Frequently Asked Questions
How old do I need to be in order to umpire?
Individuals who will be in Year 8 at secondary school, or older in the year they begin umpiring, are eligible to register as an umpire for the season. This usually means you will be around 13½ years old when you start. SMJFL welcomes umpires of all ages, and encourages more mature aged recruits, there are umpires in the group aged from 13-60+
I’m a parent of a prospective umpire – what should I know?
Being in at least year 8 it is assumed that umpires will have their own email address which they must be responsible for checking, as this is the main means of communication. Even our newest umpires are encouraged to communicate directly with our Umpiring Department staff when necessary rather than relying on parents to call. For most young umpires this will be their first part-time job, and it a great opportunity to learn to communicate on an adult level about work matters.
Please encourage young umpires to take ownership of their job, and ensure they understand that all communications must conform to what would be deemed suitable in an office. It is important to include name, and contact details when communicating with all staff and umpire coaches.
Field umpires are responsible for filling out an online report after each match. This should be done on match day, as younger umpires are school and not contactable on Monday which is when pays are finalised. If after several attempts to contact an umpire by email/text without response a parent will be contacted but this is not preferred.
Part of the reasoning behind this request is to encourage our young boys and girls to become confident young adults. Umpiring is a fantastic way of developing their self-confidence and leadership skills at during senior secondary.
Do I need a minimum fitness level?
A general level of fitness is required to be an umpire. In 2019 a base level of fitness will be measured by running 2km in 11 minutes, this will be conducted during the year at training. More important is the commitment required to maintain or increase fitness levels during the season.
Male or Female?
Everyone is equally welcomed to be part of the SMJFL Umpire Program, boys, girls, men and women are encouraged to register. In 2018, there were 85 female umpires, including female coaching staff. If you are concerned you’ll be the only female at training don’t worry, there will be friendly faces at training to welcome you!
How much do I need to know about Australian Rules football and its laws?
You will be fully trained on the laws of Australian Rules football, along with the By-Laws specific to competition within the SMJFL. But, if you want to get an early start, log onto AFL Community Club website www.aflcommunityclub.com.au > Umpires > Laws of the game
Training venues and times?
Field Umpires – Training occurs twice a week on Mondays AND Wednesdays during the year, with the expectation that umpires attend ONLY one session per week. Each session provides umpires with the same information and skill drills, this gives umpires the opportunity to train on a Monday night if they cannot make a Wednesday night and vice versa.
Boundary Umpries – Only train Wednesday nights at Moorleigh Reserve.
Begins March 6:
Wednesday’s are at Moorleigh Reserve – 90-92 Bignell Road (Bentleigh East 3165) 4:45-6pm.
What do I WEAR to training?
During pre-season training it is often very warm, so warm suitable clothing and bring a FULL drink bottle. As the evenings get colder, wear ‘layered’ clothing. This will keep you warm when you are inactive and allows you to remove layers when doing skill drills. Be sure to name all garments so your property does not go missing.
What do I have to BRING with me?
WHISTLE! Always bring your whistle to training!
At the beginning of the season, umpires will be provided with online links to the Laws of Australian Rules Football, the By-Laws of the SMJFL, as well as an Umpires Handbook. Umpires should be familiar with all these resources. If required we will inform umpires to bring any paperwork or a smartphone/tablet to training. Generally, just bring a whistle and appropriate footwear.
** Bring a drink bottle **
How often do I need to ATTEND training?
Training is held weekly and we encourage and expect umpires to attend one session per week. Preference for appointments and finals appointments will be given to those umpires who attend and actively contribute to training. (If you umpire at senior training this counts as a session per week with us).
What can I EXPECT from a training session?
Training sessions mainly include knowledge and skills components.
It is assumed that umpires have a base level of fitness; therefore, fitness is secondary to developing the umpire’s knowledge of the laws, where to position themselves, developing confidence to enforce the rules, and their ability apply them on game day.
Who will be COACHING me?
The Umpire Coaches all have significant umpiring experience and have been provided with the coaching skills to enable them to develop the umpires in their charge. Go to the Contacts section of the Umpire segment of the website for more information.
How much will training COST?
Umpire coaching/training sessions are free of charge to all umpires registered to officiate in the SMJFL. Umpires are paid to officiate games which makes umpiring possibly the best value sport there is! An SMJFL Uniform will be required to officiate games.
What happens if it is RAINING?
Training will still be still on! If it is too wet to be outdoors, training will be held undercover / in the club rooms, we will go through video footage, Kahoot knowledge tests and things to keep the umpires engaged and still learning important skills. If the weather is extreme (heat/cold/rain), keep an eye on the website and your emails and we will advise if training has been cancelled.
How do I register my interest for next season?
If you are:
1) Interested in umpiring for the first time
2) Already an umpire in another league and wish to be appointed to games in the SMJFL, or
3) Wanting to return to the SMJFL for another year of umpiring,
Head to our page “Register” under the umpires tab on this website. Once registrations are closed for the season there will be a form for you to register your interest for the following season. If registrations are open for the season, details on registering will all be there.
How do I register as an Umpire in the SMJFL?
Registrations are now open for 2018. Head to our “Registrations” page and follow instructions to register. Please note there are separate methods for new or returning umpires.
All SMJFL Umpires are required to register themselves online at SportsTG before umpiring a match. This online registration process is a compulsory requirement for ALL umpires as listed through the AFL’s National Umpire Registration Process to comply with the privacy amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Act 2012. You can register online using the link on our “Register” tab, under Umpires on this website.
Once you have clicked this link, select the option “I am registering to this group for the first time” and ensure you fill out all sections accordingly. Once you have completed your online registration you will receive an email from Fox Sports Pulse with details about what to do next, including how you can access Schedula, SMJFL appointments program, and information about Everproof which keeps track of our Umpires accreditations.
I’ve registered. What happens now?
As the season approaches, you will be advised of how to formally register and details of the Season Umpire Induction. Until then, enjoy staying fit and healthy over the off-season.
What is Everproof & do I need it?
If you are 18 or older you also need to have a Working With Childrens Check (volunteer), which is also entered into the system. Information on how to access your Everproof account is on the Forms & Documents page.
What are my Umpiring Options?
A challenging and rewarding activity, field umpires take control of up to 36 players and ‘call the shots’ on the big stage. The field umpiring career path involves multiple stages, with the pinnacle being umpiring at AFL level. The SMJFL appoints field umpires each week in all games from Under 11 through to Under 18. This includes the opportunity to umpire in the SMJFL’s exciting girls’ competition.
For those who enjoy running or want to learn about the game from a bit more distance, boundary umpiring is ideal. Boundary umpires are responsible for making decisions to whether the ball is in play (or out!), as well performing the boundary throw-in. In the SMJFL, boundary umpires officiate in Under 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 competition games, as well as all Finals.
In the SMJFL goal umpires are appointed only during the Final Series. Goal umpiring does not form part of the SMJFL Umpire Training Program. If you have your heart set on becoming a goal umpire please contact one of the senior umpiring leagues such as the SFNL or VAFA.
Uniform – What COLOUR uniform (shirt and socks) do I wear?
In 2019, all umpires are expected to wear the green and grey uniform (by ISC). This consists of a green shirt, grey shorts and green/grey socks. All umpires are required to wear the SMJFL uniform – Senior/other league uniforms are not permitted even if they are the same colours. A first-time field umpire will only need to umpire 2 games to cover the cost of required uniform items – parents are encouraged to make sure that young umpires actually PAY for their uniform to give them experience at earning and paying for required equipment.
Sweatbands are different colours dependent on the umpires’ level of experience.
Light Blue – Novice umpire who is a first year or second year who has had little experience umpiring and still learning the craft.
Light Green – Intermediate umpire who has been in the system for a couple of seasons and have already or are ready to progress to higher age groups.
White – Experienced umpires who are fully seasoned, been with the SMJFL for a number of years and are already or have the capability to umpire at the senior leagues.
How do I get the UNIFORM and how much can I expect it to cost?
Green Shirt: $40.00
Grey Shorts: $28.00
Green Socks: $12.00
Sweat Bands (wrist): $8.00
Uniform may be ordered online at the commencement of training, as well as during, the season – via the Forms & Documents menu.
How do I pay?
Payment for uniform is required to be made online (via Paypal) at time of order.
Where & When will I be umpiring?
All umpiring within the SMJFL is on a Sunday. There occasionally may be a Friday night match available, as a few clubs are experimenting with this as a fixturing option.
WHERE and WHEN you will be umpiring depends on a number of factors.
WHEN depends on the availability you set yourself. Schedula is the fixturing program used to appoint umpires, and all umpires need to ensure they update the times they are available on a weekly basis.
Requests: Boundary umpires have the opportunity to request appointments at particular venues/times. Field umpires can request to be assigned to a ground in a certain region.
Accreditation assessment: During the accreditation process umpires will be required to umpire designated games to meet assessment requirements
Special needs: Sometimes particular games are identified as requiring umpires with a specific skill set. In these instances umpires are chosen if they are the “best fit” the game.
What paperwork is involved?
All field umpires are expected to download the Match Day Paperwork app onto their smartphone or tablet, and enter the games “Competition Match Report” or CMR online by the end of the weekend of matches. This form is submitted by one umpire only per match (umpires to agree on who does it), and includes the entry of participating umpires, Best and Fairest votes and behaviour ratings for that game. For this reason, it is VITAL that this is correctly filled out after every match. Umpires will not be paid unless this requirement is fulfilled. Any paperwork not submitted in time will be followed up by SMJFL staff during the week. It is recommended that all paperwork is stored safely after online entry until the end of the season as a back up, sometimes information is required to be resubmitted or revisited and it good to have your notes at hand (a display folder works well for this).
WHO will mentor me?
The SMJFL Umpiring Department have a team of mentors and experienced umpires who have a varying level of experience in the SMJFL, the Southern Football Netball League (SFNL), the Victorian Amateur Football Association (VAFA), the Victorian Football League (VFL). They will be present on Sunday’s covering as many grounds and games as possible.
Game allocation HOW do I find out when and where I will be umpiring?
Umpires receive notification of each Sunday’s appointment/s via an online system called Schedula. Appointments are released on the Tuesday afternoon prior to each weekend’s round of games. Each umpire must accept their appointment by Wednesday morning, or expect that it will be re-allocated to another umpire.
Umpires are expected to accept any game allocated to them. Refusal of an appointment when you have marked yourself as available for that time is not recommended and will jeopardise your chances of being allocated to a game the following week.
Further details will be provided to umpires at pre-season training and induction.
It is ESSENTIAL that umpires declare themselves as “available” or “unavailable” each week in Schedula as per their football, family, transport or other committments. Failure to do so will result in not being allocated a game (or strong likelihood of being allocated a game when you are unavailable on a given day).
Payment – How much do I EARN as an umpire?
Pay rates depend on the age of the competition officiated, and the type of umpiring you are undertaking (field or boundary). As you would expect, more experienced umpires who are officiating at older age games are paid more than those umpiring younger age groups – which, in itself, provides umpires with the incentive to develop and increase their skill set.
Pay rates for field umpires start at $51 per game for an Under 11 to Under 13 game gradually rising to $86.50 for Under 17/18s. Boundary umpires begin at $33.50 for an Under 14 game up to $46 per game for an Under 17 match.
When and how am I paid?
Umpire payments are made directly into an umpire’s bank account once a month and are only made once the umpire fulfils all their report duties post-match (filling out an online form).
Do I need a Tax File Number (TFN)?
No. There is no tax deducted from your pay. As umpiring is classed as a “sport/hobby” by the ATO there is no need to declare income from umpiring on a tax return.
What do I do if I am INCORRECTLY PAID?
Umpires should check their pay statements carefully. If there is a discrepancy, an online form can be completed and the matter will be followed-up.