lee Boundary Umpires Coach Paul Bidgood Assistant Boundary Umpires Coach Denis Bishop Goal Umpires Coach Wayne Coombe Assistant Goal Umpires Coach There are two names you need to remember if you want to go places in your Tasmanian umpiring career – Michael Brown and Kevin Mitchell. Michael Brown is the Head State Umpires Coach. His role, as I understand it, is to oversee the coaching and training of all VFL and Mariners umpires; keep an eye out for new VFL and Mariners umpires; and to ensure that everyone is complying with what the AFL and VFL expect of us including accreditation. Michael was formerly one of the leading field umpires during the time of the former TFL Statewide League and would have umpires about 150 TFL Senior Matches. I imagine there would only be two or three people who would have umpired more games than him as field umpire at that level. From memory, Michael has run under three hours for the marathon and was around the 13.30 to 13.40 minute mark over 4km. He retired in about 1994. Kevin Mitchell is the VFL’s Director of Umpiring and something of an icon in umpiring circles. He was one of four boundary umpires chosen in the AFL Umpire’s Team of the Century. Kevin umpired eight VFL Grand Finals the last of which was the 1977 VFL Grand Final (including the replay) between North Melbourne and Collingwood. It is worth your while watching this match because Kevin’s partner was Leigh Patterson who went on to umpire nine VFL Grand Finals the last of which was the 1988 grand final between Hawthorn and Melbourne (he is the one with the rather large set of black curly hair). There is a third person you also need to know. I presume that Peter Bradford will be re-appointed as VFL Boundary Umpires Coach. Peter umpired at AFL senior level around the mid 1990s and I believe (although I could be wrong about this) that he umpired two AFL Reserves Grand Finals. 8 If you have the opportunity to umpire in front of Michael, Kevin or Peter you need to give 110%. As opportunities will be extremely limited, it is important that you make yourself available and that you are totally fit. Opportunities like that do not come along often and you may only have one chance to get it right. Have no regrets. Make the most of any opportunity. 9 CHAPTER 6 PREMIER LEAGUE There are eight teams in this competition. They are: Brighton Colours: Red and Blue. Home Ground: Pontville Oval. Main Road, Pontville. Ground Size: Medium. Change Room Size: Medium (located in building at furthest end from main road). Comment: The ground surface has a tendency to be too hard not just at the start of the season but throughout the year. Clarence Colours: Red and White. Home Ground: Bellerive Oval. Derwent Street, Bellerive. Ground Size: Large Change Room Size: Medium to Large (located underneath the Clarence Cricket Club Rooms on the wing. Entry is at the rear of the building – river end). Comment: The ultimate ground to run on but you will never get an easy senior game there. Glenorchy Colours: Black and White. Home Ground: KGV. Anfield Street, Glenorchy. Ground Size: Large. Change Room Size: Large (located directly behind goals at mountain end of ground – enter through right door at top of race). Comment: Probably the largest playing surface area in Tasmania. Watch the strong wind gusts towards the score board pocket on the ground. 10 Hobart Colours: Maroon, Gold & Blue. Home Ground: TCA Ground. Queens Domain, Hobart. Ground Size: Small Change Room Size: Large (located in the double-storey H C Smith Stand behind the goals – enter through the front of the stand – first room on your right). Comment: Is badly affected by wind and rain. Watch out for the grand stand pocket – the line has an unusual curve which creates a 10-15m “no mans land” which is too far out for the goal umpire to see and too far away for you to see if you are in front of the Hobart players box Kingborough Colours: Black and Gold. Home Ground: Kingston Beach Oval. Recreation Street, Kingston. Ground Size: Very Small. Change Room Size: Medium (located next to canteen in club rooms complex). Comment: Badly affected by rain. Don’t stay on the point post too long in general play and be careful not to cut in too far. Lauderdale Colours: Red & Black. Home Ground: Lauderdale Oval. Dona Road, Lauderdale (3rd left pass the canal). Ground Size: Small. Change Room Size: Small (located on the back corner on the eastern side of the clubrooms). When I was last there you could not close the change room door, there was no sink inside the rooms and the shower was out of order. Comment: The ground has improved but is still the second smallest in the competition. Play tends to sit down the far end of the ground due to the strong winds off the water. 11 New Norfolk Colours: Black, Red & White. Home Ground: Boyer Oval. Third Avenue, New Norfolk. Ground Size: Large . Change Room Size: Medium to Large (located on the scoreboard side of the ground in the new building – first entrance closest to main gate – then first door on left). Comment: Arguably the longest ground in Tasmania (same length as the MCG in fact). The atmosphere in front of the LW Hepper stand is a good as anywhere you will find in this State. North Hobart Colours: Red and Blue. Home Ground: North Hobart Oval. Argyle Street, North Hobart. Ground Size: Medium. Change Room Size: Large (located in the Horrie Gorringe Stand at the Argyle Street end of the ground – entry is through a gate on the side of the stand closest to the Argyle Street gate). Comment: The traditional home of Tasmanian football and the favourite ground for most umpires. Be careful of the area in front of the Doug Plaister Stand because it is deprived of sunlight and is therefore very slippery. You also need to be careful when running out near the fence or picking the ball up from behind the goals as sometimes the metal plates are not sitting in position properly at the bottom of the fence. You should check the plates before the game starts. 12 CHAPTER 7 SFL REGIONAL LEAGUE There are ten teams in this competition. I have never umpired the Central Hawks or Triabunna and therefore can not comment on their grounds or facilities. The ten teams are: Central Hawks Colours: Brown & Yellow. Home Ground: Oatlands & Bothwell Ground Size: Oatlands – small. Bothwell – medium. Change Room Size: Oatlands – small. Faces onto ground, 1/3 way from road. Bothwell – small. Located under grandstand. Entry via southern end. Comment: Oatlands – ground is an unusual shape and is usually a hard surface. Bothwell – I am told it is extremely cold. Probably worth huddling up to the sheep. Channel Colours: Red, White & Black. Home Ground: Snug Park, Snug. Ground Size: Medium. Change Room Size: Small (enter through door in middle of general change rooms area – facing onto oval). Comment: A good sized oval although the pocket in front of the club rooms is very tight and the boundary line is very close to the fence from memory. Claremont Colours: Black and White. Home Ground: Abbotsfield Park, Claremont (off Abbotsfield Road). Ground Size: Large (easily the biggest and best ground in this competition). Change Room Size: Medium to Large (enter through door in the front of a grey brick building behind the goals – entrance faces onto oval) 13 Comment: You could be excused for thinking the ground is wider than it is long. A great ground to umpire on. It is well maintained and holds the water very well. It becomes more of a rice paddy than a mud bath in wet weather. Cygnet Colours: Green, Black & White Home Ground: Cygnet Oval, Cygnet (you turn left off the main road just as you are about to enter the town centre). Ground Size: Medium. Change Room Size: Medium (located next to the social club under the grandstand – entrance is through a white door on the southern side of the social club room windows – facing onto ground). Comment: The best ground in the Huon region. A lovely place to umpire. Dodges Ferry Colours: Red & Gold. Home Ground: Shark Park. Main Road, Dodges Ferry. Ground Size: Small. Change Room Size: Very Small. Comment: The playing surface has improved out of sight. Early last season it was as good as any other venue. The ground is small and has an odd shape to it. There are virtually no pockets at the club room end of the ground which can make it a bit difficult to get into the post. The atmosphere behind the goals at that end of the ground is very good. The coach staff and officials tend to stand on your boundary line so you will need to politely request that they stay in their marked area. That is particularly important on this ground because it is so small and tight. 14 Huonville Colours: Red, White & Blue. Home Ground: Huonville Oval, Huonville. Ground Size: Small to medium. Change Room Size: Small (entrance is via the southern side of the grandstand). Comment: The ground has a lot of history attached to it being the grand final venue for the old Huon Competition. You tend to find that you will get a lot of close decisions on the wing area in front of the grand stand. Because the line is a long way in from the fence you need to keep an eye on your position. Kermandie Colours: Red & Blue. Home Ground: Kermandie Oval, Geveston. Ground Size: Medium (although the ground is longer than most). Change Room Size: Very Small (enter through a door in the middle of the club rooms facing onto the ground). Comment: I doubt much has changed at this ground in over 100 years. The best place to get changed is in the shower or toilet cubicle. It is by far the worst ground to umpire on in bad weather. I remember umpiring the last roster game there in 1991 and you could not find an entire blade of grass anywhere on the ground. Lindisfarne Colours: Dark Blue & Light Blue. Home Ground: ANZAC Park, Lindisfarne. Ground Size: Small. Change Room Size: Medium to Large (located in the smaller building behind the club rooms and where the canteen is – the entrance is at the rear of the building over looking the back oval). Comment: A small but well maintained oval where you are always likely to have a lot of goals scored. You will need to keep an ear out for the siren as it is very soft. 15 Sorell Colours: Blue & Gold Home Ground: Pembroke Park, Sorell. Ground Size: Medium. Change Room Size: Very Small (located in a smaller grey building behind the club rooms – entry is through the far door at the rear of that building -–overlooking the back oval). Comment: Another ground to have improved considerably but is heavy on your legs due to significant variations in the surface of the ground. Probably the ground affected most by strong winds. Triabunna Colours: Blue and white. Home Ground: Triabunna Oval, Main Road Triabunna. Ground Size: Small/Medium. Change Room Size: Small. Comment: The ground is a bit rough. A pleasant place to run providing the wind stays away. 16 CHAPTER 8 OLD SCHOLAR FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION There are six teams in this competition. I have not umpired at DOSA’s new home ground. The six teams are: DOSA Colours: Maroon & Gold Home Ground: Cadbury Estate, Claremont. Ground Size: Small to medium. Change Room Size: Medium. Entry via front of club rooms – western end. Comment: Because the ground is in a large open space, it is difficult to get your bearings on where the boundary line is. Easy to get lost out there. Hutchins Colours: Black and Magenta. Home Ground: Queenborough Oval, Sandy Bay. Ground Size: Small to Medium. Change Room Size: Small (enter through players race – rooms are at top of race). Comment: A nice ground to umpire on in dry weather. OHA Colours: Red, White & Green. Home Ground: Geilston Bay Oval, Geilston Bay. Ground Size: Medium. Change Room Size: Small (entrance is through the door in middle of change rooms building – facing onto oval). Comment: Watch the sun in the third quarter of the seniors. It will shine along the boundary line on the change room side of the ground making it very difficult to see. Children and Labradors also have a tendency to walk onto the ground in front of the change rooms. Club officials have a tendency to place witches hats on the boundary line to indicate the interchange area. You will need to move them back off the line. 17 Richmond Colours: Navy Blue Home Ground: Richmond Oval, Richmond. Ground Size: Medium to large. Change Room Size: Small (entrance is through door on the eastern side of the club rooms facing the gate – then first door on your right). Comment: An excellent surface in all conditions. A few night games to be played there this year. St Virgils Colours: Blue & Gold. Home Ground: Newtown Bike Track Oval. Main Road, Newtown. Ground Size: Small. Change Room Size: Small (entrance is located at the front of the grand stand – closest door to the main road – the room is at the top of the stairs on the right hand side). Comment: A nice surface early in the season but is easily cut up after a few games – particularly in front of the grand stand. Not a good wet weather ground. Usually a high scoring venue and the oddest shape for an oval I have ever seen. The worst part is having to shower with the players after a loss. University Colours: Red, Yellow & Black. Ground University Oval. Grosenvor Street, Sandy Bay. Ground Size: Medium Change Room Size: Extremely small (located in main building – enter through main front door – turn right and you will then see the rooms at the top of a short corridor). You would have more room if you got changed in your car or a phone box. Comment: A good oval to run on in April and September but that is about it. The cricket pitch (and the rest of the ground for that matter) turns into a pool of mud at the sight of a slight shower. There is always a problem with coaching staff and spectators standing on the boundary line. It is probably the worst ground for this to occur. Ask them to move back – see field umpire if persists. 18 CHAPTER 9 BOUNDARY UMPIRING COACHING STRUCTURE (Picture: Cameron Lee, Paul Bidgood & Denis Bishop) The overall coaching structure for season 2007 is: Tony Gibson (Regional Umpires Coach) Cameron Lee (Boundary Umpires Coach) Paul Bidgood (Assistant Boundary Umpires Coach) Observers Project Coordinators Team Captains My Background I started umpiring in 1990. Unfortunately I have had to “semi retire” due to a combination of injuries, a very bad diet and a fondness for red wine. I still intend to do a few games but no more grand finals. To date I have umpired about 190 TFL/SFL Senior Matches and probably about 350 games all up. Whilst I still managed to scrape together a few senior grand finals in recent years, my better days were between 1993 and 1998 where I did two TFL Statewide Senior Grand Finals (1996 and 1997), two Statewide Reserve Grand Finals (1994 and 1995) and was on the AFL Development Squad with Symon 19 Bird for two years (1995 and 1996). I have umpired four interstate matches and umpired Carlton, Geelong & Richmond in senior AFL practice matches. A fractured leg in 1998 pretty much ended my run at the top level. I previously coached the boundary umpires for one season in 1999 before trying my hand at field umpiring. Paul Bidgood Paul is returning for what I believe is his fourth consecutive year as assistant coach. He was previously boundary umpires coach in 2002. Paul began umpiring in 1989 and has umpired about 215 TFL/SFL Senior matches and an astonishing 8 grand finals – the last four in succession. Paul was on the VFL Senior Panel in 2004 and 2006 and umpired a final at that level in 2004. He has also umpired an AFL Reserves roster match at the MCG between Essendon and Richmond in 1994 as well as other interstate fixtures and AFL pre-season matches. Probably the hardest game he has ever umpired was an AFL pre season match at North Hobart in 1992 between Essendon & Carlton. The temperature was about 38 degrees and the ground was covered in a film of smoke from the surrounding bushfires. And that was in the day of only 2 boundary umpires. 20 CHAPTER 10 UMPIRING TEAMS & THEIR CAPTAINS Teams I have decided to split all umpires into five teams for the purpose of training, coaching and match day observations The five teams are red, blue, green, yellow and white. Team Captains The team captains will be: • Marcus Orr (Red Team). Marcus umpired the 2006 Senior Regional League Grand Final. • Zephan Lyne-Spink (Blue Team). Zephan umpired the 2006 Premier League Reserves Grand Final. He has now umpired a handful of Premier League Senior Finals including the preliminary final in 2004. Quentin Cook (Green Team). Quentin umpired the 2005 Senior Regional League Grand Final. • Jerome Rowcroft (Yellow Team). Jerome umpired the 2005 Premier League Senior Grand Final. • William Koolhoff (White Team). Will umpired the 2006 Premier League Senior Grand Final. The role of the team captains are to: • Encourage you with your umpiring development. • Be the first point of call for any questions you have. • Watch you umpire on occasions and provide you with some feedback. • Both organise and conduct training drills. 21 CHAPTER 11 OBSERVERS I have managed to secure the assistance of a record number of observers for season 2007. An observer is a current or former umpire who will go along and watch you umpire and provide you with feedback on your performance. That feedback may be provided directly to you on match day or to you via myself. I have told all observers that they are not required to prepare any paperwork as this is unlikely to encourage them to assist as often. It is important to remember that these people do not get paid to come and watch you umpire. The only reason they are doing it is so you can improve as an umpire. They are giving up valuable time on their weekends and I trust you will show them the respect they deserve. They all know what they are doing otherwise I would not have asked them to become an observer. I will now tell you who each of the observers are and a bit about their umpiring careers. There are two further points I wish to make before doing that. First, whilst some observers have not umpired for a few years now, there have only been subtle changes to boundary umpiring over the last 17 years that I have been umpiring. The basic role and functions have remained. All of the observers will receive a copy of this manual and will therefore know the current trends of boundary umpiring. Secondly, these people were umpiring in an era when things were a lot tougher not only at the top but right down to country seniors. The brief summaries I have provided below do not do justice to their careers. They have been provided not as a complete summary of their umpiring careers but so you have a basic idea about their background and involvement in umpiring. Gary Braithwaite Gary has umpired with the TFLUA since the late 1960s or early 1970s. He would have officiated in well over 700 games of football including numerous senior grand finals as a field umpire and also as a goal umpire in the late 1990s (including Huon and SFL). 22 Tim Chalmers Tim was the “unofficial” assistant coach to Leigh Johnson in 1990 and 1991. He umpired a number of Amateur Senior Grand Finals in the late 1980s, which was regarded as a very high appointment in those days. Tim is now a Hobart supporter and will mainly be seen with the transistor in his hand at their matches throughout the season. Maxwell Cherry Max umpired the 1958 TFL Senior Grand Final and is another of our life members. These days Max is better known as Tasmania’s leading athletics coach. You will mainly see him around the Lindisfarne or Geilston Bay areas when he does not have any cross country running commitments. Wayne Coombe Wayne is currently assistant goal umpires coach and had previously been a senior boundary umpire in Launceston before switching to field and goal umpiring. Wayne umpired a number of TFL senior finals in the mid 1990s as a goal umpire. I have sat with Wayne at the football and he does not miss a trick. Robert Drummond I suspect that Bob is one of the longest-serving observers our Association has ever had. He was made a life member in 1989 and I can remember him observing in the early 1990s when I was starting out. I am told that he was a senior field umpire back in the days of the one umpire system. I must confess that I do not know a lot about Bob’s career because I never had the opportunity of umpiring with him. You will generally see Bob walking around the boundary of the Geilston Bay Oval. Brendan Griggs Brendan will be out and about at the football most weeks wherever there is a good game to be found Brendan was a former TFL senior field umpire and umpired the TFL Reserves Grand Final in 1994. Prior to that, Brendan had umpired a number of senior country grand finals. He was one of the very few umpires I have encountered who actually knew the name of every player on the ground – and I suspect he still does. 23 Andrew Hogan Andrew goal umpired the 1995 and 1997 TFL Senior Grand Finals and recently retired as goal umpires coach. Andrew has spent many years sitting next to Murray Bird at VFL Matches and his knowledge of boundary umpiring would surprise most of you. Andrew will still be observing VFL football this season and so I suspect his appearances at local matches will be rather limited. Michael Kelly In his early days Michael ran the boundary before switching to field umpiring. He umpired the 1987 TFL Senior Grand Final with the legendary “Smokey Dawson” and was also the Emergency Field Umpire for the 1990 TFL Senior Grand Final. Michael then started his coaching career in 1991 and has coached for the best part of that period until his retirement in 2004. He has guided the careers of some of our best young umpires and is still now fit enough to umpire senior football. David Knowles David umpired TFL Senior Football in 1990 and 1991 before suffering a career-ending injury in Round 9 of 1991 having umpired all 9 senior games that year. David was boundary umpires coach in 1996 and has served as an assistant coach under Murray Bird for about 5 seasons where he was terrific with the younger umpires. You will mainly see David at Kingborough matches as he lives in the area. Leigh Johnson “Johno” as he was commonly known as was my first coach when I started in 1990. He was coach of the Hobart boundary umpires in 1990 and 1991 before becoming the state coach in 2002. He retired from coaching at the end of that season. Leigh umpired over 100 TFL senior matches (which is a milestone very few people achieved – the record was only 180 odd matches until the late 1990s) and a number of interstate matches. I never saw him umpire but have heard stories about how he knew every short cut in the book. Johno will mainly watch matches in the Brighton area when he is available. 24 Haydn Nielsen Haydn boundary umpired the 1969 and 1970 TFL Senior Grand Finals and also the 1986 TFL Senior Grand Final as a field umpire. He coached the field umpires in the early 1990s and was also a State marathon champion. Haydn still keeps himself very fit and you will see him at DOSA matches this season where his son plays in the senior team. Graham O’Byrne Graham was an outstanding boundary umpire and a lot better than some of his counterparts in Melbourne. Graham umpired the 1985, 1986 and 1992 TFL Statewide Grand Finals. He went field umpiring for a few years in the late 1980s and probably cost himself a few more grand finals. I know he umpired at least two AFL senior roster matches in 1992 and also a number of Ansett Cup matches. He was the true all-round umpire. Craig Thorp Craig is a former field umpires and development coach. He ran the boundary during the 1980s before becoming a field umpire. Craig has spent many seasons coaching umpires and his reports are very detailed and thorough. You will see him out and about at many matches throughout the season with Mike Kelly. Robert Webb Bob Webb’s career is very similar to Gary Braithwaite although he did not start quite so early. Bob was a very experienced and capable field umpire. I know he umpired the 1991 Huon Senior Grand Final which was regarded as the best appointment outside the TFL. He also umpired at least one Amateur Senior Grand Final and then repeated similar feats in the goals about 6 or 7 seasons later. In fact, I believe both he and Gary Braithwaite umpired multiple Huon Senior Grand Finals in the goals. Graeme Williams Graeme was a former senior boundary umpire during the late 1970s and early 1980, and state boundary umpire coach in 1990. He is now heavily into swimming and triathlon coaching but will still be seen at a few games at Triabunna throughout the season. 25 CHAPTER 12 TRAINING NIGHTS & PROCEDURE – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS When do we train? Tuesday and Thursday nights. Where do we train? Domain Cross Roads Oval (until first week of April) and then at the Domain Athletic Centre. The first Tuesday night of each month (commencing in April) will be at a football oval – hopefully North Hobart Oval. Further details will be provided. One coloured team will train at the Aquatic Centre each Tuesday night on a rotating basis (also commencing on the first Tuesday of April). Please refer to training programs in this manual. What time do we start & finish? Training is conducted between 5.30pm and 6.45pm. Do I have to “report” to anyone when I arrive? No. Just sign the “training attendance sheet” located on a clipboard in the change rooms and place any details of your unavailability or injuries on the same sheet (at least nine days before the date you are unavailable on). What do we do at training? See programs set out in this manual. What do I need to bring to training? Running gear (shorts, t-shirt and running shoes), waterproof jacket, tracksuit (to warm up and down in during winter months), drink bottle and your whistle (both nights). 26 CHAPTER 13 IMPORTANT CHANGES IN 2007 Every alternate Tuesday night (starting on Tuesday 10th April 2007) we will be training at North Hobart Oval instead of the Domain Athletic Centre. Nine (9) days notice needs to be provided of any unavailability. You must tell both Graeme Hamley and myself in writing. There is a new minimum standard or benchmark which has been imposed on all umpires this season. See chapter with this heading. You need to bring your whistle and tracksuit to training on both Tuesday and Thursday nights. You also need to collect your appointment slip on a Thursday night or have someone collect it on your behalf. I will not be collecting them for you. It is your responsibility to sort it out with Graeme. Umpires no longer decide which side of the ground they will start on. This is due to the large number of observers we have and the fact they will have difficulty trying to work out who is who. The umpire with the earliest surname in the alphabet starts on the major scoreboard side of the ground. If the scoreboard is located behind the goals (ie Cygnet – you start on the grandstand side instead). If there are three boundary umpires appointed to the one game, the AFL system applies. The umpire on the non-interchange side of the ground runs the entire quarter on that side and the other two umpires interchange at the 14 minute mark of the quarter. This is how it works: Qtr Full qtr 1st 14min 2nd 14min 1 #1 #2 #3 2 #2 #3 #1 3 #3 #1 #2 4 #1 #2 #3 After throwing the ball in, you need to move to the long side of play unless you believe you can get to the post before there is a score. In the earlier draft I did refer to a new procedure on signalling to your partner after a goal had been scored on the run. Throughout the summer people were getting themselves confused and therefore we are now reverting back to how we did it last year. 27 CHAPTER 14 APPOINTMENT PROCESS I am responsible for appointing you to all roster matches and finals. However all appointments still need to be approved by the Regional Umpires Coach. If you are dissatisfied with your appointment please come and speak to me about it immediately. I will be more than happy to sit down with you and discuss it. I intend to finalise the appointments on a Thursday night (ie 9 days before the match) and to check with Paul and the other observers on Sunday morning about whether any changes need to be made based on performances at the weekend. The appointments will then be emailed to Tony Gibson and Graeme Hamley on Sunday and announced at the start of training on a Tuesday night. It is therefore absolutely crucial that you inform both Graeme Hamley and I if you are unavailable to umpire on either a Saturday or Sunday by 7pm on the Thursday night in the week prior to your match (ie 9 days notice). Ultimately I would like to announce draft appointments fortnightly in advance but history tells me this may be doomed to failure. I will therefore wait and see how we go but you will get sufficient notice of a senior game to be played on either Saturday night or Sunday. There will be a few of these matches. I intend to appoint umpires in a similar way to the system adopted by the International Cricket Council. When determining which umpires will umpire a particular match, the following criteria and considerations will apply: • The best available umpires for the match. • Better performing umpires will be used more often. • Frequency of individuals appointed to the same teams. • Traveling (particularly for those who have expressed it to be a problem). • Workload considerations. • On-field performance. • Attendance at training and coaching sessions. • Performance at training. • General attitude towards umpiring. • Compliance with the “minimum benchmark”. 28 Because we are now providing umpires for the VFL and due to the difference of quality between that competition and our premier league, I need to treat premier league senior football in the same way as the former TFL Statewide League and really place an emphasis on earning a spot at that level. I need to be able to prepare umpires who can step up to VFL level and can realise their dream of umpiring AFL Football. You will really need to earn your spot at premier league senior level. I believe our standards in Hobart have slipped over the last 10 seasons and we have clearly fallen behind the quality of umpires being produced in Launceston and perhaps on the north-west coast as well. Let us take an example. In 1995 there were three boundary umpires in Hobart under 13 minutes for 4 km – last season there was only one and that was by a few seconds only. In 1995 there were also about eight boundary umpires under 14 minutes – last season there was only two and one of them just made it. Let us take a further example. In 1996 or 1997 there was a boundary umpire who ran about 12.45 for 4km, could read the play very well and had a strong throw. All round, he was a very good boundary umpire. He comfortably ran out an AFL practice match yet never managed to go beyond a colts grand final. Today, he would almost be a dead certainty for a premier league senior grand final if he was still umpiring. We need to catch up to where we were. Whilst you need to do some things as a team on the field, at the end of the day you are competing against your partner – and in some cases for the same grand final. I believe there has been a tendency in recent years to simply run along at the same pace as your partner without really challenging one another to see who can get to the post first. I recently had a look at the SFL Roster and noticed there are only 144 umpiring spots at premier senior level for the entire home and away season. There are 18 rounds and 8 umpires are required each round. For example, if 12 umpires only did 12 out of 18 matches (66%), then the 144 spots would be all filled. People in the past have complained that they do not get much of a go at this level. Perhaps you can see now how difficult it can be to get a decent go at this level. There is clearly a balancing act where there is a need to 29 reward the better performing umpires against the need to reward younger umpires and introduce them to this level. I would like to see a few umpires step up this season and get their first premier league senior game and those that have umpired two or three in the past do a few more. But this will depend on how well you are umpiring because I do not believe in giving them away. It is up to you to umpire so well that you simply can not be overlooked. At this point in time I propose to have in the back of my mind an elite group of perhaps 10 -12 umpires who will do a considerable number of matches at this level and a supplementary group of perhaps 8 or so umpires who will slot in as well. Those names will change as the season progresses due to people umpiring well and others unfortunately struggling. Considerable thought will be given to the nature of each particular match. For example, you would not expect to be umpiring Glenorchy v Clarence at KGV in the seniors on your debut nor would you expect to be umpiring a match of that quality if you were not fit. There were some umpires last season who could handle a Lauderdale v Brighton match quite comfortably but would have been out of their depth in a Glenorchy v Clarence game due to the size of the ground and the speed and skill level of the players. Your attendance and performance at pre-season training together with your willingness to umpire pre-season matches and perform well in those matches, will play a large part in determining who will start not only in premier senior matches but other senior games in general. 30 CHAPTER 15 “RAISING THE BAR” - THE NEW BOUNDARY UMPIRING BENCHMARK The time has now come where we need to impose a minimum standard or benchmark which umpires will need to meet in order to be appointed to a match. There has been a tendency amongst a small number of our younger boundary umpires to: • Pull out of matches on a Thursday night with no genuine reason. • “Secretly” swap their games amongst their friends. • Never turn up to training or do nothing when you arrive. • Walk constantly in their matches when not appearing fatigued. • Wearing the wrong uniform or a whistle around their neck etc. • Refusing to do their accreditation. Others have tolerated it but I will not and I do not care whether we have enough umpires. I would much prefer to give someone two games or for a club president to be told that he or she will need to get a kid to run the boundary for a pie and a can of coke on the weekend. I will not hesitate to leave someone on the sidelines – I did so in 1999 when I was previously coach and the problem ceased immediately. All that happens when we send out umpires who have not reached a minimum level is that the TFLUA gets a bad name, the umpire gets abused and clubs become disgruntled because they are paying to receive a sub standard service. No one benefits in this situation. The TFLUA is a service provider to football clubs where a service is provided in return for a sum of money. As a form of employer there is an obligation to ensure that umpires do some form of “basic induction” before they go out “into the workplace”. We can not take money off the clubs unless the service they receive is adequate. If the service is inadequate then the supply should be ceased until it is fixed. I am no fool. I realise that the money in umpiring is rather poor when you consider what goes into a two hour performance of a weekend and the cost of petrol and gear etc. I also realise that some of you are simply umpiring to help out, for the friendships or a bit of fitness. This is exactly what I have done over the last few seasons and I have no problems at all with you doing that providing you meet this minimum standard. 31 The minimum standard or benchmark must therefore not be too high but be something which everyone can achieve if they are prepared to make the effort. If you do not make the effort you will not get there. My view is that the only way you could fail to achieve this minimum level is if you “do not give a stuff”. Therefore in order to get a game you will need to: • Attend training at least one night each fortnight. • Train properly whilst you are there. • Make a genuine effort to run and keep up with play in a match. • Properly read this booklet and follow your coaching instructions. • Complete any accreditation course you have been asked to do. • Provide me with at least nine (9) days notice of your unavailability to umpire. • Not withdraw from your matches unless there are exceptional circumstances. Six things – that is all. 32 CHAPTER 16 2007 PRE-SEASON TRAINING PROGRAM I have already set the pre-season training program for Tuesday and Thursday nights. This period runs from Tuesday 30th January 2007 until Thursday 5th April 2007. The venue will be the Domain Cross Roads Oval (unless notified otherwise) and training will take place between 5.30pm and 6.45pm. You will need to arrive at about 5.15pm so you are changed and ready to start warming up at 5.30pm. There is still an important emphasis on fitness however you will find that training is more practical and focused on teaching you how to become a good umpire. It is therefore important that you try and get through the running component of the training as quickly as possible so there is sufficient time left for drills etc. There is not a lot of running but the intensity will be higher and the recoveries shorter. You will also need to remember your whistle, drink bottle and a tracksuit. On Tuesday nights during the preseason field and boundary umpires will run together before separating to do their own drills. Warm Up The warm up each night is always the same: 1200m slow jog, stretches as a group, 4 x 50m run throughs and 30 sit ups and 30 push ups. The aim of the run throughs is to increase your pace over the 50 metres and to do each run a little quicker than the previous one. Warm Down The warm down each night is always 800m followed by stretches as a group. Tuesday 13th February 2007 • Shane Stewart will set this training. • Centre square drill. • Touch Football match. • Throw ins. Thursday 15th February 2007 • 4 x 400m relay (everyone to run x4). • 4 x 150m relay (everyone to run x4). 33 • Out of bounds drill. • Cricket. • Throw ins. Tuesday 20th February 2007 Time Trial: • 1 km (3 minute recovery from 4 minute mark). • 3 x 200m (3 minute recovery between each one). • 5 minute break. • 1 km (3 minute recovery from 4 minute mark). • 3 x 200m (3 minute recovery between each one). • 5 minute break. • 1 km . • Throw ins. Thursday 22nd February 2007 • 10 x 60m @ 90% (walk back recovery). • Point post drill. • Cricket match. • Throw ins. Tuesday 27th February 2007 • 800m @ 70% (400m jog recovery). • 600m @ 70% (200 m jog recovery). • 400m @ 70% (200m jog recovery). • 400m @ 70% (200m jog recovery). • 600m @ 70% (400m jog recovery). • 800m @ 70%. • Throw in drill. Thursday 1st March 2007 • Various runs timed by whistle. • Backwards running. • Ball relay drill. • Throw ins. Tuesday 6th March 2007 • 4 x 800m @ 70% (400m jog recovery). • 4 x 300m @ 70% (200m jog recovery). • Family Favourites. • Signals drill. • Throw ins. 34 Thursday 8th March 2007 • 6 x “Goat Track” (hill between entrance to wireless tower road and junction at top of same road). • Centre square drill. • Cricket match. • Throw ins. Tuesday 13th March 2007 • 2 x 1km @ 70% (400m jog recovery). • 5 x 400m @ 70% (200m jog recovery). • Out of bounds drill. • Touch footy match. • Throw ins. Thursday 15th March • 3 x 800m @ 70% (400m jog recovery). • 6 x 200m relay (everyone to run x6). • Point post drill. • “Classic catches”. • Throw ins. Tuesday 20th March 2007 • Soldiers Walk to Cenotaph (return by handicap). • 5 x 300m @ 70% (jog back recovery). • Family Favourites. • Throw in drill. Thursday 22nd March 2007 • 6 x 150m @80% (150m slow jog recovery). • 10 x 60m @80% (slow jog back recovery). • Ball relay drill. • Touch football match. • Throw ins. 35 Tuesday 27th March 2007 Time Trial: • 1 km (3 minute recovery from 4 minute mark). • 3 x 200m (3 minute recovery between each one). • 5 minute break. • 1 km (3 minute recovery from 4 minute mark). • 3 x 200m (3 minute recovery between each one). • 5 minute break. • 1 km. • Throw ins. Thursday 29th March 2007 No running. • Coaching – to be taken by Paul Bidgood (30 minutes). • Cricket Match. Tuesday 3rd April 2007 • Training at North Hobart Oval – to be confirmed. Thursday 5th April 2007 • 2km loop. • 4x200m@80% (200m slow jog recovery). • 10x60m @80% (walk back recovery). 36 CHAPTER 17 2007 IN SEASON TRAINING PROGRAM The in season training program covers the period between Tuesday 10th April 2007 and Thursday 23rd August 2007. A further program for the finals period will be released later in the season. It is expected that we will move to the Domain Athletic Centre in the first week of April 2007. I only intend to use the actual track every second Tuesday night (North Hobart Oval in the other week) and for all Thursday training to occur on the grass area inside the track. It is a long time to September and there have been far too many lower limb injuries in the last few seasons. I believe the track has been the major culprit. The warm up and warm down will be the same all season with only a subtle change on a Tuesday. This will be as follows: Warm Up • Walk one lap on the grass. • Slowly jog three slow laps on the grass as a group. • Stretches. • 30 sit ups. • 30 push ups. • [4x50m run throughs on track – Tuesday only]. Warm Down • 30 sit ups. • 30 push ups. • Slowly jog two laps on the grass. • Stretches. • Walk one slow lap on the grass. Program 1 - 10th April and 5th June. • Note: on 5th June everyone will be at North Hobart Oval – to be confirmed. • Red Team @ Aquatic Centre. • 2 x 1km @ 70% (400m slow jog recovery). • 1 x 800m @ 70% (200m slow jog recovery). • 2 x 600m @ 70% (200m slow jog recovery). Program 2 – 12th April, 7th June and 2nd August. • 5 laps on grass – stride straights and jog/backwards bends. • Out of bounds drill. 37 • Centre square drill. • Throw ins. Program 3 – 17th April, 12th June and 7th August. • Blue Team @ Aquatic Centre. • 4 x 800m @ 70%(400m slow jog recovery). • 2 x 400m @ 80% (200m slow jog recovery). Program 4 – 19th April, 14th June and 9th August. • 10 x 60m 80-90% (jog back recovery). • Signals. • Throw Ins. • Touch Football Match. Program 5 – 24th April, 19th June and 14th August. • Green Team @ Aquatic Centre. • 6 x 300m @ 80% (100m slow jog recovery). • 4 x 150m @ 80% (slow jog back recovery). Program 6 – 26th April, 21st June and 16th August. • “5 Hats Running Drill” – see diagram. • Forward line drill. • Back line drill. Program 7 – 1st May, 26th June and 16th August. • Gold Team @ Aquatic Centre. • 8 x 200m @ 80% (200m slow jog recovery). Program 8 – 3rd May, 28th June and 23rd August. • “Family Favourites”. • Team relays. • Touch Football Match. Program 9 – 8th May and 3rd July. • 8th May – “mystery training session”. • 3rd July – everyone at North Hobart Oval – to be confirmed. Program 10 – 10th May and 5th July. • 5 laps on grass – stride straights and jog/backwards bends. • Throw in drill. • Whistle blowing drill. • Throws. 38 Program 11 – 15th May and 10th July. • White Team @ Aquatic Centre. • 10 x 400m @ 80% (400m slow jog recovery). Program 12 – 17th May and 12th July. • 10 x 60m @ 80-90% (jog back recovery). Program 13 – 22nd May and 17th July. • 1 x 1km @ 90% • 3 x 200m @ 90% • 1 x 1km @ 90% • 3 x 200m @ 90% • 1 x 1km @ 90% Program 14 – 24th May and 19th July. • “5 Hats Running Drill”. • Ball relay drill. • Reporting drill. • Throw ins. Program 15 – 29th May and 24th July. • Rest Night. Program 16 – 31st May and 26th July. • Coaching Session & Video Presentation. 39 CHAPTER 18 THE BIDGOOD PHENOMENON: THE CROWN LAGER CHALLENGE I am absolutely convinced that most of you believe Paul Bidgood is unbeatable. That is not the case. Symon Bird and I have knocked him off his perch before as has Graham O’Byrne, Mark Guy, Damon Marsh and Peter Walker. Paul has had a magnificent career to date with eight senior grand finals but it is about time someone decides to take a stand this year and claim his number one spot. It is not healthy for one person to have been dominating for so long. I have spoken to Paul about this and he agrees. It has now become a challenge for him to see how long he can stay on top. I am willing to buy a carton of Crown Lager for the umpire who knocks him off the number one spot this year. If Paul retains the title then my bet will be safe and he will need to buy his own beer. If Paul is injured or unavailable the bet is null and void. Good luck! 40 CHAPTER 19 STARTING OUT As an umpire you will generally start in the SFL Regional League Colts (9.30am start) or the Old Scholar Reserves (12 noon start). These are approximate times. Games go for between 1.5 and 2 hours. The vast majority of matches are played on Saturdays and it is only the older and more experienced umpires who may find themselves umpiring 2 games on the same day, although it is possible for you to do a game on Saturday and Sunday if you wish. If you are very fortunate you could find yourself starting in the SFL Premier League Colts. The general “pecking order” of appointments during the home and away season is as follows: • SFL Premier League Seniors • SFL Regional League Seniors • Old Scholar Seniors • SFL Premier League Reserves • SFL Regional League Reserves • SFL Premier League Colts • Old Scholar Reserves • SFL Regional League Colts There has always been a little bit of controversy over this categorisation. I believe that is the most appropriate order based on the “average” type of match during the season. I say “average” because I have no doubt that the best two teams in the SFL Premier League Reserves would produce a quicker game than either the SFL Regional League or Old Scholars and that game would generally be played on a bigger oval (particularly Bellerive, KGV or Boyer). But, on the other side of the coin, the other senior competitions produce bigger crowds and some would say more pressure (particularly SFL Regional League), play longer quarters (Old Scholars have been known to have 40 minute last quarters) and is the preferred choice of appointment for the more experienced umpire. That is why I have rated them on average ahead of the SFL Premier League Reserves. The same argument could perhaps be applied to the two best teams in the SFL Premier League Colts. When the top 2 or 3 teams meet in the SFL Premier League Reserves or Colts you will generally find that the top umpires will do those games when rotated out of the Premier League Seniors. That may take the form of a Premier Colts and Regional Seniors in the same day or as a single reserves match. The opportunities for umpires are now better than it has ever been in the past. 41 CHAPTER 19 DIET The foods you consume each day have two important functions. They must provide all of the essential nutrients required by the body in the correct quantities for good health. They must also provide enough energy to meet the demands of training. To obtain all the nutrients essential for good health, foods need to be selected wisely. The healthy diet pyramid below illustrates the different groups of foods and the relative proportions in which they should be consumed. This illustration is a guide only and may not suit some individuals. There are key nutrients which are of particular importance to umpires. They are: Carbohydrate It has been well established that one of the limiting factors to endurance exercise is the depletion of muscle glycogen stores. Depletion of glycogen stores results in fatigue and ultimately exhaustion. The body uses two sources of fuel to varying degrees during exercise - these are fat stored as adipose tissue and carbohydrate stored as glycogen. 42 Protein An adequate protein intake is essential to your muscle tissue repair as well as many other metabolic functions. The amount of protein required each day varies from individual to individual however most umpires will require approximately 1.2–1.6 g of protein per kg body weight. These requirements can easily be met by the regular consumption of lean meat, poultry, fish as well as eggs and low fat dairy products. Good plant sources of protein include nuts, seeds and legumes such as lentils and soy beans. Post Match Eating and Drinking An area previously neglected is post game recovery. It is therefore important that you consume carbohydrate as soon as practicable after the match has finished. The easiest way of doing this will be in the form of fluids — for example 1–2 cans of soft drink, 3–4 glasses of strong cordial or 2 glasses of *Exceed High Carbohydrate Source. This should be followed by a high carbohydrate meal that evening. In addition you should remember to re- hydrate with plenty of water. Alcohol & Tobacco Smoking Alcohol consumption and tobacco smoking can impact on your performance and contribute to poor physical fitness and poor health. Sun related issues You need to be proactive to minimise the risk of sun related damage to your skin. That can be achieved by protecting yourself from the sun with appropriate clothing including cap and the application of sunscreen at training and during matches. 43 CHAPTER 21 SPORTS DRINKS & OTHER SUPPLEMENTS When you exercise in hot conditions you can loose 230ml of fluid every 15 minutes and it important to quickly replace the lost glycogen, sodium, potasium and magnesium etc. I have always found sports drinks to be better than plain water for a number of reasons: 1. You absorb them quicker. 2. They contain minerals. 3. They will boost your energy. 4. They taste good. There are a number of sports drinks on the market: Gatorade, Powerade, Staminade, Lucozade and Exceed etc. The majority are already pre-mixed in bottles. You should avoid using any carbonated or fizzy drinks during exercise as these are likely to upset your stomach. Thirst is a poor indicator of fluid needs. The trick is to drink before you feel thirsty. You must get into the habit of regularly consuming water before, during and after training and matches. The best fluid during training sessions is cool water. During matches you will benefit from a commercial sports drink which provides carbohydrate and fluid in a rapidly absorbed form. Failure to consume fluids can lead to dehydration will not only adversely affect your performance but can also be very dangerous. Fluid replacement routine • Drink 500ml (2–3 glasses) half an hour to one hour before a game. • Drink 200ml (1–2 glasses) every 20 minutes during a game. • Drink 500ml to 1 litre (5–6 glasses) after a game. Assess your fluid requirements Assess your fluid requirements by weighing yourself before and after exercise or sport: • 1 kilogram lost = 1 litre of fluid lost • 2 kilograms lost = 2 litres of fluid 44 If you have lost weight, increase the amount you drink throughout the game the next time you umpire. If you lose 5 per cent of your body weight, serious heat injury can occur (e.g. if you lose 3.5kg when your bodyweight is 70kg). Symptoms of heat injury or heat stroke Symptoms include: • Fatigue • Nausea • Headache • Confusion • Light-headedness. These indicate that you should stop, drink more fluids and cool down. Seek medical treatment if these symptoms do not improve rapidly. Also remember to keep an eye on your partner or team-mates who may not realise they are suffering from dehydration or heat stress. Take extreme care if exercising for more than 30 minutes in very hot weather (more than 34°C).Dehydration, heat and sun injury can be prevented and should be part of your pre-activity plan. Emergency plan • Lie the victim down. • Loosen and remove excessive clothing. • Cool by fanning. • Give cool water to drink if conscious. • Apply wrapped ice packs to groins and armpits. • Seek medical help. What to wear • Wear light clothing — light in colour, light in weight. • Wear a hat or visor. • Wear a 15+ sunscreen to prevent skin damage and skin cancer. • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. 45 CHAPTER 22 STRETCHING There is a lot I could say about stretching but you all have a general idea of why we need to stretch and some of the stretches we do. I will therefore talk about the basic guidelines of stretching and then outline the stretches you need to do. Stretching guidelines • You should be thoroughly warmed up before performing these exercises • Stretch to just before the point of discomfort. • The feeling of tightness should diminish as you hold the stretch. • Breath out into the stretch. Avoid breath holding. • Hold each stretch for 10-30 seconds. • If tightness intensifies or you feel pain stop the stretch. • Shake out limbs between stretches. • Complete 2-3 stretches before moving onto the next exercise. Types of stretches Stretch #1 – Shoulder & Chest This can be performed kneeling or standing. Clasp hands behind back and straighten arms. Raise hands as high as possible and bend forward from the waist and hold. Stretch #2 – Arm Across Chest Place one arm straight across chest. place hand on elbow and pull arm towards chest and hold. Repeat with other arm. Stretch #3 – Triceps Stretch Place one hand behind back with elbow in air. Place other hand on elbow and gently pull towards head. Hold and repeatwith other arm. Stretch #4 – Glute Stretch Sitting on floor with right leg bent, place right foot over left leg. Place left arm over right leg so elbow can be used to push right knee. Hold and repeat for other side. Stretch #5 – Adductor Stretch Stand with feet as wide apart as is comfortable. Shift weight to one side as knee bends. Reach towards extended foot and hold. Repeat for other side. 46 Stretch #6 – Single Leg Hamstring Place leg out straight and bend the other so your foot is flat into your thigh. Bend forward from the waist keeping your back flat. Hold and repeat with the other leg. Stretch #7 – Standing Quadriceps Standing on one leg grab the bottom of one leg (just above ankle). Pull heel into buttocks and push the hips out. Your thigh should be perpendicular to the ground. Hold and repeat with the other leg. Stretch #8 – Standing Calf Place feet in front of each other about 18 inches apart. Keep back leg straight and heel on the floor. Push against a wall to increase the stretch. Hold and repeat with other leg. 47 CHAPTER 23 BASIC FIRST AID Acknowledgement: The material in this chapter has been sourced from Sports Medicine Australia. THE “RICER” TREATMENT Rest Place yourself in a comfortable position. Keep the injured area supported. Avoid using the injured area for at least 48 –72 hours as continued activity will increase bleeding and damage. Ice Apply ice to the injured area for 20 minutes, every two hours for the first 48 –72 hours after injury. Ice reduces swelling, pain and bleeding. Ice can be used in the following ways: • Crushed or cubed ice in a wet towel or plastic bag frozen pea packet in wet towel. • Cold pack wrapped in wet towel. • Icy or cold water is better than nothing. Caution: Do not apply ice directly to skin. Compression Apply a firm wide elastic bandage over the injured area as well as above and below. Where possible hold ice in place with the bandage and not your hand. Between ice treatments maintain bandage compression. Applying a bandage will reduce bleeding and swelling and also provides support for the injured area. Caution: Ensure the bandage is not too tight. Some signs of the bandage being too tight may include numbness, tingling or skin becoming pale or blue. If these symptoms and/or signs develop remove the bandage and reapply again firmly but not as tightly. 48 Elevation Raise the injured area above the level of the heart at all times. A pillow can be used to provide support and comfort. Elevating the injured area reduces bleeding, swelling and pain. Referral As soon as possible after injury arrange to see a qualified health professional such as a Doctor or Physiotherapist. This will determine the extent of your injury and provide advice on treatment and rehabilitation required. THE “NO HARM APPROACH” No heat Applying heat to an injury increases bleeding. Avoid hot showers or baths, saunas, spas, hot water bottles, hot liniment or heat packs. No alcohol Alcohol increases bleeding and swelling which delays healing. It can also mask pain and severity. No running Running or exercise increases blood flow to the injured site. This can make the injury worse and delay healing. No massage Massage or the use of heat rubs increases swelling and bleeding. IMPORTANT POINTS Early and correct use of RICER and NO HARM factors is essential for the initial management of a soft tissue injury. RICER &NO HARM should be continued for 48 –72 hours. Nobody likes being on the sidelines as a result of injury. The best way to recover from any soft tissue injury is by using the RICER and NO HARM injury management approach. They help to prevent further damage and 49 will mean less time away from umpiring. The first 48 –72 hours are vital in the effective management of any soft tissue injury. Soft tissue injuries refer to all ligament sprains, muscle strains and muscle bruises (corks etc) and most bumps and bruises which occur in sport. The immediate treatment is RICER. RICER should be initiated immediately after injury and continued for 48 –72 hours. To ensure a successful recovery, NO HARM factors should also be followed in conjunction with RICER. 50 CHAPTER 24 CREATING YOUR OWN TRAINING PROGRAM Introduction Modern football is based on moving the ball quickly and you must be physically conditioned in order to achieve the best position from which to adjudicate. As a person becomes physically fatigued their concentration level drops as does their capacity to perceive events. The higher the level of fatigue the greater the drop in concentration. The overall aim of training is to adequately prepare you to carry out your duties as efficiently and effectively as possible without undue fatigue. In order to achieve the above mentioned aim training is based on a number of objectives. Objectives of your program These objectives are as follows: • Specificity - where training is specifically designed for the requirements of boundary umpiring. • Progressive Overload - where the training load, both quantity and intensity, is increased progressively in relation with the umpires ability to cope. • Optimal Fitness - achieving the highest level of fitness as a group and as individuals. • Prevention of Injuries - where adequate measures are taken to minimise the occurrence of injuries. • Skill Development - running backwards, throw in techniques. • Whole Body Development - the conditioning of the trunk and upper body. • Agility - improving the ability to achieve correct positioning quickly. 51 Four training phases The training program has four distinct phases, each one having a different emphasis and with each preceding phase as a preparation for the next. The phases are: • Foundation • Pre-season • In-season • Active rest Pre-Season Pre-season training should begin in January and continues until the opening round of the home and away games. Pre-season is the hard slog training where the emphasis is on: • Specificity of training • Progressive overload • Developing aerobic endurance • Developing anaerobic endurance • Improving flexibility • Conditioning of the trunk and upper body • Skill development throw ins and running technique • Agility During this phase of training there is a change from the general aerobic conditioning of the foundation phase to very specific training for field umpiring. Training in terms of quantity, intensity and duration at least matches and often surpasses the upper demands made on field umpires by the game. Aerobic endurance is also further developed by the inclusion of long runs. Anaerobic endurance is developed by the use of an interval running program as part of training. Development of anaerobic endurance occurs by increasing the number of repetitions and by also reducing the recovery time between each repetition. The pre-season should consist mainly of the following: • Long Runs 52 • Repetition Runs (800 and 400 metres) • Time Trials • Stretching (before and after training) • Reducing recovery rate between repetition running • Run throughs In-Season Peak fitness for umpires should be reached by the first game of the year at the end of pre-season training. The objectives of in-season training are: • Maintaining levels of fitness reached during the pre-season phase • Prevention of injuries • Variety of training During the season training is directed at the maintenance of aerobic and anaerobic endurance fitness rather than further development. This is achieved by two nights of training where Tuesday is the hard night and Thursday training is the lighter so that the umpires are fresh for Saturday’s games. Active Rest During this period you should not do any running. Cross train instead. 53 CHAPTER 25 RUNNING IN GENERAL & THE IMPORTANCE OF GOOD SHOES The Do’s and Don’ts • Don’t start training without a full medical check up. • Don’t attempt to run through an injury. • Do dress correctly. Layer your clothing and do not wear dark colours at night. Use a light and some reflective material. • Don’t run in worn out shoes. • Do tell someone where you are going for a run and what time you expect to return home. • Do a walk to start with and some light stretches early in your run. • Do watch out for cars – do not expect drivers to keep a lookout for you. • Do include a training partner in your programme. • Don’t wear headphones (or at least not in both ears) when running outside. You loose the awareness of your surroundings – dogs, cars, bikes and criminals. • Don’t run in remote areas by yourself – especially if you are female and that includes two girls running together. • Do include a training partner in your training program. Basic running technique Stride Should be comfortable – not too long. Umpiring is odd because the better runners seem to be judged on how quick they look. People with a shorter stride tend to look quicker than those who take longer strides. Arms Should move beside your body and not directly across it. There should be an 80-90 degree bend at your elbow so that you are neither running with your hands around your face nor like you are attempting to remove something from your pocket or to milk a cow. Hands Should not be too tight or too open. Pretend that you are holding a bird in your hand. Too tight and it will die. Too loose and it will fly away. Shoulders Should be relaxed and not hunched up as this is an indication of fatigue. 54 Head Should be straight and still – not wobbling from side to side as if you are on the stage at a rock concert. Body posture Should be relatively upright – not as if you are leaning backwards or doubled-over at the waist. The key is to be efficient and look refined. “Pronation” The first thing you need to do is learn about “pronation” – the movement of your feet when you walk or run. There are three basic types: 1. A high arch means you may be a supinator – that means your feet roll out. 2. A normal foot means you are a normal pronator. 3. A flat foot means you may have a tendency to overpronate – that means your feet have a tendency to roll in. Pronation is a good thing as your feet need to move in order to absorb the shock of impact. It is a bad thing when this movement is excessive. Determining your foot type In order to work out what foot type you, simply wet your foot and place it on a flat, dry surface – a piece of paper on a hard wood floor will suffice. Getting the right shoe Running shoes are generally straight, semi-curved and curved. Most experts tend to be believe that overpronators should wear a shoe with a straight last, supinators should wear a shoe with a curved shape and normal pronators should wear a shoe with a semi-curve. Work out your budget 55 Or perhaps your parents already have a budget in mind for you! Ideally you need two pairs of shoes for umpiring – one to train in and to use in most of your matches – and another pair called “boots” to use in wet weather. I purchased my boots in 1997 and still have them now because I would be lucky to have umpired in them any more than thirty times. You must have a pair of boots. If you have a black pair of football boots at home I am happy for you to wear them at all levels except premier seniors (the AFL Umpires did it in 1996 and we now wear black shorts anyway). If you can only afford one pair of shoes go for something like a grass cat or a touch football shoe – something comfortable to run in but with a decent grip on the sole. The reason I say two shoes is because grass cats are not good on the track or out on the road. Ideally your umpiring shoes should be predominantly white and certainly clean but I don’t want umpires discarding perfectly good shoes in order to go out and buy a pair that are mainly white. Whilst shoes are very important, I also do not want people blowing their budgets on them or parents ringing up to say their son or daughter said they had to have these particular shoes. You should be able to pick up a decent pair under $150.00. Visit a specialist shoe store I have always found Paul’s Warehouse (Main Road Moonah) to have a good range and be reasonably priced. Neil Sargison (a medium sized guy with red hair) is very helpful and has been running a long time. Make sure you tell him you are a boundary umpire because he will be able to sell you something appropriate. Make sure the shoe fits you properly Fit and comfort is more important than the latest technology and what your friends are wearing. Here are some other tips I have found to be helpful over the years: • Shop late in the afternoon when your feet are at their largest (they will expand when you run). • Take a pair of your umpiring socks along. • Make sure the sales person measures both feet. 56 • You should not be able to push the back of your shoe in with your thumb. • The shoe should not bend in the middle – only the front 1/3. • The front side of the shoe should not bend any more than 45 degrees. • Check for adequate room at the top of your shoe by pressing your thumb into the shoe just above the largest toe. The edge of your thumb should fit between your toe and the end of your shoe. • Your heel should not slide up and down. • The shoe should not press too tightly on any area of your foot. • Take your shoes for a test run around the shop or down the street if you are allowed to. Once you find a shoe that works for you stick with it. 57 CHAPTER 26 ATTITUDE Attitude is an important characteristic of people and can have a significant impact on the umpiring environment. Our attitude is something that we can control. We can decide how we project that to others. Our attitude will influence the manner in which people relate to and respond to us. A positive, enthusiastic and responsible attitude towards umpiring can be demonstrated in the ways set out below. At Training Sessions/Coaching Sessions/Match Day • Accepting responsibilities • Actively encouraging others • Receiving and discussing feedback • Ensuring umpiring tasks are completed to schedule and to the required standard Boundary Umpires have a responsibility to present on match day in a professional manner. This will earn them the respect of officials, coaches, players, spectators and their umpiring colleagues. You should remember that first impressions are often lasting impressions. Behaviour and appearance in the extreme does not create a good impression. Best results are achieved by staying within the "expected norm" - not too conservative but not too radical either. It is important to remember that the majority of football officials, administrators, coaches, umpires' advisers, observers and board members are generally from an older generation and they are the people who could have a significant influence on your career. Uniform You are expected to have a clean and neat uniform and equipment. Your uniform will reflect who you are as an umpire. Remember the old saying – if you are not an umpire at least look like one. It is important to remember that the match you are officiating in is the most important match that day to those participating in it. 58 Interpersonal Skills Effective interpersonal skills are attributes which are common to successful umpires. Examples are: • Courteous • Good listener • Clear speaker • Acknowledge others • Respect others’ opinions • Project positive body language Interpersonal skills are demonstrated when communicating, relating and interacting with other people. The people umpires mostly interact with on a match day are the other umpires and officials, players, coaches and Club officials. 59 CHAPTER 26 DECISION MAKING The “four step” process I have always held the view that decision making is a four step process. Those steps are: 1. You have to know the law/rules before you can even step out on the field. 2. You then make your decision – essentially, that will be either to blow your whistle or “let it go”. 3. If you have decided the ball is out of bounds, out of bounds on the full or there is a centre square infringement, you need to “signal” your decision to the field umpire. 4. Finally, you need to carry out that decision either by throwing the ball back into play or moving into position for the next act of play. To take the above point a step further, you only have to blow your whistle when one of three things has happened: 1. The ball is out of bounds. 2. The ball is out of bounds on the full. 3. A player has entered the centre square illegally. Decision making is by far the most important area of your umpiring. It is the only thing both the players and spectators want you to get right. It does not matter if you are the fittest and fastest boundary umpire going around if you regularly get your decisions wrong. You will find that your decision making will become easier, more confident and accurate as you umpire more games. It is worth remembering that everyone has had to start at the beginning and have had to encounter the same issues. The simple fact is that all umpires make mistakes – even grand final umpires in the AFL. I expect you to make mistakes because I know that I will if umpiring this season. Obviously the better umpires make fewer mistakes and can get all of their decisions in match correct. I really do not care what mistakes you make at the start of your umpiring career so long as you learn from them and try hard. 60 Some tips on better decision making The majority of mistakes seem to be made due to poor concentration and not by failing to know the laws/rules. I suspect that may be different for field umpires as “their rules and interpretations” are far more complex. It seems there is a greater tendency to make a mistake at either the start or end of your match due to not being switched on or fatigued. You need to be in the correct position to make an informed decision rather than a guess. We are not in the business of guessing. The correct position is on the boundary line 5-10 metres from the contest – not backing off towards the fence. Alternatively, when caught some distance behind play, move out wide to the fence so that you can get a better view of play down field. It creates a different angle which enables you to see better. Look to the goal umpire for assistance. In the majority of instances they will come out and signal to you when they can see you have been caught out or are unsure. Also look to the field umpire particularly when the ball has gone out of bounds on the full. Sometimes they will signal the direction of the free kick before you have even finished signaling. Unless you are absolutely confident that the entire ball was completely over the line allow play to continue. It can be difficult determining whether the ball has gone out of bounds when the player is running away from you and carrying the ball in front of his stomach. In country football there are some very large stomachs to see around. If you are unsure whether the ball came off the knee or just below it, say it came of the knee because this is the lesser of the two (see special signal for this). If you are unsure whether the ball bounced on the line or just over it, say it hit the line because this is the lesser consequence of the two. If you are unsure whether a player illegally entered the centre square, give them a warning. The majority of players will thank you for it. One of the easiest things to do, and particularly in the early years of your umpiring career is to anticipate the ball going out of bounds by raising your whistle and arm before the ball has crossed the line. Everyone has done it. 61 This is particularly damaging because the crowd is likely to notice and accuse you of making a mistake. But there is a little trick to avoiding this. One day when I was at the MCG I noticed a three time AFL Grand Final boundary umpire pinching the bottom of his shorts when the ball was close to the line in order to stop himself anticipating. It is very difficult to do on the run but easy when you are stationery or moving at slow speed. Give it a go – it certainly works. It is a confidence thing. If you look confident and that you know what you are doing, you are less likely to come under criticism. OUT OF BOUNDS Definition The ball is out of bounds when it completely crosses the boundary line or hits the behind post providing it has touched the ground or a player. If any proportion of the ball is on or above the line it is still in play. There are a number of other occasions when the ball is out of bounds which I will explain shortly. Signal Blow your whistle loudly and raise one arm straight up next to the side of your head. Your hand should be open and not clenched. The blowing of your whistle and the raising of your arm should occur at the same time. The only person you are signaling to is the controlling field umpire. You need to look at that person when signaling. An exception is when two players cross the line together with the ball – in that case you should keep an eye on the players to make sure no reportable offence is detected. Hold the signal for 2 seconds. If you are within 15 metres of the ball when it goes out of bounds you should be signaling whilst moving sideways along the boundary line and facing into play. If you are not within 15 metres, you can keep running whilst signaling. But remember to keep your signal sharp and look towards the field umpire. 62 Procedure After you have signaled to the field umpire that the ball has gone out of bounds, they will then do one of three (3) things: tell you to throw the ball in; pay a free kick or fail to see your signal. Field umpire tells you to throw ball in Before you turn to pick the ball up have a quick glance for a reference point of where the ball crossed the line – an advertising sign on the fence or a car is ideal. Sometimes the ball is kicked away and players will usually try and tell you the ball crossed the line further down the ground or closer to goal. If the ball goes either over the fence or under it and you can not reach it, ask a spectator or a player to retrieve it for you. Under no circumstances do you climb over the fence or leave the playing arena. The reason is in order to avoid injury and for your own personal safety. You will receive a bit of criticism for not getting the ball but you can generally solve that by saying something like “we are not allowed to leave the playing area”; or “we get dropped to the reserves if we climb the fence”; or my favourite “we are not insured if we climb the fence – what is the world coming to”. This has got many a laugh. You should always to check to see if the field umpire is in position before you go to throw the ball in. Field umpire pays a free kick which overrides your decision – you then just assume your normal role Field umpire does not notice your signal and play continues In that case you run after the field umpire continuing to signal out of bounds and blowing your whistle (perhaps louder this time). If a goal has been scored, it is worth remembering in case the field umpire can not, that the score can be cancelled at any time prior to the ball being bounced in the centre again. 63 Other out of bounds situations to remember Playing on outside the boundary line from a free kick If a player takes a free kick outside the boundary line and his intention is to play on between the man on the mark and the boundary line (ie to not head directly back into the field of play) you should signal out of bounds. However you can not do this until after the field umpire has called “play on”. This is absolutely crucial. If the field umpire does not call play on you can not signal out of bounds. Player takes kick outside field of play and ball does not completely cross back over the boundary line into play In this instance the throw in occurs at the spot where the ball was kicked not where it ends up. Defensive player takes kick outside boundary line and kicks ball into the back of the behind post He simply gets another kick. You do not need to do anything other than to perhaps remind the field umpire what the rule is. Player takes kick outside boundary line and kicks ball into man on mark He receives another kick in this situation as well. Field umpire bounces ball out of bounds without being touched by another player The ball is bounced again. You do not need to do anything – except to stop laughing at the field umpire perhaps. Dispute between boundary and goal umpire over whether a behind was scored or the ball was out of bounds In this instance the decision of the goal umpire will prevail. Any difficulties can be overcome by remembering this rule and by effective verbal communication between boundary and goal umpire. 64 Dispute between boundary and field umpire over mark or out of bounds (touched) The decision of the boundary umpire will prevail in this instance. If the field umpire pays a mark and you believe the ball was not appropriately controlled within the field of play, the boundary umpire should signal the ball out of bounds and run towards the field umpire in order to discuss the situation with him. OUT OF BOUNDS ON THE FULL Definition The ball is deemed to be out of bounds on the full when it is kicked and completely crosses over the boundary line or hits or goes straight over the top of the behind post without touching the ground or a player. If the ball hits an umpire it is simply “play on” – ie you just ignore it. A kick is defined as the ball making contact with a player completely below the knee. There are further instances when the ball is deemed to be out of bounds on the full which I will discuss shortly. Signal Raise both arms so that your hands are in front of your mouth and that your elbows are pointing out and at the same level. Blow your whistle loudly and then extend both arms straight out side ways. Again, your signal should be directed into the field of play and you should be moving side ways along the boundary line looking at the field umpire in control of play. Hold the signal for two seconds. After signaling After the field umpire blows their whistle for the free kick you need to indicate to the field umpire the spot where the ball crossed the boundary line. 65 You only need to do this if you are within 15 metres of the spot when you signal. You indicate the spot simply by pointing to the ground and then backing off in the direction of the kick for the next act of play. You need to look at the field umpire to make sure they see where you are indicating but also keep an eye on the ball as some players tend to play on pretty quickly providing they are behind the mark when they do so. Remember the saying – “blow, show and go”. Other instances of out of bounds on the full There are two other instances when the ball is deemed to be out of bounds on the full. They are: 1. When the ball is punched over the boundary line on the full by a player either at a boundary throw in or field bounce. The ball is deemed to have gone out of bounds on the full and that indication is given. 2. When a player kicks the ball in after a behind has been scored and it is not touched by any player before going out of bounds. The ball is also deemed to be out of bounds on the full and this indication should be given. I note that this rule does not apply in the instance when the player taking the kick out elects to kick the ball to himself and the field umpire calls play on. If a player manages to just get his hand to the ball before it goes over the line, you obviously signal out of bounds but also signaled touched so people know what has happened. CENTRE SQUARE INFRINGEMENT Definition No player or team official shall enter the centre square from the time the field umpire commences his or her approach to the centre circle to bounce the ball until such time as the football hits the ground when bounced or leaves the field umpire’s hand if the ball is being thrown up. 66 The best way to understand this concept is that the centre square is “locked” from the moment the field umpire steadies himself and starts his approach to bounce until the ball hits the ground or leaves his hand if thrown up. I have never been able to find the definition of entering the centre square – ie whether or not your entire foot must be over the line. I suspect it probably does but it does not matter because you do not need to be that technical. I must say that I was formerly quite “hot” on centre square infringements but have changed my view in recent times. In the days of the former TFL Statewide League you were marked out of 100 and a missed centre square infringement was worth about a twenty point deduction. Very costly. If it is obvious and a player is gaining a distinct advantage (ie anything about a metre or more) they need to be pinged. Otherwise a warning is a better way to proceed. Common sense must prevail. What I have tended to say in recent seasons every time I am on the corner of the square is “watch the line fellas – don’t jump in”. Players will tend to respect you for saying things like that. We should all get ourselves into this habit as I suspect the word will get around the clubs pretty quickly that we are going to be watching out for it. Signal Blow your whistle and with an outstretched arm point to the goals of the team who entered the square illegally. After making your decision you should be backing off in the direction of the free kick at the same time. You should also yell out the number and team of the player who offended proving you can see their jumper. Situations you will encounter & the answers to them Player/official pushed in If a player or official pushes an opposing play or official inside the centre square, it is a matter for the field umpire to award a free kick. If they do not, I would probably give the player a warning that you will be tempted to do it next time. That will generally call a halt to the pushing. Player/official making a genuine effort to quickly exit the centre square 67 I would let that go because they are disadvantaging themselves. The field umpire can always pay a free kick if they wish to for five players in the square. Five players/officials inside square An alert boundary might tell the field umpire but it is not our role to count the players inside the centre square or to award a centre square infringement in that instance. Two opposing players/officials simultaneously entering the centre square This has actually happened to me twice. The field umpire will simply bounce the ball again and the square is again “locked”. 68 CHAPTER 28 MATCH MANAGEMENT Dress to and from ground The public has a certain expectation of umpires and the majority of senior club officials are from the old school jacket and tie mindset. However those days have long passed and the number of spectators at Queenborough with their tweed jackets, Labradors and Land Rovers seems to be on the decline! All that is required is a neat and tidy dress – no tracksuits or thongs. I would prefer a casual pair of trousers to jeans at premier league senior level. Wears clean and predominantly white shoes during match If your shoes are becoming grey or faded, Kiwi White Shoe cleaner will bring them back to life. If you have already umpired a game that morning it is useful to carry an old toothbrush in your bag to wash the mud off the outside of your shoes and to clean mud off the soles (for traction not aesthetics). Ensure socks are pulled up at all times The new type of socks we have seem to automatically keep themselves up. But on the off chance you are having trouble keeping your socks up you can try a pair of gaiters or electrical tape (you hide it by folding the top of the sock over it). Ensure shirt is tucked in at all times The new draw string shorts keeps your top tucked in most of the time so it should not be a problem. If you do experience problems you can try tucking your shirt into your underpants. If that does not work you can use two safety pins to pin your shirt to your underpants. Wears at least one white sweat band You are only required to wear one white sweat band (most umpires prefer to wear two). You must wear a sweat band on the hand you signal out of bounds with – the reason being so the time keeper can see your hand. 69 No jewellery Players are not permitted to wear jewellery during a game and therefore the same should apply to umpires. The only exception is a wedding ring. You should also avoid the temptation of wearing a watch under your sweat band. It is a distraction and the moment you glance at it is the moment you will miss a report or something important. Some Old Scholar matches tend to have 40 minute quarters for no apparent reason and therefore a watch will be of little assistance to you in that situation – it will only lead to frustration and anger. Makes reports when appropriate Before you can step out on the field you must learn the types of reportable offences. Otherwise you will get yourself into trouble because you will see something and then wonder, first, whether it is reportable and, secondly, what type of report should be made. There are two categories of reports. Those that are “red card” offences and those that are yellow card offences. Anything involving an umpire, kicking or a serious act of misconduct is a red card. The player or official is not allowed to return to the field for the remainder of the match. All other reports are yellow card offences. Field umpires are the only umpires who are allowed to carry these cards. You therefore need to inform a field umpire whenever you make a report. I have extracted the information below directly from the Laws of Australian Football. “19.1 OBLIGATION TO REPORT 19.1.1 To Controlling Body” An Umpire shall report to the Controlling Body any Player or Official who commits or engages in conduct which may constitute a Reportable Offence: (a)during a Match; or (b)on the day of the Match and within the immediate proximity of the Arena where the Match is conducted. 70 19.1.2 Interpretation — “Within the Immediate Proximity of the Arena ” Without limiting their ordinary meaning, the words “within the immediate proximity of the Arena ” shall include any area within 500 metres of the Arena where the Match is conducted. 19.1.3 Other Appointed Persons In addition to an Umpire, a Controlling Body may authorise a person or persons to report any Player or Official who commits or engages in conduct which may constitute a Reportable Offence. Any person so authorised shall have the same powers and duties as imposed upon an Umpire under this Law 19.2.1 Degree of Intent — Clarification Where any of the Reportable Offences identified in Law 19.2.2 specify that conduct may be intentional, reckless or negligent: (a)any report or notice of report which does not allege whether the conduct was intentional, reckless or negligent shall be deemed to and be read as alleging that the conduct was either intentional, reckless or negligent; and (b)the Tribunal or other body appointed to hear and determine the report may find the report proven if it is reasonably satisfied that the conduct was either intentional, reckless or negligent. 19.2.2 Specific Offences Any of the following types of conduct is a Reportable Offence: (a)intentionally, recklessly or negligently making contact with or striking an Umpire; (b)attempting to make contact with or strike an Umpire; (c)using abusive, insulting, threatening or obscene language towards or in relation to an Umpire; (d)behaving in an abusive, insulting, threatening or obscene manner towards or in relation to an Umpire; (e)disputing a decision of an Umpire; (f)use of an obscene gesture; (g)intentionally, recklessly or negligently: (i)kicking another person; (ii)striking another person; (iii)tripping another person whether by hand, arm, foot or leg; (iv)engaging in Time Wasting; (v)Charging another person; 71 (vi)throwing or pushing another Player after that Player has taken a Mark, disposed of the football or after the football is otherwise out of play; (vii)engaging in rough conduct against an opponent which in the circumstances is unreasonable; (viii)engaging in a melee, except where a Player ’s sole intention is to remove a team mate from the incident; (ix)kicking or otherwise causing the football to hit any part of a stadium roof ’s structure; or (x)spitting at or on another person. (h)attempting to kick another person; (i)attempting to strike another person; (j)attempting to trip another person whether by hand, arm, foot or leg; (k)intentionally shaking a goal or behind post when another Player is preparing to Kick or is Kicking for Goal or after the Player has Kicked for Goal and the ball is in transit; (l)wrestling another person; (m)using abusive, insulting, threatening or obscene language; (n)failing to leave the Playing Surface when directed to do so by a field Umpire; (o)wearing boots, jewellery and equipment prohibited under Law 9; (p)any act of misconduct. 19.3.1 Reports During Match (a)Where an Umpire reports a Player or Official during the course of a Match, the Umpire shall use his or her best endeavours to inform the Player or Official of the report: (i)at the time of the incident; (ii)before the commencement of the next quarter; or (iii)where the incident occurs in the final quarter, after the completion of the Match. (b)The Umpire shall use his or her best endeavours to inform the person against whom a Reportable Offence has been committed of the report (if applicable). (c)An Umpire may inform the captain, acting captain or Official of a Team of a report where it is impracticable to inform the Player or Official who has been reported. (d)Apart from informing a Player or Official of the report, an Umpire shall not speak with the reported Player or Official or any other Player or Official about the report which has been made. 72 19.3.2 Completing Notice of Report (a)During the Match or after the completion of the Match, the Umpire shall complete a notice of report in the form prescribed by the Controlling Body. (b)Each Controlling Body shall adopt rules which prescribe the procedures for the lodgement and notification of notices of report. Good umpires are never afraid to make a report. In fact, your umpiring career can be progressed on the making of an important report. There is nothing worse from a coaching or Association point of view to wake up on Sunday morning and read a story on the back page of the paper involving some player getting carted off to hospital and no reports being laid by the umpires. Here are a few tips on observation that may assist you: • Be alert and always expect the unexpected. • There is “usually” one reportable offence in each match [I do not want you to go out looking for reports but rather to remember that they are out there]. • Glance back to the spot where the ball was kicked from after it travels down field as this is where a lot of reports seem to take place • When there is a field bounce or your partner has a throw in, have a quick look up and down the ground. • After taking the short leg on the ball relay and you are standing on your corner waiting for play to restart, glance back to the goal square to make sure the full forward has not lost his teeth. • The same applies when you have the long run on the ball relay and are waiting for your partner – do not just focus on your partner waiting to get the ball from some three year old kid who has had six attempts to kick the ball back over the fence or to make sure the field umpire has seen your signal and is standing on the correct side of the centre circle – look beyond him to see what the players are doing in the far end 50m area. The same applies to glancing back over your shoulder after you have reached the long corner of the centre square following the run through. • Always think “If I were a player when would be the best time for me to job someone”. Please do not fall into the common trap of thinking “Oh, I don’t think I will report that because some one else has”. This is nothing short of a cop out. You have an obligation to make appropriate reports. I would be extremely angry if you took this approach when one of your fellow umpires had been assaulted 73 or threatened. That is one occasion when you need to work even closer as a team and go into bat for your colleagues as you would want them to do it if you were the victim. In fact, if you are ever involved in a match where one of your fellow umpires is assaulted or seriously threatened, I want you to ring me on my mobile so I can make sure the report forms are completed correctly before you leave. If you can not get hold of me, telephone the regional umpires coach or one of the other coaches. We do not want these type of reports being thrown out. I will refer to the reporting and tribunal process later in this manual. Speak to players to defuse potentially volatile situations You would be surprised at what a few firm but well directed words can do to stop a potentially volatile situation from becoming an incident or even a report. It is best to get in and stop it before it starts. Some may take the view that this should be left to the field umpires. Whilst you certainly should not take on the role of a field umpire, they do have a lot to deal with and they may be considerably less experienced and confident than what you are. Some words of wisdom may be “easy fellas – let’s not do anything silly” or “I’m watching you two guys – don’t get yourself reported”. Inform goal umpire when arriving at behind post All you need to say is “here John” or “here Phil”. You must use verbal communication rather than a signal. Some goal umpires will acknowledge you verbally but the majority will provide physical confirmation by sticking their hand out by their side. If the goal umpire does not hear you keep telling them you are there until they hear you. 74 Do not do what I did one year in a country match and tap the goal umpire on the shoulder because I was annoyed at him refusing to acknowledge my presence on the post. It frightened the hell out of him and he turned around with a clenched fist! Dangerous stuff. It is particularly important to make sure you tell the goal umpire that you are on the behind post when he or she has their back to you when play is in the opposite pocket. You will nearly see them breath a sigh of relief when you call out because they know you have that area covered. This is why it is important to get into the post quickly when play is close to goal in the opposite pocket. It is also likely to result in the goal umpire looking out for you when you get into difficulty more frequently than they otherwise would. Inform goal umpire when departing post You simply say “gone”. Obviously you do not wait to receive the confirmation. Communicating with goal umpire – “yours” and “mine” Good communication with your goal umpires is vital. You should always say “yours” to the goal umpire whenever the ball goes through between the goal and behind posts. You should always say “mine” to the goal umpire when the ball goes out of bounds or out of bounds on the full and you are either on or in close proximity of the behind post. Remember - the goal umpire is the sole judge of whether the ball is either a behind or out of bounds. Assisting goal umpire when unsighted, unsure or wrong decision is made Umpiring is about team work. There will be occasions in your umpiring career when a goal umpire will be unsighted, knocked over, unsure of the score or makes an error. We are all human. It is therefore important that we help each other out. There are generally three occasions when this is more likely to happen: • Ball is on the ground in the goal square and amongst a few players. • Ball drops short and goal umpire is either knocked out of the way getting to the line or can not get to the line in time. 75 • Ball is in opposite pocket within close proximity to goal – quick snap across the face of goal. This is when you should be concentrating more and be prepared to render assistance if required. In the event you believe the goal umpire has made an error you want to be absolutely certain before you go over and speak to him or her. If you are wrong, you are the one likely to be dropped and not the goal umpire. Believe it or not but this happened to me two days after this coaching direction was made. It was a senior game at KGV and the boundary umpires coach was sitting right behind the goals. The ball was kicked quickly across the face of goals through for a behind. The goal umpire moved up to the line and signalled a goal. I went over and told him that it was a behind. Fortunately I was right and it had me in the coach’s good books for a little while longer. You must back yourself if you are absolutely certain that you are right. It is likely to be something which will either make or break your season. That is the type of strong umpire we need come finals time. 76 CHAPTER 29 SIGNALS You will note that the basic out of bounds signal, out of bounds on the full signal and centre square infringement signal has already been discussed in the chapter on decision making. But there are a few other variations on these signals which I now need to tell you about. GENERALLY Your signals should be confident, clear and precise. They should look polished but not flamboyant. I suggest that you practice all of your signals in front of a mirror so that they become perfect. Strong signals are one of the easiest things to get right. They make a significant difference to your umpiring because they show that your are confident and that you know what you are doing. This is very important when you have a close decision to make. If you happen to make the wrong decision but your signal is firm and confident the crowd may think twice or not take issue with it - you may even be able to bluff the observer too! If you are going to blow your whistle – blow it long and strong. OUT OF BOUNDS Off hands Normal signal – then tap the back of your raised arm three (3) times. Do not over do it. You don’t need to do this signal whenever someone handballs the ball over the line. It is only required when a player kicks the ball and it is touched in transit before going out of bounds. Off knee (or leg above the knee) Normal signal – then raise knee and tap it three (3) times. You tap your knee with the same hand you signal with. 77 Off behind post Normal signal – then tap outside of post three (3) times. You tap the post after you have signaled and you use the hand closest to the post. Off hands and behind post Normal signals as explained above but you tap your hand first and then the post. OUT OF BOUNDS ON THE FULL & CENTRE SQUARE INFRINGEMENT I have already dealt with these two signals under the heading of decision making and they do not contain any variations on the basic signal. BLOOD RULE Arms crossed slightly above your head. SIGNALLING TO PARTNER ON RUN When neither boundary umpire is on the behind post and a goal has been scored, the umpire who intends to collect the ball shall signal his or her intention to their partner by extending their inside arm out next to their body (level with their hip). This indicates to their partner that their partner will be doing the long run. SIGNALLING TO PARTNER ON BEHIND POST The person who intends to collect the ball will tap the side of their leg three (3) times and the person who is to do the long run will confirm by extending their arm out by their side (level with their hip). You should get into the habit of signalling to your partner before the ball is kicked. As a general rule, if the ball is going to go through the goals on an angle, it is usually the closest umpire to where the ball is likely to land who collects it. But you need to work together as a team and share the workload. The top class umpires can easily handle four long runs in a row. 78 CHAPTER 30 THROW INS Out of bounds/throw in procedure 1. Signal ball out of bounds looking at field umpire. 2. Obtain confirmation from field umpire that you can throw the ball in. 3. Retrieve ball. 4. Stand on the boundary line and line yourself up with the centre circle. 5. Check that the field umpire is in position before your throw the ball in. 6. Throw the ball in. 7. Move to the long side of play or behind post. Technique Different people have different techniques which can produce the same result. The following technique worked for me: • Stand with your toes just touching the inside of the boundary line. • Feet should be shoulders width apart. • Hold the ball with the lace facing you. Your middle finger should run straight down the seam and the knuckle on that finger should be directly over the “intersection” of the seams. • Your other hand is placed on top of the ball to steady it. • You then take the ball from waist level – up to your face – then down to the ground so your knuckle flick the grass – and then up again so that you release the ball somewhere about in line with your eyes [you will work that out for yourself after many practices]. If the throw is flat, you are releasing the ball too late. If the throw is too high and short, you are obviously releasing the ball too early. 79 • After you release the ball you should be looking up at the sky directly above your head. “Bowling technique” It seems that not all “chuckers” live on the subcontinent. There is a growing trend for boundary umpires to bowl rather than throwing the ball in. This is likely to result in an illegal throw because you are required to throw the ball directly over your head – not over your shoulder. Now is the time to work on it and get it right. Direction Wherever you are positioned on the ground the ball must be thrown in a direct line with the centre circle – not to the centre corridor of the ground. To get your direction right you will need to position your feet correctly on the boundary line. It is particularly important to get your direction right when throwing the ball in close to the behind post. There is nothing worse than throwing a goal – ie throwing the ball to the top of the goal square to the waiting rover. You never allow for the wind in terms of your direction. Always throw the ball towards the centre circle – if the players are smart enough they will soon work it out for themselves. Height The ball should be thrown between 3-5 metres in height. What I am looking for is a nice consistent loop. If you have a throw in front of almost all grandstands, a top class boundary umpire should be able to throw the ball in so that it appears to rise higher than the roof of the stand if you were watching the throw from the other side of the ground. Distance The ball should be thrown in to a distance between 12 and 15 metres. The ruckman should not be running forwards to meet your throw unless they are standing too far back of course. 80 If you find your throws are falling short, come in a few metres from the boundary line. However I would not expect to see anyone doing this in Premier League Seniors or even Regional League Seniors in an ideal world. Moving off after throw Do not get caught flat footed after you throw the ball in. You should be moving towards the long side of play either forwards or backwards. The reason is to get into a position if the ball is punched back out quickly or for when play moves down the ground. If the throw is within 10 metres of the behind post you should be trying to quickly get into the post to assist the goal umpire. 81 CHAPTER 31 RUNNING Below are the running aspects you will be judged on during your match. Start of quarter Moves sharply from centre circle to corner of centre square. Centre square Move forward quickly off centre square on a 45 degree angle. You should always run forwards off the centre square and not backwards. It is easy to fall into the habit of running off the square with your head down. In order to avoid this it is best to watch the ruckman contesting the ball and try to determine who wins the tap out. This will make you keep your head up. General Play Keeps up with play at all reasonable times. 82 There is a yet another saying in umpiring that you ought to “keep up rather than catch up” with play. Catching up with play is difficult. One kick behind play can easily turn into two or three kicks. Runs hard in all four quarters Top class boundary umpires are able to run at the same pace throughout the entire match. I usually found that the first twenty minutes of the match was the toughest on my body. You need to go out hard at the start of the game until you get your “second wind” and get through the pain barrier. Once you get there you are generally ok for the remainder of the game. Don’t fight it or go back into your shell because this will only make it harder for you. There are a few of you who go out far too hard at the start of your match and tire badly in the last quarter. Others tend to take it easy in the first and third quarter and save themselves for when they believe an observer may be watching. Well, under the arrangements I have in place this season, you will have to run hard all game because you will have people dropping in to watch you for 15 minutes or perhaps a quarter and then they will leave. Most of you will not know what they look like either. You therefore need to make every minute count. Reads/anticipates play I am going to spend two pages talking about this topic because it is something we have been doing very badly in recent years. Reading the play is not an ability which you need to be born with – you can learn it by properly concentrating and thinking during your match and by watching other senior umpires in action – particularly at VFL games and at the rare Premier League Senior match on a Sunday. I can not stress enough how much of an advantage it is to be good at this. I know it will give me a massive advantage if I do a few matches this season. I might not be as fit as I would like these days but I can partly make up for that by knowing when and where to run. When I was younger I would travel to Melbourne to see a weekend of football. I would always try and find a weekend when there were at least three games being played. I would pick the matches based on who was umpiring rather than the teams I wanted to see. I would try and find a match where guys like Ian Green, Peter McDonald, Malcolm Owen or Alan Cook were umpiring. If they were all in action it was virtually the perfect weekend. 83 I would watch the game and think where I would position myself and then look across to see where they were. Most of the time they were not where I expected them to be – they had already taken off and were headed towards the behind post. Let me tell you a little more about Ian Green. He was simply outstanding. I do not know what his 4km time was but I suspect it would be around the 13.45 to 14.00 minute mark. The guys I umpired the 1996 TFL Senior Grand Final were both good athletes and ran around the 12.10 mark. When Ian came over here to train during the preseason in the early 1990s there would always be 6 to 8 guys quicker than him and he would have to work hard to keep up with the front runners. But he would have absolutely murdered them in a match because he could read the play and could run hard all game. If you were a good athlete and had no knowledge of umpiring you would probably look at the 4km time trial results of some AFL Boundary Umpires and say “I thought they would have been much quicker than that”. But it just goes to show that you do not need to be an outstanding runner to succeed at that level. I have no doubt that you can be an average runner and yet umpire the Premier League Senior Grand Final. But you will never do that unless you can read the game properly. Most people are reluctant to talk about this topic because they struggle to put into words how you actually develop this skill. Here are a few tips I think you will find useful. Look at the difference between the two teams. Let’s say it’s 2006 and you have been appointed to umpire Clarence v Lauderdale. Clarence are currently on top of the ladder and Lauderdale are last. Clarence are leading by 60 points and it is not even quarter time yet. The first mistake most of you would make is to not change the nature of your running to take into account the flow of play. You would tend to run the same irrespective of which team had possession of the ball. This is the first thing you need to change. You should be taking off before Clarence are about to take possession of the ball with a view to getting a kick ahead of the play and beating the ball to the behind post when it travels down the centre or opposite side of the ground. On the other hand, when Lauderdale take possession of the ball you still need to move down field but I would be inclined to merely stay in touch with the play rather than to try and get ahead of it because the odds are it will be turned over and another goal scored at the opposite end of the ground. It helps if you know the skills and talents of particular players or at least try and remember them throughout the match – ie who are good overhead 84 marks; who has good leg speed; who is a very long kick; or who loves to play on after a mark or free kick etc. Scott Wade could not kick on his right foot and therefore every time he got the ball and was stationery you would get valuable metres on his long kicks because he always had to spin around to the other side of his body before he would kick the ball. It also helps if you know the game plan which clubs use or, more realistically, the plan they seem to be using in that particular match. Most clubs are made up of right footed players and will therefore prefer to take the ball into their forward line so that the left side of their body is closest to the boundary line – this opens up the angle for a kick at goal. Keep an eye on the wind. This is very important. If there is a 10 goal breeze blowing straight down the ground and the sides were relatively even, you would be inclined to spend a considerable amount of time at that end of the ground and not bust your guts trying to get a kick ahead of the play into the breeze. A 40m kick can travel 60m in the wind and it is ironic how many times the ball always seems to bounce just inside the boundary line when this type of wind is blowing. After you have backed out after a behind has been scored, try and keep moving backwards so you are always on the long side of the play. A kick out from full back is an opportunity to set yourself up for a quick goal being scored at the other end of the ground. If the full back kicks the ball out and it goes straight to the opposing centre half forward, what usually happens is he will either play on for a shot at goal (in which case you wont get to the post in time anyway) or he will go back and take his kick (in which case you’ll get to the post anyway). That’s why I would be more concerned with the fast break down the ground. If the player taking the kick out decides to kick the ball to the opposite side of the ground, this is not an invitation to stop and walk but an opportunity to cut in towards the centre square and start moving down the ground ready to beat the ball to the post. In general play, if a player kicks the ball across the ground to a team mate on his own, keep moving the down. Do not stop and wait for him to pick the ball up. Use that as an opportunity to get yourself into position for the next act of play. Quite often reading the play can be based on pure mathematics. At a contest, if there are 3 players from one team but only one from the other team, the odds are that the team with the more players at the contest will win the 85 possession. And you have an even better chance of anticipating if you know the players involved. When a player takes possession of the ball, look downfield at his options. Is anyone on their own? Has someone made a clear lead? When play is moving wide down your wing, you can even look two kicks ahead of play. If there are players all on their own, you know you really need to put your foot down and run hard. Umpiring associations throughout Australia are littered with people who were average runners but went on to become excellent or even outstanding umpires. This is largely because they could read the play and were always in the right spot at the right top. If done properly this will take your umpiring to a new level. Remember this point - reading the play well is more of an advantage to you than running seven days per week - and you do not have to put all that extra work in either. Keep up – don’t catch up. Avoids excessive walking When you begin your umpiring careers in the colts, I realise that you will walk at times because you will not have the physical strength or endurance to run your entire match out. I did the same thing when I started. I do not have a problem with it at that level so long as you are walking due to fatigue rather than laziness. Displays strong and obvious change of pace when required There are a number of occasions during a game when a change of pace is required. Examples are after the ball has gone out of bounds and you are caught some distance behind play; after a goal has been scored; a player is about to take a set kick for goal; or when a player is running along the wing bouncing the ball – this is when a top class boundary umpire would be able to run alongside the player as they are moving down field. Demonstrates strong backwards running skills Backwards running skills are very underestimated. You need to be competent in this skill. It requires a fluid motion, sometimes at great speed, rather than a skipping motion. You need to practice it and to condition your muscles and 86 legs to what is a rather unnatural movement. Backwards running is even more important now with the recent change in the kick in law. Turns when appropriate and facing into play Umpires often ask “when do I need to turn and run backwards”. The best explanation is when you can no longer see the ball out of the corner of your eye without pulling your shoulder backwards. When play is on or very close to the boundary line you should turn at the contest rather than running straight past it. Do not forget that you need to turn facing into play rather than towards the nearest fence. Runs strongly to nearest field umpire at end of quarter This is self explanatory. Into goal Attempts to beat ball to behind post (particularly when play travels down opposite side of ground) You should be aiming to be on the behind post whenever the ball goes through for a goal. Sometimes this will not be possible for a number of reasons. But this should nonetheless be your aim. Quite often an indication of your talent or ability as a boundary umpire is to see how many times you can get to the post before the ball goes through. It looks very good when you are able to do it. It is an indication that you are on top of the game rather than the game being on top of you. It is one of the most important running indicators I look for. When play travels down the opposite side of the ground or is loose on the ground in the opposite pocket you need to get to the post to assist the goal 87 umpire. The quick snap across the face of goal is most goal umpires worst nightmare. Displays strong and obvious change of pace into post There should always be a clear and obvious acceleration in your running pace into the behind post – perhaps none more so than when a mark is taken in the goal square. You want to make sure you are on the post when that kick is taken. There should be a clear change from 2nd or 3rd gear up to 4th gear. This is another example of your opportunity to show me how good and strong you are. I believe the difference between a top class boundary umpire and a very good boundary umpire is that the top class boundary umpire will use 2nd gear less than the very good umpire and has a greater capacity to use 4th gear more often. You need to remember that the main reason for there being a coach or observer at a match is to decide who the better umpire is – you or your partner. Of course they are there to provide feedback and assistance but the first thing I ask an observer is who umpired the better of the two. This then enables me to rank umpires for the finals and to run you off against each other to see who is best. Whilst team work and sharing the work load is important – and it does look good from the back of the stand when two umpires arrive at the post together - you are competing against your partner at the end of the day – and it may be a competition to see who gets the grand final and who misses out. There is an old saying in umpiring that you are only as good as your partner. I think that is total rubbish. Turns at appropriate spot to back into behind post I have answered this above. Ball relay Shares workload with partner 88 There is no better way to upset your partner and to get a bad name amongst your fellow umpires than to grab all the short runs. You need to share the workload. There will be times when you are injured or sick during your match and you may want your partner to do most of the long runs. But they may not be prepared to do that if you have created a bad name for yourself. Some umpires like to take it in turns of doing one long run and then one short run – others go two and two. It generally levels out at the end of the day. Most of the top umpires can handle doing 4 or 5 long runs in a row. Sometimes this happens when one team gets a purple patch and kicks a bundle of fast goals from general play. You tend to find that if you start on the long corner your partner will always get there before you to collect the ball. If this continues to happen after say four goals, you should tell your partner that you need a short run or your partner should have the presence of mind to do the same thing to you. If you umpire a game with three boundary umpires and use the standard AFL system discussed earlier in this manual, I would expect the umpire who has the entire quarter on the ground to be doing the majority of the short runs. Waits 5-10m off goal square to start 2nd leg This is probably the thing which irritates me the most – umpires waiting nearly at the start of the centre square to collect the ball from their partner. There is no excuse. It is laziness. You need to push down to the goal square to start the 2nd leg. The earlier you change over the less likely you will be to run out of room. You will often get players moving in front of you at the last minute which delays passing the ball over. Demonstrates smooth transition with ball What I want to see is a smooth transition with the ball. Two umpires striding out next to each other with the ball being effortlessly flicked to their partner. It needs to be polished. Ideally, when you have the short run your partner should be running slightly slower than your pace when you get to him. You should be about two metres apart and run side by side for about three seconds. When you draw level with your partner you should say ”one, two passing now” and then you flick the ball across to them. 89 Displays strong running to short corner You need to run hard all the way into your corner – not switch the motor off 15 metres from home. Displays strong running to long corner The same applies here. Accelerates after passing ball to field umpire It looks really impressive if you can slightly increase your speed after passing the ball off to the field umpire. It is just another of the one per centers which can make the difference between a very good boundary umpire and a top class boundary umpire. 90 CHAPTER 32 POSITIONING During general play You need to follows play from goal to goal. You should position yourself where you can have a good view of the boundary line but ensure that you do not interfere with the players contesting the ball. When play is on the other side of the ground, you can move inside the playing area but no further than your side of the centre square. Boundary umpires should never place themselves between the players and the ball. Set kick at goal When a player is taking a set shot at goal after a mark or free kick, the boundary umpire runs and stands behind the behind post. This allows the boundary umpire to assist the goal umpire. At the centre square At the beginning of each quarter and after a goal has been scored, the boundary umpires position themselves on diagonally opposite corners of the centre square. They must supervise the square lines that meet at their corners. Once the ball has been bounced or thrown in the air, the boundary umpire moves off towards the boundary line. 91 General play If you are still running towards goal when a behind is scored, you move quickly to the boundary line and position yourself about 50 metres from the goals. Boundary umpires need to position themselves where they have a good view of the boundary line but do not interfere with players contesting the ball. After a behind has been scored from a set kick The boundary umpire is positioned behind the behind post for the set shot. When the goal umpire signals a point, the boundary umpire runs backwards along the boundary line for about 50 metres. You should make sure no one is standing behind you when you leave the behind post and you will need to keep checking behind you when running backwards to make sure there are no objects in your path. You need to be aiming to be on the long side of the kick after it has been taken. You also need to be alert for the player lurking close to the boundary line (about 10-15 metres out from goal) waiting to take any short pass. 92 Ball near boundary line The best position is standing on the boundary line – not a metre inside or outside the line (but note the exception below). Maintain 10m distance on long side of play You need to keep this buffer area between yourself and the play in order to be prepared for a sudden change in direction and to maintain a wide vision. Back off along the boundary line under pressure to maintain safe distance from play You need to stay on the line and back off along it when play closes in on you. Never back off towards the fence because you will not be able to tell whether or not the ball crossed the line. This sounds pretty simple but one of the best boundary umpires we have ever had always got into this bad habit. Run out wide to fence for better view down field When you are caught some distance behind play your vision of both play and the boundary line is reduced. You can off set that by moving out wide so that you are virtually running with your elbow rubbing against the fence. Depending on the shape of the boundary line and your distance behind play it may enable you to get a straight line of vision on the ball and to a part of the boundary line you would be unable to see if you remained on the boundary line. Sometimes we can get caught behind play when it is not our fault. It happens to everyone. You will not get penalised if you are making a genuine effort to catch up or to move out wide to the fence if play is near the boundary line. It is all about making a genuine effort to get into the best possible position to make your decision. Ball inside 50m area I am about to go through a number of examples of where you should be positioned when play is inside the 50m area. The two most important things to remember are to use your common sense and realise your capabilities. 93 I could comfortably go to the behind post when most others would not dare because I know I can back myself and I know what I can and can not do. I also know to weight up such things as the quality of the opposition and strength and direction of the wind. It will take you some time to learn this. Whilst it is good to see people backing themselves by going into the behind post, be careful not to over do it. If you stay on the post too long and miss an out of bounds or are a long way behind when the ball sails through at the other end of the ground – you will get knocked off by an observer. Perhaps the best way to judge it is to remember the following expression – “if in doubt stay out”. Finally, just because your partner goes to the behind post does not automatically mean that you should do same. For example, if there is a field bounce 40 metres out from goal near your boundary line, a top class boundary umpire on the opposite side of the ground may well go to the behind post but you would be silly if you went and stood there as it would simply be inviting disaster. When to go the behind post • Field bounce – 30-40m out – providing it is not too close to your boundary line. • Throw in – on opposite side of the ground - within 40 metres of behind post. • After your throw in if within 10 metres off the behind post. • In general play when it is within 20 metres of goal [the closer it is to the opposite boundary line the more likely you are to go to the behind post]. 94 CHAPTER 33 LEGAL RESPONSIBILITIES Acknowledgment: I have taken the material in this chapter from a draft paper being circulated for the new level 2 field umpire accreditation program. Apart from being too long and detailed I do not otherwise have any problems with the content. All players will be affected by the actions of an umpire during the course of the game. Therefore, the Field Umpire has a responsibility to the players to ensure that no harm comes to them because of degree of carelessness on the Field Umpire's part. The complexities of the sporting environment, range of laws and related litigation, are emerging as the new era in modern sport and along with that is the expectation from the community that Field Umpires fully understand their legal, and other, responsibilities for the welfare of their sport and of those who participate. Pleading ignorance of knowledge of rules, best practices and responsibilities, is neither excusable nor acceptable and excerpts from the following article entitled, "The Sports Official and the Law", a paper by James Paterson, B.Comm. LL.B. (Hons) Grad, Dip. (Legal Practice), a lawyer with the Australian Sports Commission, adequately describe the role and responsibilities of the sports official (umpire). Introduction A famous American League umpire used to wear a shirt that had the words emblazoned across it, "Once I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken." Unfortunately, the umpire is not always right, and sports officials today may be held legally responsible if they fail to act as a reasonably prudent sports official would have, and an injury to a player results. Whilst this increased risk of liability is a concern, it should not be seen as an unwarranted intrusion into the world of sport, but rather, as an excellent reason to provide a safe sporting environment for officials, participants and spectators. It is extremely important to establish a clear awareness of the liability issues that affect your sport. Injuries are inevitable in sport. If an injury occurs it does not mean that a lawsuit will automatically result. However, it is a very real possibility. It is essential that those involved in the sports industry realise 95 that there is no automatic legal protection just because an injury occurred in the course of a sporting activity. As such, there is a need for an awareness that injury-related litigation can happen in your sport. This awareness should lead to action that will prevent injuries before they occur. The purpose of this paper is to provide a brief summary of the general principles of the law or torts, and in particular to examine the duty of care placed upon sports officials to provide a safe sporting environment. The Law of Torts - The General Principles The law touches upon all areas of life, and sport is no exception. The relationship between sport and the law is now more evident than ever before, and all involved in the sporting industry, whether they be officials, coaches, managers, players, spectators, directors or administrators, can no longer ignore the principles of our legal system. The law of the land is all encompassing, and the principles of our legal system do not stop at the sidelines of our sporting fields. Civil actions in respect of sports related injuries are the most common type of case in sports law. So what is the Law of Torts? The law of torts simply deals with people's wrongful acts, which cause injury or damage to other people. In a tort action, a person who has suffered damage or loss (the plaintiff) claims that the person who allegedly caused the injury (the defendant) should pay compensation through an award of damages, which are assessed by the court. Whilst the law aims to compensate the injured person, it also encourages a safer sporting environment by deterring similar injuries by imposing legal liability upon those who could have prevented the injury occurring. Thus, tort liability may be seen as a legal device promoting the safe administration and practice of all sports. There are two possible civil actions that a person may bring as a result of injuries sustained due to some sporting activity. 1. Battery or Trespass to the Person, or as it is commonly known, Assault (which is an intentionally wrongful act): and, 2. Negligence (which is an unintentional wrongful act). The first category of assault will only be covered very briefly as the overwhelming majority of tort involving sport focus on the issue of negligence. Therefore, for the most part, I will examine the tort of negligence and how its principles apply to sports officials. 96 Assault and Battery This is an intentional tort. Not only does it involve the application of force (no matter how slight) by the defendant to the plaintiff's person causing injury, but the defendant must have done the act deliberately. It does not matter that the defendant did not contemplate the precise extent of the injury caused by his or her actions. The tort of assault involves the following three elements: 1. The direct application of forceful contact by one person on another person; 2. The absence of consent by the person who was forcefully contacted; and 3. An injury as a result of the offensive contact. Negligence Principles Now back to the tort of negligence. The basic principles used to govern the required level of safety in sport are not complicated legal doctrines. Rather they are simply principles of common sense, reason and foresight. It is vitally important that all involved in the sporting industry have a basic understanding of the law of negligence and how it is relevant to their sport. Injuries occur frequently in sport. However, the mere occurrence of an injury does not automatically provide the injured person with the ability to successfully sue somebody. Before a court will award a person monetary damages, the plaintiff must show that the defendant who allegedly caused the injury, actually caused the plaintiff to suffer some harm or loss by failing to live up to a legal duty to be careful for the plaintiff's safety. This failure to meet a reasonable standard of care is called negligence. Negligence is the unintentional harm to others as a result of an unsatisfactory degree of carelessness. It occurs when a person does something that a reasonably prudent person would not do, or when one fails to do something that a reasonably prudent person would do. Negligence is therefore the failure to use reasonable care. The basic rule is that there is a legal duty to take care to avoid acts or omissions (an omission is simply the failure to take some positive action to prevent injury) which you can reasonably foresee as being likely to injure someone who may be affected by your actions. For example, an official who ignores a team captain's request to "fix" a "pothole" on a playing field and an injury occurs to a player as a result of stepping into the pot-hole. In determining whether a defendant has been negligent, the law has evolved a four-tiered test, which is applied to the individual facts of each situation. An 97 affirmative answer to each of these questions is required for an action in negligence to be successful: 1. Did the defendant owe a duty of care to the plaintiff? 2. Did the defendant breach that duty of care? 3. Did the plaintiff suffer damage as a result of the defendant's breach? 4. Did the defendant's breach actually cause the plaintiffs injury? Duty of Care Before any liability in negligence can be established, the injured person must show that he or she was owed a duty or care by the person who caused the injury. A duty of care depends upon establishing some relationship or proximity between the parties. The question the courts ask is, "whether the relationship was such that the defendant should have contemplated that his or her negligent act or omission could lead to the injury that resulted." Breach of the Duty of Care Once it is ascertained that a duty of care exists, it is necessary to determine just how careful the defendant was obliged to be in order to see whether the duty has been breached. The duty is not to take all possible steps to avoid causing injury, but rather, to take all reasonable steps to do so. Also, it must be remembered that playing sports or attending sports events involves a certain number of inevitable risks from things like stray balls to crashing racing cars. Where injury arises from a normal and reasonable practice inherent in the game there will be no liability. Such incidents are regarded as mere accidents whose costs must be borne by the injured person. Sport often derives its value and enjoyment from its speed, physical exertion and sometimes even violent and physical contact between participants. The occasional accident is the price paid by the official, player, or spectator, for the benefits of participating in sport. So once an injured athlete successfully establishes that a sports official owes him or her a duty to use reasonable care in supervising and controlling athletic events, the athlete must establish an applicable standard of care and prove that the official's conduct fell below it. The Standard of Care This is the most important concept in the law of negligence, and it is the issue upon which the majority of cases are decided. 98 What does the concept mean? The best means of illustrating the concept is through a detailed example based on two case scenarios. These are based on the facts of two Canadian cases. Case 1 A paying spectator at a stock car race was killed when one car was bumped by another, went out of control and left the track. When hit, the spectator was in a restricted area. Spectators were warned to stay well away from the area by prominent warning signs, constant announcements and by security guards. The spectator had been removed from the restricted area earlier by security guards and told not to go back. Case 2 This case involved an out of control car leaving the track while participating in a stock car race. In this case, the driver lost control because of a mechanical defect in the car, and crashed into the pit crew area, killing two people. The two cases are indeed very similar in many respects. In both, spectators were killed when racing cars left the track and hit them. However the outcomes of the two cases were completely opposite. The crucial difference between the two cases is in the efforts the defendants had taken to prevent such an injury occurring in the first place. The defendants in the second case had made some efforts to prevent the spectator from being injured, but these efforts were not enough. The car driver was negligent for driving a defective car, while the organisers were negligent because they had failed to erect adequate safety barriers to protect the pit area. In the first case, the efforts of the defendants were found to be sufficient even though those efforts still resulted in death of the spectator. Here the car driver could not prevent the accident, and the organisers had taken very reasonable steps to protect the spectator from injury and therefore met the legal standard of care. "The message for those involved in sport is an encouraging one. There is a level of behaviour that is acceptable to the courts, and if it is met, the law protects the person who has met it, regardless of whether it has been effective in preventing injuries or not. The law does not require you to account for the safety of other people, but only for your own behaviour in respect to their safety. This difference is more than legal semantics; it means that the ability to protect yourself against legal liability lies within your own hands." 99 The "Reasonable Person" Test The test that has been developed to address the question of whether or not the reasonable standard of care has been met is called the reasonable person test (traditionally known as the "Reasonable Man" test in Australian and English case law). To meet the reasonable standard of care, a defendant must be found to have exercised as much caution as the reasonable average person would have exercised under exactly the same set of circumstances. The problem with applying the reasonable person test is that the reasonable person most likely knows very little about the appropriate conduct of sporting activities. For this reason, the courts have come to modify the reasonable person test to make allowances for specialised knowledge in specialised fields. The standard of care must reflect an ordinary prudent official and not merely an ordinary prudent person. Therefore if an ordinary reasonable official would have seen the danger and would have been capable of preventing it, then the official in question should be held to a similar standard of behaviour. Thus the duty of care owed by an official takes into account that they are acting in a specialised and skilled capacity. Thus, if the adequacy of the conduct of a professional referee during a professional football game is at issue, the court will not apply the reasonable person test, but rather the reasonable professional referee test. The rule is that the more highly trained and experienced a person is the greater the standard of care is that he or she is required to fulfil. Unfortunately, though, ignorance of the law is not an excuse the courts will accept. The standard of care you are accountable for rises in proportion to the extent to which you become better equipped to meet a higher standard. It is crucial to note that there is an absolute minimum standard of care which no person's acts or omissions are viewed as acceptable under law, regardless of how ignorant of the situation that person can show themselves to be. The courts look extremely unfavourably upon defendant's who are "wilfully blind" to their obligations at law. Part of the general duty of care which everyone is subject to, requires you to take reasonable steps to inform yourself about what standard of care you should be living up to. Despite its apparent vagueness the reasonable person test does at least establish that there is no general requirement for those involved in the sporting industry to be careful in the extreme. The mere fact that there was something more that could have been done to avoid the injury occurring does 100 not necessarily establish that there had been a failure to meet the reasonable standard of care. The final two requirements before negligence can be found are damage and causation. Damage Unlike criminal law, which is designed to deter undesirable behaviour by directly punishing wrongdoers, civil law is designed to compensate those persons who have suffered some loss or harm by requiring those responsible for that injury to pay monetary damages. Generally the damages awarded in civil actions are not given to punish the negligent party, but rather to place the injured person in as close a position as to what he or she was in, before the injury occurred. For this reason, there must have been some actual harm or loss suffered by the plaintiff. If none has been suffered then there is nothing to compensate. Causation The causation requirement insists that the defendant actually caused the injury to the plaintiff in order for the plaintiff to be successful in a claim for negligence. The question the court will ask is.... did the negligence of the sports official in question cause or aggravate the player's injury? If the answer to this question is no (on the balance of probabilities) then the injured athlete will not be able to recover damages from the official even if the official was negligent. In most sporting cases the issue of causation is very clear cut. However the above question is often complicated in the case of a player suing a sports official ... the problem being that there is often intervention by a third party such as another athlete who ends up being the direct cause of the injury. We acknowledge the use of the article titled, "The Sports Official and the Law" as the basis of this part of the module. The article appears in, "Legal Responsibilities and Risk Management for Sports Officials" an Australian Sports Commission publication. The author was James Paterson, B. Comm, LL. B. (Hons) Grad Dip (Legal Practice), a lawyer with the Australian Sports Commission. Umpire's Responsibilities: What Duty of Care Do They Owe? There is a well held but unfounded belief that sports officials are immune from legal liability. In reality though, umpires who are responsible for 101 supervising a sporting event and enforcing the rules of the game can be held legally responsible for injuries suffered by players under their control. (This would include a Boundary Umpire where it relates to the area of the game which is directly affected by his decisions and over which he has control). Do not be fooled by the current lack of case law on the subject of negligent umpires. This does not mean that a lawsuit may not result in football. Indeed when an injury is incurred by one player because of the fault of another, and that injury could have been prevented, but for a negligent umpire, then the umpire can be held legally liable for the damage that results. But I must stress that umpires are not and cannot ensure the absolute safety of all players.... they must merely do everything reasonably possible to ensure their safety. On the whole then umpires have a legal responsibility to exercise reasonable care to eliminate foreseeable hazards in the conduct of the game and to ensure the safety of the environmental conditions under which it is played. This responsibility is derived from both the specific rules of the sport and the umpire's general authority to control the flow of the game itself. The following duties have been identified as those which umpires owe to the players under their control. Duty to Enforce Rules Umpires have a duty to enforce the rules of the sport and to prevent illegal actions. Umpires cannot prevent all rule violations, and they only have a duty to use reasonable care to see that the rules of the game including safety rules are followed. Reasonable care consists of advising the players of adverse conditions and illegal manoeuvres, showing due diligence in detecting rule violations, penalising the rule breakers, etc. If umpires overlook unsafe or improper behaviours, it is reasonable to assume that those behaviours will continue and perhaps increase. For example, in football the act of making primary contact with the head is both unsafe and against the rules. A player who does this whether by intent or by accident and does not cause injury, or, is not penalised, may well continue to do it again. If one player appears to get away with it then others may well try. Such oversights reduce both the safety of players and the quality of the game. Therefore an umpire's failure to control the actions of the players 102 to the degree that the rules allow, can result in legal action if and when an injury occurs as a result of inappropriate or unsafe techniques or actions. The interesting question then is what should umpires do when their personal judgement for preserving the player's safety in a particular situation does not precisely follow the letter of the written rules? The critical point is that regardless of the potential of a lawsuit, the health and safety of the players must be the most important factor to be weighed in your decision-making process. As the potential and likelihood and severity of injuries increases, so must the primacy of the safety issues. An umpire who must choose between an angry coach and a seriously injured player really has no choice. Disagreeing with a coach may cause annoyance or embarrassment but failure to protect the safety of the players may result in a serious and costly litigation. Duty to Protect Participants As a part of an umpire's duty to provide non-negligent supervision there is a duty to protect participants. Indeed umpires are potentially legally responsible if they: § fail to stop a game when the safety of players is threatened through spectator violence; § fail to ensure proper safety equipment is used; or § fail to enforce safety guidelines including blood and infectious disease policies. But umpires cannot guarantee the safety of each player; umpires are only under a duty to exercise reasonable care in all the circumstances to prevent injury. Specifically, umpires do not have a duty to protect players from dangers that are inherent in Australian Football. Duty to Warn There is also a duty on the part of umpires to warn players of possible dangers. This duty can arguably be expanded to include the umpire's responsibility of controlling the game as regards hazardous conditions and inclement weather. For example, ceasing play during a lightning storm. Umpires must be aware of their potential liability for ensuring that games are played under safe conditions. Umpires have the power to postpone or suspend a contest. Despite the tradition of playing certain sports in inclement weather if necessary, umpires are now being sued for not postponing or suspending a contest. Reasonable judgement is crucial in these cases. 103 Duty to Anticipate Reasonably Foreseeable Dangers Umpires are also under a general duty to anticipate reasonably foreseeable dangers. It is the responsibility of umpires to determine that the playing conditions are safe. The rules of football charge umpires with the responsibility for ensuring the safety and appropriateness of the facilities and equipment used in the game. This might entail ensuring that the equipment adheres to appropriate specifications and standards.... that the physical layout of the area is appropriate, and that the surface is playable and remains safe throughout the game. For example an umpire would be expected to note and correct a situation involving inadequate protective wrapping around a Boundary post, a sprinkler in the ground exposed because of a missing cover, or, holes on the field which may cause a broken limb. Umpires are expected to respond to both actual and constructive notice. Actual notice might include complaints from coaches or players about the facilities and equipment; whilst constructive notice of reasonably obvious deficiencies could be obtained by performing appropriate pre-game inspection. In either case the umpire has a clear responsibility to take immediate and appropriate actions to safeguard the players involved. In the end it is the umpire's responsibility to decide whether the game should start, firstly inspecting the overall playability of the playing surface. The crux of this issue is the umpire's reasonable judgement: the responsibility to call off a game will rest solely on the shoulders of the umpire. Duty to Control and Supervise the Game One other potential area for umpire liability is the failure to control and properly supervise the flow of the game. It is the duty of the umpire to detect and control the use of illegal and dangerous manoeuvres. However the duty to supervise and control only requires that umpires exercise reasonable care under the circumstances to prevent injury. It is clear that umpires have a duty to stop the match if it appears that an opponent is in serious danger of injury. Whether an umpire can prevent a risk of harm resulting in a player's injury may depend on the type of game the umpire is officiating and the extent of the umpire's authority. In certain sports like boxing and wrestling the referee 104 has a greater capacity for control than some other sports. But in team sports like football one or two umpires may find it difficult, if not impossible, to stop fights amongst players. Perhaps only the continual failure of an umpire to control observable and controllable player misconduct may be seen as a breach of the umpire's duty of care. As umpires you have ever-increasing responsibility to have liability insurance and to properly enforce the rules of football with respect to activity between players and the conditions of playing surfaces. If you see anything that looks the least bit unusual, it is always better to try and remedy the situation, at the very least call it to the attention of the relative Controlling Body. While you can never totally prevent an injured player from suing, you can certainly take precautionary measures to minimise the risks to players and to you being named as defendant in a negligence suit. Racial Vilification It is disappointing that the practice of "sledging" has become a part of sport and, even more unsavoury, that it has taken on racial overtones. This type of behaviour is both intolerable and unacceptable and is to be discouraged in the strongest terms. With the advent of many different ethnic groups now participating in Australian Football, there must be an awareness of State and Commonwealth legislation that deals with harassment and discrimination, and the responsibility of the Boundary Umpire to control it on the field in his area of jurisdiction. The following legislation is in place to protect peoples' rights relative to discrimination: § the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) § the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Commonwealth) § the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Commonwealth) § the Disability Discrimination Act (Commonwealth) § the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1987 (Commonwealth) You are not expected to know each of these Acts inside out, however, there is a duty to be aware that people have certain rights and that these should not be infringed. 105 Discrimination means treating someone unfairly because they happen to belong to a particular group of people - e.g. particular ethnic group, or, because they have a disability, and it is often the result of prejudice, ignorance, fear or simple naivety. In football, a common form of discrimination is racial. Most competitions would have a rule or policy, which addresses these issues. If such rules or policies are in place, then you should be familiar on how to implement them correctly. Should your competition not have rules or a policy in place, and you come across a situation on the field involving discrimination, you will need to handle the incident with a common sense approach. If, in your opinion, the incident warranted reporting a player, the report should be under rule 19.2.2 (l) - "using abusive, insulting, threatening or obscene language". Conclusion Just to sum up then... it is crucial today for umpires to be aware of their legal responsibilities. The risk of injury is common, and accidents do occur where no-one will be legally responsible. It is impossible to eliminate all the risks involved in football short of cancelling the game altogether. However, a number of sporting injuries are preventable by taking reasonable measures to ensure a safe sporting environment, and a failure to take these reasonable steps means that you can be found liable for negligently causing the injury. It is stressed, however, that the only duty that is placed upon you as an umpire is to do what is reasonable in the circumstances. The Boundary of each umpire should be to recognise and remove every hazard, which is reasonably within his or her control. Evading the issue and/or attempting to shift responsibility to others does nothing to increase the safety of participants or absolve you of your legal responsibilities. As people become more informed about liability concepts they often become frustrated about, what seems to be, an increase in the breadth of their professional responsibilities. In point of fact their responsibilities have not increased at all. They were just as obligated before they became aware as they are afterward. While ignorance may have seemed blissful, ignorance in no way reduces a person's responsibility or liability exposure. Informed umpires, 106 however, are best able to take positive steps to reduce the risk to the player and the resultant liability exposure to themselves. Finally, remember that ensuring your sporting contests are conducted safely is legally very important. But do not let this affect you adversely. Take the initiative and implement safe practices and risk management strategies such as appropriate levels of insurance, updating your competencies through training, maintaining/improving personal fitness, and be satisfied that you will be providing a safe environment for football, and reducing your risk of liability for sporting injuries at the same time. 107 CHAPTER 34 WHAT TO TAKE TO YOUR MATCH I have already dealt with your umpiring uniform in a previous chapter. Whistle and sweat bands The only umpiring-specific items you need to obtain yourself are an Acme Thunder Whistle and a pair of white sweat bands. The whistle must be this brand and have a finger grip. It can either be metal or plastic. The cost is about $18-20. If you have a metal whistle you should place Elastoplast tape around the mouth piece so you do not chip your teeth. Vaseline around the mouth piece will also make it easier to blow. Your whistle should not slide easily off your hand. You can either place extra tape around the finger grips or tape it to your hand. You should wear your whistle on the two fingers closest to your thumb and on the opposite hand you use to throw the ball in. You should run your whistle under a hot water for a minute or so before each game. This cleans all the mud and saliva from your whistle and causes the pea to swell and therefore produce a larger sound. Every month or so you should rinse your whistle in boiling water containing a mild antiseptic liquid. Do not leave it in there too long otherwise you will ruin your whistle. You should carry a spare whistle inside the pocket on your shorts on match day. Umpiring uniform The Executive will provide you with an umpiring shirt, shorts and socks. Only this approved gear can be worn in your matches. The gear is not free. In previous seasons the cost has been deducted from your match payments after you have signed an authority. Also in previous seasons, this fee has been refunded to all first year umpires upon umpiring again the following season. Further details should be announced by the Executive shortly. 108 What to take to your match I have placed a * next to the items that are essential – the others are optional. • *Umpiring shirt. • *Umpiring shorts. • *Umpiring socks. • *Two pairs of shoes. • Towel. • *Appointment slip. • *Laws of Australian Football 2007 (after you get your 2007 book – throw the 2006 version out to avoid any possible confusion). • *(2) Acme Thunder whistles (with finger grips). • *Sweat Bands. • *Two pens. • *Note book. • Vaseline. • Deep heat. • Band aids. • Elastoplast tape. • *About 1.5 litres of water [some towns have bad water and some ground have rusty pipes]. • *Spare shoe laces. • Tracksuit to wear whilst waiting to go out and at half time. • Baby oil. • Soap. • Shampoo. • Deodorant. • Sunglasses. • White hat. • Head ache tablets. • Chocolate bar, lollies or snack food. • A shopping bag for your dirty clothes. • Commercial sports drink. • An old tooth brush to wash the mud off your shoes if you have a double header that day. I always carry a golf pencil and two business cards in my pocket out on the ground instead of a pen and paper. I just find it easier. All of the smaller items can be placed in a large sponge bag or lunch box so they are easily accessible. 109 CHAPTER 35 THURSDAY NIGHT: YOUR MATCH PREPARTION STARTS NOW Association Meeting There is generally an Association meeting each Thursday night. Meetings are held in the club rooms at the Domain Athletic Track and are relatively short. There is a fully stocked bar which also has chips and chocolate bars. Savs are served but you need to get in early to beat the goal umpires (and myself). I have always found these meetings to be a good way to get to know your field and goal umpires. It is always worth listening to the announcements because not only may they affect you on a weekend but it provides you with an opportunity to put names to people’s faces. Appointment Slip You will receive a blue piece of paper called an appointment slip. This is your entry pass into the match. You need to read it carefully because your match may have changed from Tuesday night or indeed from the list of all matches which is generally on the wall. Your appointment slip is the official confirmation of your appointment. Do not rely on what you are told of a Tuesday night or simply look at the appointments on the wall and then leave. If you do not collect your appointment slip from Graeme Hamley within the time he provides, your match will be allocated to someone else. I, of course, will be extremely annoyed because I spend considerable time carefully doing the appointments and it will result in extra work not only for me but for Graeme as well. Your appointment slip will tell you: • The day and date of your match. • What level you are umpiring. • Which teams are playing. • The venue of the match. • What time the game starts (you need to be there 45 minutes before the scheduled start time). • The driver of any “official car” and their telephone number. Please do not come up to me on a Thursday night and say you can not umpire a particular game now. If it is my mistake I am more than happy to wear it. But if you do not have a reasonable excuse you will be effectively saying good 110 bye to any finals you may have received and the next two weeks of umpiring as well. The fact we may be short of umpires at the time will be irrelevant. This has been an incredibly frequent and ridiculous problem over the last two years and I will not put up with it. Official Car Some matches played outside the Hobart metropolitan area are allocated an official car. An umpire is designated as the official driver and receives a particular sum of money for his or her car being used to transport umpires to or from the match. The onus is on you to let the official driver know if you require a lift. It is best to organise a lift at the meeting if the driver is present. Make sure you are absolutely certain where you are to be picked up from and ask the official driver if he has a mobile telephone number (in case someone is running late). You should be able to obtain the contact details of most members from the secure area of our website – www.tflua.asn.au (username is tflua and the password is umpire). You should apply the same procedure if you need to get a lift with a fellow umpire. Do not leave it until 9pm on Friday night to organise a lift because it may be too late. If you require directions on how to find a particular ground you should ask your captain or another umpire at the meeting. Hydration Make sure that you have plenty of fluids – water is ideal – and have a good night sleep. Check your gear Make sure everything has been washed from the previous week and that you have not run out of a particular item. If so, purchase a replacement on the Friday – do not leave it until Saturday morning as you will inevitably be late to your match. Set your game plan The reason for having a game plan is threefold: 111 1. It provides you with guidance in ensuring that you do not overlook vital aspects of the game (ie taking control, player welfare etc). 2. It alerts you to not missing certain components of the game (ie players encroaching on centre square at centre bounce). 3. It acts as a vehicle for displaying information (ie interrelationship between Boundary Umpire and players). A game plan should include the fundamentals of boundary umpiring which would apply to any match irrespective of the level of football. Your game plan should be changed each week depending on your current strengths and weaknesses. You should take it to your game so you can remind yourself of your goals before you are about to walk out. 112 CHAPTER 36 MATCH DAY HAS ARRIVED My toughest challenge – getting out of bed When you wake up on the morning of your match you should generally get up rather than lay in bed for a while or try and get an extra hour of sleep. Sometimes you will only feel more tired if you try and get more sleep. Breakfast In the “old days” it seems that many did not have anything to eat for breakfast or lunch - even if they had a 2pm senior game. The modern trend is to have something to eat – it is just a question of what and when. I am probably the worst person to comment on this topic because I would often have a bucket of hot chips and sauce at half time of a premier league senior match. But I suspect most of you would not be able to get away with it or indeed want to. When I was umpiring senior football I would generally have a plain piece of toast at about 11am or nothing at all except for half a Powerbar at 12.30 and the remainder at half time. Like sports drinks, it is what works best for you. But if you are tempted to try something different, it would be wise to practice during the week by having it to eat and then going for a run. Packing your bag The best way to pack your bag is to mentally picture yourself in your umpiring gear and start from your feet upwards. You may find the check list in chapter 34 to be rather helpful. You also need to give some thought to your valuables – do you leave your wallet at home and just take $20 or do you lock it in your car with your mobile phone etc? Don’t forget to take your driver licence which is compulsory under the Vehicle & Traffic Act 1999 (Tas.). Do not run the risk of leaving valuables in your bag even if the change room is locked and “supposedly” only the umpires have a key. I remember one TFL senior goal umpire leaving the change rooms with $400 in his wallet and 113 returning to find it empty. I always wonder how many club officials have a key and whether the other umpires would remember to lock the door on the way out. Travelling to and arriving at the ground You should know in advance how to find the ground and approximately how long it will take you to get there. Do not cut it too fine. Allow yourself plenty of time to get to the match. If you are the “official driver” or going to be collected by another umpire at a pre-determined spot, it would be worthwhile having their mobile telephone number on you before you leave home. I would always write their number on the back of my appointment slip. Never park your car behind the goals. Apparently Tim Chalmers did one day at Youngtown Oval and the heavy, wet ball went straight through the front windscreen. Lucky it was a hire car I guess. You need to be at the ground at least 45 minutes prior to the scheduled starting time. The ideal time is just after half time. This will enable you to see a bit of the third quarter and get a feel for the ground before going into the rooms to get changed. You can then use the oval at the ¾ time break to have a good warm up. You should never stretch whilst cold. When you arrive at the ground the first thing you generally do is put your bag in the change rooms and introduce yourself to your fellow umpires by shaking their hand. You should have a firm handshake and look them in the eye. If you have never met them before or you believe they may not remember you – I would say something like this: “G’day, I’m Cameron Lee and I’ll be running the boundary today”. After they have told you their name, you can follow it up with some of these questions: “So, where did you umpire last week?; or “Have you had either of these teams before”; or “What’s the surface like out there”. Never ask them how long they have been umpiring for as I believe it can be a bit elitist. First impressions are extremely important. People generally make up their minds about you within 30 seconds of meeting you. 114 Dealing with the umpiring environment Historically, a culture has existed in Australian Football that has seen umpires as ‘fair game’. It is important that umpires develop strategies to help you cope with the umpiring environment. Pre match You can use the pre match period to acknowledge and communicate with other participants by taking the opportunity to establish and build a relationship particularly with players. It is an opportunity for you to project confidence which can influence players/coaches/administrators thoughts and flow on to the field of play. During the match The way in which you go about umpiring will have an impact on players, coaches, administrators and supporters. A firm and friendly approach with confident decision making and clear communication will win the respect of players and others. You will be aware of comments from officials on the sideline. It is best to ignore these except in the situation where it continues or becomes abusive. If this is the case, you should consider reporting them. During matches it is common for comments to be directed at you from outside the boundary line much of which will not be supportive or complimentary. You need to be aware that supporters get emotional and vocal with their support for their team and players and that generally the verbal attack on players and umpires is not meant as a personal attack. It is important for umpires to ignore the comments and to block them out of their mind. Concentrating on the task at hand or responding to some cues will assist umpires to remain focussed. Remember – if you were to give them a test about umpiring, 99.9% of them would fail. What does that tell you? Keep that though in your mind the next time a spectator abuses you. 115 Inspecting the ground Never rely on the field or goal umpires to either do this or even get it right. You need to consider the following questions when inspecting the ground: 1. Has the ground surface and markings been prepared correctly for an Australian Football match? 2. Is the surface free of debris? (free from glass, rocks, rubbish, etc) 3. Have weather conditions or water made the surface unsafe? 4. Is the surface in good condition? (grass length, free of holes etc)? 5. Are sprinkler covers correctly in place? 6. Is the perimeter fencing safe? (signs, etc) 7. Are the weather conditions safe for the game to commence? (lightning etc) 8. Have Goal posts been padded? 9. Are there any other factors which may be dangerous to the players? 10. Is there a stretcher available for use in the event of a serious injury? Getting changed and preparing to go out I usually try and find a quiet spot in the rooms to get changed – in smaller rooms the shower cubicle is sometimes a good place. I lay out an old towel on the ground and then start getting ready by putting my socks on first before the rest of my umpiring gear. I then rub a bit of deep heat and oil on the old legs and arms before putting a tracksuit on. I am then ready to go out at three quarter time and run two or three very slow laps around the ground. I do not go inside the centre square because that only encourages morons in the crowd to do same. By the time I get back to the rooms I am sweating and ready to start my stretches. And that’s exactly how you should be. Again, I start my stretches at my feet and end with my neck. I try and keep my tracksuit on until the moment we all leave so I stay warm. You should always do a quick gear check just before you leave – especially to make sure you have two whistles, pen/pencil and paper – as these are the common items people tend to leave behind. There is no point giving your spare whistle to a goal umpire to hold – they will not be standing next to you in a crisis when your first whistle breaks. 116 You should always shake hands with your fellow umpires and wish them good luck before you go out onto the ground. Entering the ground There is a certain way we always enter and leave the ground. The field umpires are at the front two or three abreast depending on how many of them there are; we then stand behind them; and then the goal umpire stand behind us. This is meant to be done in near military precision. When the field umpires enter the ground they will stop on the boundary line and wait to make sure everyone is present and ready to go. Then someone will say “on the left” meaning everyone starts walking in their columns by placing their left foot out first. Everyone then walks in a straight line towards the centre circle. The field umpire will then place the ball on the ground in the centre circle and the warm up begins. Most umpires run in an anti-clockwise direction around the outside of the centre square. It is preferable if everyone runs one lap together as a team before doing their own thing but that depends on how quick some people run off at. You should run two or three very slow laps around the outside of the centre square with your partner. You can then perform a series of run throughs around the square with an emphasis on building up speed in each run. Some tend to run down the wings and go backwards across the ground but this is a matter for you. You should then do any last minute stretches before having three or four practice throw ins. It is important that you do this so you nail the first throw 117 of the match. You may need to rub a little dirt onto your hands to get rid any excess oil. Starting the match As I said earlier in this booklet, due to the large number of observers we have, you no longer decide between yourselves which side of the ground you start on. The umpire with the earliest surname in the alphabet will start on the main scoreboard side of the ground or if the scoreboard is located behind the goal, on the major grandstand side of the ground. For example, Chris Badenach and Paul Bidgood are umpiring together at Bellerive Oval. Chris will start on the hill side of the ground and Paul will be on the Clarence Cricket Club side. You must change sides at the end of each quarter. You should always be standing diagonally opposite your partner on the centre square – ie you should never be standing at the same end of the square as your partner or also on the same side as well. You start each quarter by standing with your feet on the inner centre circle opposite your partner and with your back directly facing the corner you are running to. On the one siren (ie after the third and second sirens have sounded) or the field umpires say so, you leave the centre circle by moving backwards for three steps, turning and then running forwards for ten paces before turning again and backing into your corner. You should always be turning by facing into play. After the field umpire has bounced the ball or the ball has left their hand if being thrown up, you then run forwards off the centre square on a 45 degree angle and then continue your role of following play. You should always run hard off the square and keep your head up and focused on the ball. Quarter time and three quarter time breaks 118 Make sure you grab a drink and have a stretch. Ask your partner how your throws are looking and if there are any problems – sometimes you may need to talk about running the ball back to the centre because this seems to be one of the hardest things for us all to get right. Too often the person waiting to receive the ball stands out at centre half forward instead of 5-10m off the end of the goal square. I always liked to keep walking around during the breaks so that my legs kept moving. It is also a good opportunity to get a few tips off your partner if you happen to be running with one of our top umpires or someone with considerable experience. Half time break The same principles apply at half time. The first thing I do when I return to the change rooms is put a tracksuit on – top and bottoms. This keeps all of your muscles warm and makes a significant difference when you are warming up again after half time. Try not to sit down for too long – if you feel the need to sit down, do a few stretches at the same time. If you get a report in the first half it is always a good idea to write your report up if there is time. It saves doing it after the match. Remember to check that you have all of your gear on before leaving the rooms for the second half. When you get back out on the ground you should complete the warm up routine again just as you did before the match started. After the match All umpires should shake hands with their fellow umpires after the game and congratulate them on their performance. Something like “Good game John” or a simple “well done Peter” or “well umpired Bruce” is all you need to say. You should also ensure that you have a good stretch as well. When getting changed the best trick is to place all of your used gear in a plastic bag so that it does not deposit mud on your good clothes and secondly so it does not accidentally go home in the bag of another umpire. If the ground was particularly muddy, quite often it is a good idea to wash your shoes in the shower after the game. I know some that do this with their entire umpiring gear. 119 Remember to complete any report sheet before leaving and ensure that it has been checked and counter-signed by a field umpire and that you have a copy of it. If the game has been rather volatile or the umpires have come in for particularly harsh criticism, you may wish to leave the change rooms with one of your colleagues. The last one to leave the rooms should always check to make sure that no one has left anything behind. Always take any of these items with you and bring them to training on the Tuesday or Thursday night. After the game you should try and have a drink with the players if possible. Again, it is best to go in with another umpire. You should not be discouraged from going in simply because the home team happened to lose the match. Sometimes the atmosphere may be quieter but I have seldom encountered any problems with players or spectators. They seem to turn off and forget rather quickly after the game has finished. If someone wants to hassle you the best answer is to walk away. You will generally find that 3 or 4 people will come over and have a chat to you and the majority will keep to themselves. Some may not even remember you as having just umpired the game which is almost certainly a good thing. 120 CHAPTER 37 POST MATCH ACTIVITIES Arriving home One of my biggest habits was to leave my umpiring gear sitting in my bag until the following weekend. It is much easier to dump it in the washing machine as soon as you get home. Some umpires soak their gear in Napisan overnight before washing it the following day. That is certainly worth doing with your sweat bands and shoes as they tend to lose their whiteness rather quickly. You should not have the water too hot because it can make the colours run and melt the glue in your shoes. Saturday night is also a good time to take two or three minutes to note down three strengths from your match and the three areas you wish to work on the following weekend. Self-reflection is both a wonderful and powerful tool. You will find that your umpiring career will benefit by having a drink with your fellow umpires on a Saturday night at the Domain Athletic Centre (5pm – 7pm) or by attending an umpiring function. Sunday – the benefit of a long run and visit to the beach I regard Sunday as being the most important day of the week for your umpiring preparation. You can use it purely for recovery or as an opportunity to get in a long run or cycle, and then a recovery session afterwards. When I was running well “last century”, I would do the “pipe line” run at Fern Tree every Sunday – rain, hail or shine. I would always be swearing and cursing to myself as I drove up in my car but once I got through the first twenty minutes of the run I was always glad I had made the effort to go. For those that are familiar with this run, I would run to the old second gate before 121 the first hut. I would cruise up in about 30-31 minutes and aim to be back at the car park in 57-58 minutes all up. It is just about the perfect run. After that I would go the beach and wade out to my waist for about 5-10 minutes in the salt water. You should always wear an old pair of shoes or something similar on your feet as it is very difficult to spot a used syringe or other sharp object in the water. If you do this you should take a friend with you and get your parents permission if you are a youngster. I then felt that my body was recharged and ready for another week of training. Others may prefer to go to a swimming pool and do a few laps but I have always found that sea water has some mysterious property which always seems to make your legs feel better than ordinary pool water. Our top umpires should be doing at least one long run each week and two during the pre-season. 122 CHAPTER 38 TRIBUNAL Introduction If I was to survey all boundary umpires I would be quietly confident that most of you would say that going to the tribunal is the most difficult or worst thing you have to do as an umpire. I am sure this is why very few umpires make reports. Going to the tribunal should be fun. I now see the funny side of it and, in fact, have a bet with myself whilst I am waiting to give evidence that the following will happen: • The reported player will say he never punched anyone. • The victim will say he never felt a thing. • A witness will “mysteriously” come forward who was not even at the match. • The club advocate will launch into character evidence about his glowing player who, he has forgotten to mention, has appeared before the tribunal on five occasions in the past two seasons. • The tribunal will expect you to take on the role of a prosecutor and to carry out everything other than to deliver their decision. So much more will happen but I would prefer to tell you that over a beer rather than in print. I have lost count of the number of players who have given unsatisfactory evidence at the tribunal – it has been nothing short of appalling and some have even taken their evidence one step further than that. There seems to be an unwritten rule that you do not tell tales on your fellow footballers. This is the reality of the situation which is likely to confront you when you attend the tribunal. It therefore should not come as a shock to you as I have told you about it now. There are two things I want you to remember when attending the tribunal: 1. Your role is that of a witness only – say what you saw and that is all. 2. Do not be concerned about whether the player is found guilty or not. 123 Step 1 – know the reportable offences Before you can make a report or even step out onto the ground for that matter, you need to know what the reportable offences are. Step 2 – pen and paper You need to carry a pen/pencil and paper with you in order to make a report. Never rely on your memory. Step 3 – seeing a potentially reportable offence When this happens you need to ask yourself these two questions: 1. Should I report it or let it go? 2. If yes to (1), do I make the report now or at the earliest break in play? I can not tell you the answer to question one because it will depend on what happened. Common sense is about the best advice I can give you. If you think it is reportable, back yourself, jump in and get it done. In relation to question two, your primary role and responsibility is to follow play and decide whether or not the ball is out of bounds. Again, it comes back to common sense. If play has stopped, make the report there and then. If play continues, make the report at your next available opportunity – ie at a boundary throw in or after a goal has been scored. You should not wait until the end of the quarter to make your report unless it can be avoided. There are a number of reasons for this. First, the player has a right to be told of the report as soon as practicable. Secondly, it cannot be said to be the subject of any collusion with colleagues during the quarter or three quarter time break. Thirdly, a field umpire will need to issue the player with a yellow or red card depending on the type of report which is being made. If you encounter a situation where a player is both blatantly and rather forcefully struck to the head, he goes to ground, there is blood everywhere, he starts shaking and you get the feeling it will be a job for the local ambulance officers and you believe that unless you make the report there and then you will be unable to obtain the number of the player to be reported – you should make the report immediately irrespective of where the play is. What do you 124 think would make the worst headline on the back page of The Sunday Tasmanian – “Umpire misses ball going out of bounds” or “Umpires miss report – local football player laying in ICU with half his face missing”. You can see my point. Again, it comes back to common sense. If you intend to report a player for striking in a situation where the ball was not close by at the time of the incident and it was a rather forceful blow, I would report the player for assault and not striking. It seems to me that too many players are reported for striking when it is assault. Step 4 – informing player(s) of report You will generally make the report and inform the player(s) either immediately/at the next break in play or prior to the commencement of the next quarter. I will refer to the word player but you should remember that officials can also be reported Informing player(s) of report either immediately or at first break in play First, you need to note the number(s) of the player(s) concerned. Most reports involve two players – lets call them the “accused” (ie the player you have reported) and the “victim” (ie the player that was hit). I always try and maintain my focus on the accused for as long as is required to obtain his number. He is the most important person in this process. Quite often the accused is then attacked or confronted by a number of opposition players and his team mates then also rush in to support him. What then happens is you lose sight of him amongst the other players and miss noting his number. The victim is generally taken to one side by a trainer or is on the ground and therefore it is usually easier to obtain their number. Secondly, you need to inform the accused of the report – in particular what he is being reported for and the number of any other player(s) involved. You should never place your hand on their body or approach them from behind as they may mistake you for a player and take a swing at you. I usually say something like this: “I am reporting you for striking number 29 of Clarence. Do you understand the report”? You should make a mental note of anything the player says in response because the tribunal are likely to ask you this question. 125 Thirdly, you need to inform the victim of the report. That could be: “I have just reported number 10 of Kingborough for striking you. Do you understand the report”? Again, you should make a mental note of any comment the victim makes in response. You should also look to see whether or not the victim has any bruising or blood on them, how their speech sounds, whether or not they can stand up by themselves, whether or not they were treated by a trainer, whether or not they left the ground, how they played after the incident etc . The tribunal should ask you some or all of these questions so it is best to be prepared. You should write down the number(s) and team(s) on your piece of paper at the time of making the report. I generally put a * next to the name of the player I have reported and note the time in the quarter – ie 20 minute mark. Fourthly, you should inform a field umpire of the report so a yellow or red card can be issued. If you are unable to inform either the accused or victim of the report because they are either unconscious or off the ground, you must tell them of the report prior to the start of the next quarter. If they are still not contactable, you must inform their captain or an official on the team bench prior to the next quarter commencing. If the victim looks as though they are going straight off to hospital it would be best to tell their captain straight away rather than to worry about it prior to the next quarter commencing. Informing player(s) of report prior to start of next quarter If you were unable to tell the player(s) of the report during the quarter in which the incident occurred, you must do so prior to the next quarter commencing. The best approach is to wait until after the team(s) has broken up from their quarter or three quarter time huddle or after they have returned to the ground following the half time break. You should then take a field umpire with you and go over and speak to the player(s) concerned. You simply follow the above instructions in terms of informing the players of the report. Before you go over, tell the field umpire that you will do all the talking just so it is clear to everyone that you have made the report yourself. 126 If it is a case where both the field umpire and yourself have made the same report and he has not told the player(s) either, you should both inform the player(s) of the report separately but in the presence of each other. Reports occurring in fourth quarter If a report takes place in the last quarter you only have to make a reasonable effort to inform the players of the report. You must at least make a reasonable and genuine effort. If one of the players has disappeared, you should try and inform their captain or club official before leaving the ground. This will prevent them from accusing you of deciding to make the report after discussing the matter with your colleagues in the change rooms after the match. Step 5 – expanding on your brief notes as soon as possible The next thing you need to do is expand on your notes at the end of the quarter. For example, you may wish to quote what was said to you in the case of an abusive language charge. You may wish to note the hand and point of contact in a striking charge. Step 6 –completing the report form A report book should be provided by the home team manager. Some field umpires also carry their own book. You need to take great care when filing out the report sheet. Always write your own report out and double-check it carefully before getting a field umpire to do same and to counter sign it. You must check the player(s) numbers from the team sheet. Make sure you have the correct team sheet (ie the seniors sheet if you are umpiring the seniors) and that your rule book is the 2007 edition and not 2006. You need to be very careful when quoting the rule number as it is very easy to get this wrong. If you believe your report is very serious you should tick the box on the report form to indicate that a tribunal is requested. This prevents the player from taking a set penalty. If the player is not on the team sheet you should inform the match manager about this. Use the number you have taken on the field rather than substituting it for one that looks close or similar on the sheet. 127 There will not be enough copies of the report slip for you so you will need to write out an exact copy for yourself and write “umpires copy” on the top of it. Get the field umpire to counter-sign it as well. You will need to refer to it when preparing your evidence and perhaps also at the tribunal as well. It could be very easy for a home team manager to misplace the paper work particularly if one of their star players had been reported. As I said earlier, if an umpire is either assaulted or threatened I would prefer that you ring me on my mobile after the game so I can make sure we have followed the correct process. Step 7 – notifying Graeme Hamley of the report Every season Graeme gives a little speech about contacting him in regards to the tribunal. The time for notifying Graeme of any reports has always been between 5pm and 6pm on a Sunday – not 7pm and definitely not 8.30pm. He says it every year because people always forget to do this. Sometimes a player may take what is known as a “set penalty”. That means he has administratively pleaded guilty in order to avoid going to the tribunal. He is then suspended accordingly. Graeme will let you know if a player has taken the set penalty because you will not have to go to the tribunal. If you believe you need someone from our association to go with you to the tribunal you should let Graeme know at that time. It is probably a good idea to do this until after you have been two or three times. Step 8 – preparing for the tribunal hearing You should do this by no later than Sunday night. I think the easiest way to do this is by drawing a quick diagram including: • What quarter the incident occurred. • What time of the quarter it occurred. • Where the incident took place on the ground. • Which way the teams were kicking. • Where the players were positioned. • In which direction the players were facing. • Where the ball was. • Where you were positioned. 128 • Where the nearest field umpire was positioned (if you happened to know). • The distances between you and the play etc. After you have done this, the next step is to think it through in your head as a form of visual role play. The tribunal are likely to ask you to draw a diagram of where everyone was positioned at the time of the report. Moreover, they are almost certain to ask you to demonstrate how it happened in a form of role play. This is why you should go through it on the Sunday night rather than for the first time at the tribunal on the night. Better to look silly in your own home rather than in front of a group of strangers. In a striking charge you need to pay particular attention to which hand was used and where the blow landed on the victim’s body. For example, if two players were facing together and you described the blow as being a right round arm motion to the right side of the victim’s head, the tribunal would be wondering whether this is at all possible. It is generally a right hand to the left side of the face and a left hand to the right side of the face. If you take your notes along, the tribunal will ask you when you wrote them. Certain evidentiary issues and legal arguments can arise out of a delay in preparing notes. That is why it is best to write them as soon after the game as you can. You should try and avoid reading from your notes as it does not look as good and does not make your account of events as believable. Remember - think it through carefully in your head what happened. Practice giving your evidence a few times before the tribunal hearing. An example of an umpires evidence to the tribunal “I was one of two boundary umpires appointed to the Huonville v Cygnet senior match at Huonville last Saturday. I observed a reportable incident at about the 20 minute mark of the second quarter. The incident occurred on the centre wing area on the grand stand side of the ground, about 20 metres in from the boundary line. 129 Huonville were kicking towards the northern end of the ground and Cygnet towards the southern end of the ground. I was positioned on the boundary line about 15 metres to the southern side of the incident. My view was clear and unobstructed. Player Smith (Cygnet) had been awarded a free kick by one of the field umpires. I can not recall what the free kick was paid for. Player Jones (Huonville) was standing on the mark. Player Smith took his kick. The ball travelled about 40 metres towards the centre corridor of the ground. As soon as player Smith took his kick, player Jones ran straight at him. He was travelling at about half pace and player Smith was moving forwards rather slowly. Player Jones then struck player Smith with a right clenched fist to the left side of player Smith’s head. The blow was delivered in a round arm motion. On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the most severe) I believe the force of the blow was about an 8. It knocked player Smith to the ground. He was on the ground for about 15 seconds. Other players came over to remonstrate with player Jones and a trainer came out to attend to player Smith. I could not make the report there and then as we are instructed that our primary role is to follow the play which is what I did. Fortunately within about a minute of the incident another Cygnet player kicked a goal and I then informed both players of the report prior to the ball being bounced in the centre of the ground. I informed player Jones that I had reported him for assaulting number 29 of Cygnet – player Smith. Player Jones said that player Smith deserved it because he had grabbed him in the nuts about five minutes earlier and that he had only just got his voice back. I then went over and informed player Smith of the report. He was still being treated by a trainer. I told him that I had reported number 13 of Huonville – player Jones - for assaulting him. He said “good on ya young fella”. I noticed that he had a 10cm cut on the left side of his head which appeared to be steadily bleeding. Player Smith then left the field in the presence of the trainer but he was not carried off or assisted in any way. He came back onto 130 the ground at the start of the next quarter and I noticed that he got a few kicks during the rest of the game. I then informed field umpire Magoo that I had just reported a player for assault and he then issued player Jones with a red card which means he was unable to return to the field for the rest of the match. That is my evidence Mr Chairman”. The different roles of persons appearing before the tribunal The role of the tribunal is to determine whether or not the accused is guilty after he has entered a plea of not guilty. This decision is made on the basis of the evidence presented at the hearing. The second function of the tribunal is to impose a penalty on the accused after he has pleaded guilty or alternatively has been found guilty by the tribunal. Your role as an umpire is to be a mere witness only. It is not your task to run the tribunal as a form of prosecution and to question witnesses. The tribunal will want you to do this because it makes life easier for them. I seldom ask questions of any witnesses because I only see that as my role during the day. However I have done it in one or two cases where an umpire has been assaulted or where a player has been badly injured and the umpire’s evidence was poor or the victim’s advocate was as good as useless. You should politely say to the tribunal that we are instructed to appear as witnesses only and not to prosecute the case. You can quote me on that if you like. The accused will do anything to get himself of the charge – perhaps even accusing you of being a liar. Just remain firm and polite with your evidence. The victim will generally go into bat for the accused and say they were not hit or downplay the seriousness of it. It is known as “Monday night amnesia” (or whatever night the tribunal happens to sit) Do not worry if this happens because we do not care whether or not the player is convicted. As long as we provide the best possible witness account of what happened that is all we are required to do. How the tribunal hearing is to be conducted The tribunal is held at the offices of AFL Tasmania which are located at North Hobart Oval in Argyle Street, North Hobart. You enter the ground through 131 the Argyle Street gate and then walk up through the seated area of the Horrie Gorringe Stand (directly behind the goals at the same end of the ground) and enter through a blue door at the top of the stand. The tribunal hearing generally takes place before a three person tribunal consisting of a chairman and two tribunal members who are seated at the main table. The chairman sits in the middle of the two and runs the hearing. The tribunal co-ordinator will announce the name of the next matter and ask that all parties enter the tribunal room. This will mean the accused, the victim and the umpire (and any advocates) will enter the room. There are six seats with each player and umpire sitting next to their advocate if they choose to bring one along. The procedure is usually as follows: 1. The chairman will ask everyone to identify themselves. 2. The chairman will then read out a short explanation of how the tribunal hearing is to be conducted. 3. The chairman will then read out the report directly from the sheet (and ask the umpire to clarify any omissions). 4. The accused will be asked to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. 5. If the player pleads guilty the tribunal will still want to hear your evidence because that will be relevant to penalty. The accused or his advocate may ask you a few questions as to the level of seriousness of the report and then they will make some short submissions as to mitigation/penalty. 6. If the player pleads not guilty, the victim and his advocate will leave the room and you will then give your evidence. At the end you will be asked questions by the accused and/or his advocate. The tribunal will interrupt your evidence in order to ask questions whenever they deem it appropriate 7. The victim then enters the room and gives his evidence. The accused and/or his advocate can ask questions and then you and/or your advocate will be given the opportunity to do same. 8. The accused will then give his evidence and both yourself and/or your advocate and the victim and/or his advocate can then ask questions of the accused. 9. Any witnesses then give their evidence and, as a general rule, everyone has an opportunity to ask them questions. 10. The tribunal will then give each party the opportunity to make a closing statement before everyone leaves the room so the tribunal can make their decision. 132 11. When the tribunal does this, you should ask whether you are free to go. If so, you should then leave. Do not hang about for the decision. What to do at the tribunal • Be punctual. • Dress neatly and appropriately. • Take your rule book, report slip and any notes with you. • Turn your mobile phone onto silent so it does not go off during the hearing. • Address the chairman as “Mr Chairman”. • Be honest and polite at all times. • Be confident and persuasive with your evidence. • Look into the eyes of the tribunal members when giving your evidence and speak slowly (as they are trying to write down everything you say to them). • If you do not understand the question, ask for it to be repeated to you. • There is no shame in asking the tribunal for leave to amend the details or charge contained in the report. • Be prepared to draw a diagram containing details of the report and to act out a role play if requested. What not to do at the tribunal • Lie, be rude, disrespectful or argue with the tribunal members. • Guess the answer to a question if you are not sure. You should simply say “I do not know the answer to that question”. • Become concerned at the tribunal’s decision. 133 CHAPTER 39 IT’S ALL WORTH IT IN THE LONG RUN (Picture: 2006 Premier League Senior Grand Final Umpires) In 2006 Paul Bidgood, Josh Natera & William Koolhoff umpired the ultimate grand final in Hobart. Who will it be this year? You perhaps? All the hard work is certainly worth it in then end. Even Brendon Gourlay would agree with me on this point. (Picture: Brendon Gourlay steps forward to collect another grand final medallion at an annual dinner and trophy presentation evening). 134 ANNEXURES 1. Boundary Umpire Assessment Criteria 2. Boundary Umpire Match Assessment Form 3. SFL Premier League Roster 4. SFL Regional League Roster 5. Old Scholar Football Association Roster ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank Edward Swifte for taking the time to carefully proof read this manual.
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