AFL Europe Umpires Take the Next Step

Thursday, October 13, 2016

At the 2016 European Championships, the umpires of AFL Europe took their next step on our pathway.

Held in London, the Championships ran from 14th – 20th August. Umpires gained experience in all three disciplines, with matches every other day.

On match days our team (the third team) received direct, actionable feedback from the AFL’s Adam Davis. On rest days, umpires had the opportunity to engage in group discussions and practical training that is taken for granted at community level in Australia. Our group matured greatly as a result.

The friendships the umpires took away from the tournament will last in the memory for years to come.

I was truly proud of how each umpire helped to develop an exceptional team dynamic through the week. The friendly competition for the Golden Whistle, the drive to avoid being written into the penalty book and timely encouragement of our peers created an environment I’ll not soon forget.

Across Europe, the umpiring community is tight-knit and the friendships long-lasting. 

Umpires across the region have developed friendships that cross political borders through their common love of footy. We notice when our mates can’t make it to one tournament or another. We have over 200 umpires regularly participating and the vast majority have some form of accreditation. Over half are indigenous and female participation is rising. Our approach to inclusivity is founded on a culture of respect.

During the Championships, Adam also helped us to look to the future through an umpire coach course.

The course was delivered in person and via teleconference. Adam helped us to think about our strategic priorities, coaching philosophies, development plans, recruitment and departmental structures. This will enable us to build capacity to support the future growth of umpiring in Europe.

Our pathway (which caters to umpires from beginner to IC) directly supports the growth of umpiring.

We deliver teleconferences, workshops and high intensity camps aligned to our members’ needs. Our training leverages best practices from the AFL and is tailored to local conditions. Local umpires receive support from their umpire coordinator, who in turn can seek guidance from their umpire manager. In this latter role, the advice and support provided by John Enright, Nilss Lode and Thomas Urban to their umpire coordinators and to myself has been invaluable.

With IC17 now less than a year away, the continued maturing of our group is timely.

During our Championships, our Golden Whistle winner – Geoff Pascoe – and two of our pathway umpires – Josh Davey and Oscar Ayyadi – earned selection to IC17. We have no doubt that these umpires will do AFL Europe proud in Melbourne.

If you would like to learn more or to get in the game near you, please see our umpiring portal.

Shane Hill

Head of Umpiring and Community

AFL Europe

#thethirdteam #betterumpiresmeanbettergames #footywithoutbarriers

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