Learning from the Best

Thursday, May 24, 2012

By Michael O'Keeffe
Riddell Umpires Senior Coach

While just over 36,000 spectators hung on every kick during the Melbourne and Hawthorn game at the MCG in Round 7, thirty of them did not care too much for the result. In fact they sat up high in the southern stand to observe the third team on the field, the umpires.

Thanks to the AFL Community Support Ticketing Program, the Riddell Umpires invited their members to attend an AFL game to take part in a coaching session. Although many of them regularly go to the footy, rarely do they completely focus on the men in green. Umpires were broken up into their disciplines to analyse different aspects of umpiring.

Goal Umpires focused on positioning, decision-making, flag waving, mirroring and most of all concentration when the ball is not in the scoring area.

Boundary Umpires looked at the 4-umpire system, as this year the Riddell Umpires will introduce it into their finals series.

Field Umpires were offered 3 modules based on their level of experience. Module 1 was communication. Using the SportEars radio, umpires listened to the umpires uneditied, picking up on the way AFL umpires speak to each other and players. Module 2 focused on the 3-umpire system. While Module 3 focused on free kicks.

Each umpire had a booklet to work through with focus questions and tips on what umpires should look for. The group was also encouraged to discuss the game at each of the breaks, raising questions and concerns that could be worked through.

Overall the night was a huge sucsess, with much positive feedback from the group. Once again thanks to the AFL Community Support Ticketing Program, the Riddell Umpires Coaching panel and the umpires who participated on the night.

Don Heapy+TFUA+Goal+Umpire, 04-06-12 17:20:
As a second year goal umpire I feel that this type of program would be beneficial for concerned. During my senior game last Saturday i was pleased to have an experienced goal umpire standing behind me and giving feed back on how was going during the game. I found this lifted my confidence to read the play.
Michael O'Keeffe, 10-06-12 15:56:
You can do this activity on your own at the footy. Go to http://www.riddellumpires.com.au/index.php/match-day-information

and download the AFL coaching session workbook.

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