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Community Umpiring Round Critical for Recruitment and RetentionThursday, May 5, 2022 - 1:03 PM - by Mark Readings

The West Australian Football Commission has thrown its support behind next week’s Community Umpiring Round. 

Staged in conjunction with the AFL, the Round is designed to increase awareness of umpiring as an alternative to playing. 

WAFC State Umpiring Manager David Crute wants all clubs and players to get behind the initiative. 

“It’s a critical part of our recruitment and retention strategy” Crute said 

With umpiring in the spotlight recently, the Community Umpiring Round demonstrates to umpires that the broader footy family does care about them! 

Initiatives include: 

  • WAFL and AFL Umpires to attend Junior Umpiring Clubs next Wednesday 

  • Players and Coaches shake the Umpires hands at the beginning and end of each match (at all levels) 

  • Players and Coaches form a guard of honour for the Umpires (at junior level only) 

  • Coaches address the players and spectators on the Boundary line highlighting the importance of Umpires to the game (juniors only) 

  • Junior Umpires will walk out with the AFL Umpires at Optus Stadium 

  • Every WAFC staff member will attend community matches to personally thank umpires for the valuable role they play   

Umpires visiting community clubs form an important part of the education. 

“WAFL Umpires will attend Junior Umpiring Clubs along with WA based AFL Umpires”. 

This is to show junior officials there is a pathway to the next level and that WAFL/AFL Umpires recognise and appreciate the role of umpires in community footy,” Crute said. 

Crute is determined to give whistle-blowers the credit and support they deserve. 

“This is the first time we’ve been able to link the WAFC’s Umpire Appreciation Round with the AFL’s Community Umpire Round.  

Because of fixturing anomalies in both competitions and so many “themed” rounds it has been impossible to co-ordinate the two on the same weekend, until now,” Crute said. 

The WAFC initiated the Umpire Appreciation Round in 2019 after a young umpire was assaulted by a spectator at a junior match in Thornlie. 

The Community Round will be recognised in WA on the weekend of Friday 13th – Sunday