Developing a Game Plan

One of the most important aspects of pre-match preparation for an umpire at any level is the development of a game plan.

A game plan is a set of rules and guidelines that an umpire aims to implement into his/her match in order to optimise performance.

It is vital that a game plan is created as it defines how an umpire should approach a match and what they should be aiming to achieve throughout the course of the game.At the elite level, the AFL umpires game plan includes the following:

Game Plan
  • Pay all infringements
  • Take control when appropriate
  • Communicate effecitively
  • Follow team rules
  • Bounce straight
  • Let them play football
Team Rules


  • Integrity
  • Honesty
  • Professionalism
  • Lifestyle


  • Understanding the laws of the game and their application


  • Support on and off the field

Zero Tolerance

  • Zero tolerance to demonstrative/verbal abuse

Work Rate

  • 100% effort 100% of the time

When creating your own game plan, it is important that it is devloped in conjunction with your coaches and metors to ensure that the most appropriate plan for your umpiring is created.

A sound game plan will increase your umpiring performance and make the game more enjoyable to umpire.

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