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  • 28/04/2017 10:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Umpires have mates too…

    For the last 10 years, young umpires from around the state have been given the opportunity receive mentoring from an AFL umpire through the AFL Victoria ‘Mates’ program.

    Each umpire meets with their mentor half a dozen times during the season to talk about umpiring, and to develop match plans.

    This season, Jackson Gillespie and Hamish McCartney have been lucky enough to be selected, and have been paired with AFL umpire Leigh Fisher. Congratulations on being selected to participate in the program Hammer and Slayer, and we know it will help develop your umpiring even more.

    Speaking of AFL Umpires…

    As per previous seasons, we’ll be having AFL Umpires joining us for training this Tuesday!

    Get along to training on Tuesday night to meet AFL umpires Rob O’Gorman, Ben Ryan, Rob Haala and Michael Craig.

    Vintage Umpires

    As part of the VAFA 125 year celebration, the VAFAUA is looking for umpires with our old uniforms. The older the better! These will be used in a photo/video shoot. If they still fit, you are welcome to be involved – otherwise we can find a suitable model!

    Please email if you’re able to help out!


    Who recognises this strapping young umpire in one of our previous uniforms? Hint - he's still involved with umpiring!

    Trivia Night

    Our first major social/fundraising event of the season, the Trivia Night, will be held in our rooms on the 20th of May. Doors will be open from 6-6:30pm, with the first question at approximately 7:00pm. We'll confirm exact timings closer to the day.

    The trivia will be hosted once again by head coach Tony ‘Rowdy’ Hales, and as always the specific challenges are TBC on the night. The evening is certainly not just for umpires, and the trivia is mixed – bring along your family and friends!  

    You can nominate a whole table, or just join a table on the night. Yes, there are prizes for the winner, and no, it’s not always the president’s table that wins.

    Put your name down at training, or email to let Goughy know you’re coming.

    ROUND 3 APPOINTMENTS HERE - Remember that there may be changes after this document was published, and Schedula remains the primary method for obtaining appointments. If you're in any doubt, contact your coach!

  • 21/04/2017 7:38 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Thunderbolts and Lightning…

    After an eventful Round 1, I’m sure most players and umpires appreciated the extra week recovery (with chocolate)! The conditions on Saturday Afternoon and Sunday challenged even the most experienced umpires. Widespread rain, lightning and in some cases, dust storms, sent most umpires scrambling for a copy of the rulebook for guidance.

    Congratulations to all umpires in the way they handled this rare situation, particularly those faced with leaving the field, and managing players and club officials during the abandonment of play. If nothing else, it serves as a reminder that while we all love our footy, the safety of the players, spectators and ourselves must always be our primary consideration. The VAFAUA will always support any umpire who makes a safety related decision.

    Football Integration Development Association (F.I.D.A)

    Many VAFA umpires have been involved with FIDA over the years; none more so than Mark ‘Gibbo’ Gibson and Tim Sutcliffe. In taking over the role from Gibbo, Tim worked tirelessly to arrange for umpires to officiate matches on a volunteer basis, and would often end up umpiring 3 or 4 games on a day to ensure all matches were covered. We are delighted to hear that Tim now joins Mark as a Life Member of FIDA. Congratulations Tim – this is a well-deserved honour.

    Over the many years of VAFA and VAFAUA involvement, FIDA has gone from strength to strength and is offering more and more opportunities for players with an intellectual disability to take the field.  With this growth came the challenge for us to find sufficient volunteers each week; a task which was becoming overwhelming.

    With AFL Victoria now taking a more substantial role in the management of FIDA, Adrian Fisher has been appointed as the FIDA’s first formal umpiring coordinator. From this season on, FIDA will pay umpires for their services. While the VAFAUA now steps back from its role in providing volunteers for regular season FIDA matches, we are actively encouraging umpires to give umpiring FIDA matches a go – it is a very rewarding experience.

    For more, Adrian can be contacted by email at

    Social Secretary’s night out…

    While you would expect the topic of conversation would have been the lightning, it turns out that our Social Secretary Haydn ‘HOC’ O’Connor set the tongues on fire when arriving for his Saturday evening game at Old Xavarians. HOC arrived appropriately dressed in pants and polo, but in addition to his sports bag, he was carrying a nice ladies dress. When casually questioned as to the reason for the dress, he revealed that he was heading out on the town after the match.

    It wasn’t until after the match when Haydn’s girlfriend came looking for her dress that the penny dropped. We hope you both had a good night out!

    ROUND 2 APPOINTMENTS - Reminder that while these are current as of Friday Morning, umpires should check Schedula for up to date appointments. Any queries should be directed to Brian Woodhead or your coach.

  • 07/04/2017 3:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Well, here we are. 

    After a strong pre-season led by our new fitness supervisor Gavin de Kretser, it is almost a relief to pull on the boots and head out for round 1.

    There have been 6 notable absences from our pre-season training, and we’re delighted to announce that they have all been accepted onto their respective VFL development panels. We congratulate Sam Levin, George Wood, Sam Beer, Adrian Pretorius, Michael Driver and Antonio Valente on their achievements, and wish them well for their first season in the VFL Development Squads.

    But while we lose some umpires to the VFL and others to life commitments, we are lucky to welcome dozens of new umpires every year to our ranks. We have umpires joining us from junior associations, returning from the VFL, and some taking up the whistle for the first time. This is particularly important in a year where we see an amazing 1200 new players take to the field in the VAFA Women’s competition.

    To the players in the VAFA Womens – The VAFAUA has welcomed many ex-footballers into our ranks, including Vice President Andy Hartnett. Some have gone on to reach AFL level. While its very early days in many of your playing careers, for those a little further down the track please do consider umpiring as a way to stay involved in football when you’ve had one too many injuries and are ready to hang up the boots. The VAFAUA is much like a footy club, and we are a diverse and inclusive group who welcome umpires of any background and experience level.

    In my first few months as president, it has struck me how enviable our relationship with the clubs and VAFA community is – and it is this acceptance of umpires as an integral part of VAFA football that makes us such a strong umpiring group, and the safe and welcoming environment provided by the club fuels the recruitment of young umpires.

    This acceptance also comes with expectation – an expectation of umpires to demonstrate respect for the VAFA, for the clubs and players we are officiating, and for our own fellow umpires. It is only by showing respect that we will receive respect for our role in return. Generations of umpires in the VAFA have exhibited this quality and lived the amateur ethos, and we must strive to continue this into the future.

    To our umpires, particularly those joining us for the first time – I encourage you to actively participate in VAFA and VAFAUA life. Come along to the VAFAUA social events. Attend the club after-matches. Get to know some of the players you officiate, as well as the club coaches/officials. If you are invited to join in the post-match scull competition... well… remember that water/soft drinks are always an option – and do us proud!

    Finally, we have established a new website for season 2017, and are hoping to welcome Social members to our association for the first time. Our newsletter database is open for all to join, and we’d love to welcome more people into the VAFAUA family. Please visit for more information. If you’ve ever considered picking up the whistle – there’s no time like the present!

    Good luck to all clubs and umpires for 2017!

    Owen Hinson
    VAFAUA President.

    ROUND 1 APPOINTMENTS - Reminder that while these are current as of Friday Morning, umpires should check Schedula for up to date appointments. Any queries should be directed to Brian Woodhead or your coach.

  • 11/03/2017 7:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The more observant of you will have noticed a new logo on our website, and a new donation box within our umpires rooms.

    Boots for All is a social enterprise that aims to promote an active and inclusive Australia through Sport. 

    Boots for All collect donated reusable sporting equipment (from runners/boots to balls, bats etc.), and we have recently added a donation box in our rooms.

    Collected goods are either provided directly to disadvantaged communities (to break down the entry barriers to sport), or resold in the Sport for All shop in Briar Hill. The shop sells new and donated items, and provides vulnerable young people with accredited training and paid employment while raising funds to support the program.

    If you've got some pre-loved (but usable) boots or sporting gear, we'd love you to consider donating it to Boots for All. If you're in the market for some gear, you could also consider checking out their online or Briar Hill shop! You may even meet Boots for All founder Joanne Rockwell, mother of former VAFA umpire Jacob.

    You can see the flyers in our rooms, or visit to find out more!

  • 10/03/2017 1:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The VAFAUA is saddened to relay the news that former VAFAUA member William 'Billy' Ahlm passed away on February 27, aged 88.

    Billy took up umpiring after a successful playing career, and became a regular member in the goal umpiring circles. 

    Our thoughts are with Billy's sister Inga and his family and friends at this time.

  • 27/02/2017 2:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This Wednesday Night (1st March) the VAFAUA will be holding a fitting night for umpire uniform. We'll also have a BBQ as a 'welcome back' for all umpires, including the Goalies who join us for the first time this season.

    StarSub, our new uniform provider, will be able to offer some minor modifications for those umpires who wish to purchase new gear - for example adding length to the shirt for our taller members, or taking length off the shorts for the vertically challenged. 

    StarSub will be on hand to also discuss options with any umpire who may not fit the usual 'off the rack' sizing.

    All new Umpires are encouraged to come along to try on some gear for size.

    We will provide more information on the ordering process for all uniform orders shortly.

    See you Wednesday!

  • 11/02/2017 5:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our Western Campus training kicks off for Season 2017 this Wednesday, 15th of Feb at 6pm, with Terry Gunn once again at the helm.

    Training will continue on the College ovals at Westbourne Grammar, Truganina. It is suggested that you enter from Marquands Rd. 

    Terry runs a great session, and the oval and facilities are superb. The Western Campus group is tight-knit with a welcoming culture, and we would love to see the numbers grow this season.

  • 03/02/2017 12:32 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    VAFA Umpire Training resumed on Monday, 30 January at Elsternwick Park. Despite the forecast extreme heat (and some inaccurate Facebook rumours of a 2km Time Trial...), we had over 70 umpires on the track - a great turn out!

    Wednesday saw about 50 umpires back up for session 2, another fun and engaging session. The footballs are already out, and its safe to say our handballing skills haven't yet improved! We even had a bit of a look at the third-man up rule in a skill drill! For those unable to run, the goalie's lap-walking group is back in force, and looking for numbers!

    Wednesday's session was further supervised by Gav's daughter Ruby, who had come along with Gav's partner Jenaya and son Logan to celebrate his birthday. Andy Hartnett lead us in a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday, and Tony was lurking in the shadows with the video camera at the ready... lets hope that clip never sees the light of day!

    The feedback so far has been nothing but praise for the fun, engaging and productive nature of the training sessions, and with only 8 weeks until the Women's Lightning Premiership round, and 9 weeks until Round 1, we hope to see everyone on the track soon!


    Gav de Kretser with honorary coaching supervisor Ruby.

  • 23/12/2016 9:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Seasons Greetings!

    We have just sent out our Christmas Update via email.

    If you did not receive a copy, you can read it HERE.

    The VAFAUA committee would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and we look forward to seeing you on the 30th of January at 6pm at Elsternwick Park for our first training session of the 2017 season.

  • 08/12/2016 11:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    If you are reading this news article, congratulations, you've found our new website!

    We've aimed to retain the same functionality, while aiming for a more user friendly experience. We're working on a few new features as well, which will be rolled out throughout the pre-season.

    For season 2017 on, we are asking all VAFAUA Members to register directly with us. You can do this by selecting 'Join Us', or by clicking HERE. Registering will ensure you are kept up to date with the happenings of the VAFAUA, and will open up restricted areas of the website, including coaching and the coaching Forum. Membership fee processes remain the same as previous years. 

    A major benefit is the ability to manage your own profile. You can update your contact details easily, by visiting your member page. It also allows the UA to keep accurate records of our members, and their contact details.

    Welcome back to Season 2017, and we look forward to seeing you at our first training session on Monday, January 30. You can even see our new Events page, and register your attendance for our first night back.

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