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Umpires in demand

Wednesday, 23rd May, 2012

Field Umpire Michael Spencer hopes to see some new faces in the umpires’ squad. Field Umpire Michael Spencer hopes to see some new faces in the umpires’ squad.

By Ben Sheffield

AFL Broken Hill’s fifth team, the umpires, are seeking people to join their ranks.

The league’s new “Super Saturday” format, when five games are played, has placed extra strain on the umpiring panel.

Injuries and work commitments have also meant a number of the top whistle blowers are unavailable.

The league is particularly interested in finding boundary and goal umpires for the under 13 and 15 grades which play on a Saturday morning.

AFL Broken Hill Umpires’ Co-ordinator, Shane Chapman, says umpiring has many benefits.

“For people who might have retired or might be injured and can’t play, it’s a great way to still be involved in the game,” Mr Chapman said.

“For other people umpiring provides an opportunity to get fit and earn a few dollars,” he said.

Mr Chapman would also like to see more parents take up the role.

“A lot of parents come down every week and watch their kids play. They can stand in a goal and get paid for it,” he said.

AFL Broken Hill offers remuneration to their umpires, with earnings able to be collected after each match.

Mr Chapman, who worked his way through the ranks as a boundary umpire before doing the same as a field umpire, says there is a pathway that new umpires can aspire to follow.

“You can work your way through the grades. There is always somewhere to go.

“New umpires will be looked after; they won’t be thrown in the deep end.

“We have some girls doing it too, so any girls who are interested, come on down to training.”

Mr Chapman also highlighted the social side of umpiring.

“It’s a great chance to meet some new people and we quite often do social activities together,” he said.  

The umpires’ group train at Jubilee Oval on Monday nights from 5pm. Anyone interested joining them may contact Shane Chapman on 0417269214.

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