Boundary umpire, Mitch Le Fevre achieved another milestone on Saturday evening, in Tasmanian like weather conditions. Mitch would’ve felt right at home in the 7-degree temperature (windchill 3-degrees), albeit it would have been hotter on the ground. Mitch moves into rare space in umpiring terms. There are only 19 other boundary umpires who have appeared in more games than Mitch in the history of the game. Currently he stands equal with Glenn Sinclair (1998-2011). The boy from Tassie has been a finals stalwart over the past few seasons, including the 2017 grand final. Congratulations Mitch!
While talking about milestones, Matt Stevic moves into the equal 7thplace on the all-time finals field umpires list following his 35th final on the weekend (Rowan Sawers and Ian Robinson). He also moved to the 10thposition on the all-time field umpires list having now umpired 354 games, one ahead of Hall of Fame and team of the 20th century umpire, Ian Robinson (353 games). Brett Rosebury currently holds the finals record of 42 appearances and is still racking them up.
It is great to see the improved performances of our interstate members being reflected in finals appearances. Twenty-five of the sixty-six finals appointments have gone to interstate members in the six finals conducted so far.
With the focus firmly on football and the close tussles over the weekend we can be proud of those umpires who are still waving the flag for the group. This weekend we are down to the top few in each category who will fight it out for a coveted place in the grand final.
Does lightning ever strike twice? Given the circumstances that occurred in two state league finals on the weekend you may well say so!
The North Adelaide v Woodville-West Torrens preliminary final in SA was marred by an interchange infringement that saw Nth Adelaide have 19 players on the field for the first four minutes of the last quarter.
In Queensland at the NEAFL grand final exactly the same thing occurred with Southport having 19 men on the field, albeit for a much shorter time period and the umpires were asked for a head count in accordance with the rules of Australian Football. The NEAFL competition awarded Southport the grand final saying that there had not been a material impact on the outcome of the game.
It reminds us all that as obscure as rules might seem to be and as farfetched as they may seem, somewhere, someday it will happen and if you’re an umpire – you better know what to do!