Umpiring Round provides an opportunity to recognise efforts Weekend of 5th and 6th May
At present the growth in numbers of members registered with umpiring groups affiliated with the WorkSafe VCFL is very small and retaining umpires once they join the sport is the most difficult aspect facing all umpiring groups.
If all the young umpires who join an umpiring group in the AFL Green Shirt Learning Umpire program remained in umpiring, numbers would be growing by more than 15% each year, unfortunately they don’t stay in the sport for very long.
Through surveying, one of the primary reasons identified for this lack of retention is the match day environment which umpires have to endure. The level of abuse which they receive results in many simply walking away rather than continuing in something which they enjoy.
Recently it was recounted by an umpire to his partner as they walked off the ground, “now we will hear if they think we did a good job”.
If this is the expectation of the treatment that might be received as you walk off after doing your best then it is little wonder that the sport is struggling to retain its umpires.
It is very rare, if ever, in community football that the team will be treated to abuse as they leave the ground whatever their performance, but unfortunately there still remains an element in clubs who believe that this is okay for umpires.
Players when they leave the ground are applauded and congratulated on what they have done even if it is significant defeat, because it is recognised that they have done their best in the circumstances.
All umpires are exactly the same; they have done their best for the players and the game they have participated in.
During this round in recent years there have been some great examples of what can be achieved through supporting the efforts of all who are on the ground, players and umpires.
In one particular case umpires were receiving unjustified abuse as they were leaving the ground but one courageous spectator went to the umpires and shook their hands thanking them for their efforts. This resulted in recognition by the rest of the crowd that their behaviour was totally unsatisfactory in a community sport environment.
This weekend let us make it the start of an effort every week to recognise that the umpires are participating in football in the same manner as all players and coaches. They are doing the best that they can to make it an enjoyable and safe game for all participating and let’s acknowledge them for this contribution to the match.
For further information please contact:
Umpire Department Manager
WorkSafe Victorian Country Football League
Ph: 0408 563 980