There are six main objectives for the Three Boundary Umpires System.
1. Assist Goal Umpires
In the vast majority of cases there will be at least 1 boundary umpire at the behind posts whenever the play is in the vicinity. This will assist goal umpires with scoring shots from close range where the ball travels close to the behind post.
2. Recruitment and Retention
3. Boundary Umpire Decisions
The boundary umpires, on the DOUBLE SIDE will to run approximately 50 – 60 metres apart, when play moves around the boundary. This will ensure the boundary umpires will always be close to play which will greatly assist with out of bounds and out on the full decision making. The short kick-in from behinds will also be covered.
4. Reduced Physical and Mental Stress for umpires
Two boundary umpires working on one side of the ground should lessen the physical requirements of what is expected to be a faster, harder running game as a result of the new law allowing an immediate play-on after a behind and the general preparedness of teams to play on quickly. Whilst the complete recovery has been removed, the constant solid hard running of the two umpire system is eased for a portion of the game with two umpires working on the one side.
It can be anticipated that the umpires will have less throw-ins which will lessen the workload in that regard and hopefully keep umpires fresher so as to execute stronger and more consistent throw-ins.
5. Reduction of injuries
In recent seasons there has been an increase in the number of injuries to boundary umpires as a result of the intense and demanding nature of the role. The increased speed of the game, length of season and number of games played has contributed to the amount of injuries received even though the rotational system has been introduced.
One of the aims of this new system is to reduce injuries to umpires. The AFLUD will again closely monitor boundary umpire injuries whilst this system is in place to provide accurate feedback and information regarding boundary umpire injuries.
6. Development of Team Spirit among Boundary Umpires
One of the positive aspects to come out of the previous trial of the Four Boundary Umpire System was the feeling of team spirit that developed between umpires due to them working together as a team of four. Working alongside and supporting fellow umpires will hopefully eradicate the individual aspect of boundary umpiring and develop a sense of “team” and working to assist each other.