Changes to the AFLUA Hall of Fame’s criteria for induction has enabled some of umpiring’s greatest to be inducted as part of the prestigious evening’s 13th ballot. 

The first key change to the induction criteria has been to expand the Hall of Fame to recognise those umpires who performed their duties in their home state league before the AFL established an umpiring list in that state.

This means the very best umpires from the WAFL, SANFL and other state leagues, who were umpiring prior to West Coast, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide joining the AFL, can now be nominated for inclusion into the AFLUA’s Hall of Fame. This decision recognises that whilst the VFL may have been regarded as the strongest Australian football competition, umpires outside of Victoria were equally dedicated to umpiring and some displayed a level of excellence that deserves to be acknowledged.

Hall of Fame Inductee Ross Capes

At Monday night’s Induction Dinner two inductees were welcomed into the Hall of Fame under this category, both highly regarded as the best of the best in their respective State League’s umpiring histories.

Ross Capes, described by his inductor Brett Rosebury as Western Australian umpiring royalty, was the inaugural member of the WAFL Umpires’ Association Hall of Fame and was the Number 1 field umpire in the WAFLUA team of the Half-Century (1953-2002).

The Late Tom McArthur, who was named Queensland Umpire of the Century in 2003 and officiated 502 QAFL games over four decades, was inducted by representatives of the QAFL Umpires’ Association and was represented by his sons Malcom and Bruce McArthur who accepted the induction plaque on behalf of their father.

Selection criteria has been revised to also recognise exemplary service to AFL umpiring through coaching, mentoring or other activities that contribute significantly to the development and support to umpires over a sustained period (10 years plus).

Under this category Rod Davies, John Morgan and Neville Nash were inducted in the 13th Ballot.

On Monday night Neville, who has mentored countless umpires through their development, spoke of the satisfaction he’s had in being involved with umpiring for close to 60 years.

“Umpiring provides some fantastic life skills for young people… confidence, being positive, how to manage people, how to manage conflict.”

“We’ve got some great opportunities to get some young people involved in this great career.”

In line with these criteria changes the AFLUA Hall of Fame will be renamed the ‘AFLUA Umpiring Hall of Fame’, with AFLUA CEO Rob Kerr stating that this change will enable the Hall of Fame to become “the pre-eminent body for the recognition of Australian Rules umpires and their contribution to the game across the nation.” It will remain the case that to be included, an umpire must have been a member of their state Umpiring Association during their careers.

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