Goal umpires check their scorecards at the completion of the 2010 Toyota AFL Grand Final.

Keeping Correct Scorecards

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The siren sounds in the 2010 Toyota AFL Grand Final. The scoreboard reads Collingwood 9.14.68 v St Kilda 10.8.68. The capacity crowd and millions watching around the world are stunned.

In these dramatic moments the Goal Umpires for the 2010 Toyota AFL Grand Final, Luke Walker and David Dixon meet emergency Chelsea Roffey in the middle of the MCG. 

They check their scores and wave the flags to confirm that the 2010 Toyota AFL Grand Final has ended in a draw.

It is important that goal umpires record their scores correctly.  There are ways to minimise the chances of scoring problems. 

The following tips have been provided by Nick Abbate (QAFL - Goal Umpires Coach):

  • Always record teams on your scorecard in the same order as on the main scoreboard.
  • To enable a double check that each score is recorded to the correct team, on your scorecard identify with a mark the team kicking towards you each quarter.  For example, ‘M’ for ‘my end’ or an ‘X’. Then, as you record a score to one of the teams, you double check that the score was made at your end of the ground, or the other end.
  • Always record scores ‘1234’ rather than ‘1111’.
  • Always record your score before you leave your area to attend a melee, report a player, retrieve your hat if it blows off, or the siren sounds to end a quarter.
  • Carry a 6 times table in your card-holder.

If the goal umpires' cards are not identical, the following will assist in deciding who has the correct scorecard:

  • If one scorecard is the same as the scoreboard, it is more likely that it is correct.
  • The goal umpire with the higher score is more likely to be correct, as it is easier to overlook recording a score than to enter a score twice.
  • It is more likely that the goal umpire at the scoring end is incorrect, as his partner is under less pressure and able to immediately record the score in all instances.

Two Score Rule

Be prepared to register two scores. If a forward is infringed after an "all clear", the field umpire can award another kick and another score will be registered. 

End of Quarter

At the end of the quarters the two goal umpires and a third goal emergency (only in games where a third umpire is used) will come together and compare scores and agree to scoreboard.  If all is in order the goal umpire at the end facing the scoreboard will wave flags (same as goal) towards scoreboard indicating all is in order. If the Goal umpires agree and the scoreboard is incorrect then both umpires will walk towards the scoreboard, get the attention of the scoreboard attendant and advise changes required to be made. When all is in order the goal umpires will then wave to indicate that the scoreboard is correct.

At end of the 1st and 3rd quarters the goal umpires should walk quickly to the centre.  At the end of the 2nd and 4th quarter the goal umpires should run to the centre and then run off the field ensuring you arrive in the centre together and leave the field together.

Scoring Irregularity

If the scores cannot be agreed then the scoreboard will not be waved off at the end of the quarter.

If the scoring irregularity occurs in first quarter at the end of the quarter and at half time do not wave scores, during the half time break confer with the match officials and rectify scorecards or get the official to correct scoreboard.

If the irregularity occurs in the 3rd or 4th quarter then again do not wave off or change cards. At the end of match in both circumstances the scorecards will be submitted to the league with match paperwork.

General Tips

  • At no time should a goal umpire turn their back to the play, even if there is a cessation of some kind. They should never look into the public area behind him - always inward.
  • When a score is imminent at the opposite end, concentrate on the other goal umpire and their indications rather than following the ball.
  • Do not leave your goal area after the siren sounds to end each quarter until the field umpire signals to the timekeepers by raising arms in the air, and it is obvious that no further act of play is to take place.

End of Game

Congratulate all umpire team members on the game. If there are any reports then you must not leave until reports are written and checked by all umpires ensuring all details including the teams, names, numbers are correct.

Local rules and regulations should take precedence over any specific advice provided.

Other Goal Umpire Information Topics

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