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Why there is a shortage of football umpires at local level

Tom Elliott
Article image for Why there is a shortage of football umpires at local level

A shortage of umpires at  the weekend meant Tyabb President Ray Hallal was forced to take the field to umpire his club’s reserve game against Seaford.

It comes after the Victorian Amateur Football Association was unable to provide boundary umpires from the Premier C section down.

CEO of Victorian Amateur Football Association, Brent Connell, told Tom Elliott providing umpires across the vast range of competition is a “challenge”.

“Most of our divisional footy in the men’s and women’s competition in the reserves is umpired by club umpires who are trained by us,” he said.

“Obviously with the COVID year last year our recruiting was haltered.

“Generally due to COVID, arriving at COVID being the problem, certainly at junior and senior level our umpire levels are low which is a concern for everybody.

“People have taken up other opportunities, people have taken up coaching, or they are just going to watch.

“Competitions feed our umpire group, without us getting into those schools and supporting those basic umpire programs, there has just been a hole and a gap.”

Mr Connell also explained the benefits of becoming an umpire.

Press PLAY for more on why there is a shortage and what strategies the VAFA have to recruit more umpires

Tom Elliott
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