Posted in Featured News , Front Page News , Umpiring

I started as a Community Umpire when the South Metro Junior Football League (SMJFL) first introduced modified rules four years ago.

At the start, all the parents were concerned about zones, changes in rules and were sceptical about whether would it work. The funny thing was the kids picked it up with no issue. I was confident that I knew all the rules except the hand signals, but later completed an online umpiring course which helped in learning thing like the hand signals.

The first few games I was a bit nervous, but it was enjoyable. There is a likeminded parent/helper on the other side which helped my cause. The most important part is to always remember to communicate with each other, it helps.

Being involved is fun, the aim is to try and have all players involved in their zones and when picking two players to go up in the ruck, to pick different players, if possible each time. They are always excited and most of the time facing the wrong way! The amount of times I have had to switch players around so they are facing their goals, generally causes a laugh, and always makes you smile.

You will develop and learn as you go along and I have realised that it is okay to make the occasional mistake. It is after all junior football and not the AFL.

Your kids will be thrilled that you are involved and you receive lots of support from the league and your club. It is definitely worth the smile on my own child’s face when they realise that I am their umpire for the game.

So what are you waiting for, give it a go!

Chris Wright – Club Volunteer Umpire