Goal Umpires - Pre-Game

Prior to walking out

It is important that goal umpires arrive at least 1 hour before the start of game.  This will give the umpire an opportunity to meet with their goal umpiring partner, the other umpires and any officials (time keepers).

With their partner the goal umpire should walk out on to the field and inspect their work areas, making sure the pads are correctly placed on posts, checking how much space there is for flags and whether straps are required to hold flags in place.  If the goal umpire notices any element that may cause danger to players or umpires then they should notify match officials so that action can be taken prior to start of the game. 

Following this the goal umpire should continue with their normal pre match routine ensuring that the game will start on time by keeping the other umpires informed with 3 separate 10 minute reminders.

  • 30 to walk
  • 20 to walk
  • 10 to walk

After the final reminder the goal umpires should get their flags, coin and glasses and remind the other umpires about having their whistles and pencils and then walk out onto the ground as a team.  Remember the order for walking on to the ground is field umpires first, boundary umpires second and goal umpires last.

On the ground prior to the commencement of the match

Work area

Goal umpires should walk (do not march) to their end of the ground and then follow the following preparation process:

  • Place flags in holders and secure against the wind
  • Walk 5 metres out past the behind post in both directions checking the ground surface. If, when running hard for a wide ball, you know you are going onto soft ground, you are better prepared
  • Kick all tins or rocks etc. up against the fence
  • Check that all scoring lines are clear. If there is no line, then try to make a line with your boot
  • Check the direction you may have trouble with the position of the sun.  If you need to straddle on the line for a dropping ball and you have the option as to which post you back up to (i.e. ball is close to centre of goal posts), then you should avoid looking into the sun
  • Check wind direction - if side to side make mental note that a dropping ball, slowing ball will possibly drift with the wind. Best if you have already thought this out before it happens in the pressure of the match

These tips have been provided by Nick Abbate (QAFL - Goal Umpires Coach)Local rules and regulations should take precedence over any specific advice provided.

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