AFLW football kicks off again on Saturday for its third season but for the AFLUA it contains a significant first. The AFLUA and the AFL have forged an agreement that sees the AFLUA recognised as the representative body for all AFLW contracted umpires from this season.
Our 2018 executive clearly established that AFLW football was only going to become more predominate in the elite sporting environment. The AFL had changed their approach to the level of umpire required to manage the game from season one to season two by using many of our Rookie field umpires – those umpires who are already AFL contracted and AFLUA members who sit as emergency umpires in AFL games. It then became only logical that we become responsible for managing the off field welfare of those umpires.
The AFL Umpiring Department was focused on using the next group of young female umpires from the Female Academy to fast track their skills. The remaining contracted AFLW umpires were now being promoted as the next likely to forge an AFL career and become AFL contracted umpires. The fit was perfect.
While there is still a lot of water to go under the bridge as they say, until all of the loose ends are tied up and the 2019 executive sign off on exactly how these young contracted umpires will fit into our association, we congratulate the seventy-one newly contracted AFLW umpires and we welcome you as members of our association.
Round one is upon us. Good luck.