Last week saw a change in the structure of umpiring in the Geelong region as we signed our affiliation agreement with AFL Barwon.
For those unaware of the history of this change, it has resulted from AFL Victoria determining that the best way to ensure the future success and growth of Australian Rules football in the state is to decentralise and have regional commissions around the state administer the game in their local jurisdiction. The operations overseen by the regional commissions include football, netball and umpiring.
In our region (AFL Barwon covers the leagues in Geelong and Colac) there will now be an umpiring operations department, in addition to football and netball departments. The Regional Director of Umpiring is Jock Hillgrove.
From a Geelong Umpires perspective what this means is that all the coaches, sports trainers, fitness trainers, and appointment co-ordinators will now be managed by AFL Barwon. These people will still continue with their functions such as appointments to matches, match day observations, training, and physio services, they will just no longer report to Geelong Umpires.
One of the primary goals of our affiliation is to increase the match fees received by umpires. This year, in anticipation of us signing our affiliation agreement, we have already seen an increase in match fees in excess of the amount set by AFL Victoria, and also boundary umpires in senior matches across all leagues are now paid for a maximum of 3 umpires (previously some leagues were paying for a maximum of 2 umpires). We have also officiated in some reserves matches when availability permitted, something that has not be done on a regular basis in the past. The size of the budget allocated for coaches and coaching resources has also increased.
Whilst there will be a period of transition as we work through the change any confusion can be minimised by taking the following action when required:
- Any changes and/or questions regarding your appointment and/or designated drivers should be directed to Larry Donohue on 0417 552 410
- Any questions regarding umpiring operations, for example payment of match fees, Schedula, accreditation, ground passes, reporting of injuries, reports or tribunals should be directed to Jock Hillgrove through either email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on 0402 201 316
- For any support dealing with an AFL Barwon matter, matters concerning your health or welfare, uniforms (for the time being anyway) or social functions, please contact our office at Geelong Umpires.
As we enter this new structure I look forward to your support in enhancing the strong social and supportive environment that we currently enjoy.