Congratulations to Sally Boud who umpired her 50th AFL game during the West Coast v Melbourne game at Optus Stadium, in Round one of the 2020 season, on Sunday 22 March.
Sally started her career at the West Australian Amateur Football League and gained experience in all three umpiring disciplines before focusing on goal umpiring. In 2008, she started with the WAFL as a goal umpire and rose through the ranks to umpire the 2014 Foxtel Cup and WAFL grand finals. In 2015, she continued her good form and was again appointed to the WAFL grand final.
Sally made her AFL debut when she umpired the Fremantle v Greater Western Sydney match on 7 May 2016. Sally became only the fourth woman, and 344th goal umpire to umpire AFL football.
Sally has had two career highlights in her career so far. In 2016 at Subiaco Oval, Matthew Pavlich kicked his 700th goal in his final game of AFL footy in front of a home crowd. Sally’s skin still tingles from the memory of the crowd’s reaction that day. Her second highlight was when she umpired at the MCG on the Queen’s Birthday weekend in front of a crowd of around 83,000. “At the time it was the biggest crowd l had ever umpired in front of and it was also the first time l’d worn a beanie on national television. It was an amazing opportunity and a fantastic cause.”
Sally loves goal umpiring for the simple reason that she gets the best seat in the house each week. She also enjoys the ongoing challenge of constantly improving herself, not only as an umpire, but also from a personal development aspect. “I love the elitism of my colleagues that l am surrounded by. Each and every one of them motivates me to further improve in all aspects of my life.”
To up and coming umpires who want to umpire at AFL level, Sally says it is important that you always persevere. “You never know when an opportunity will arise. When it does, seize the moment and make the most of every opportunity you have. Only control what you can control.”
Sally loves umpiring at Optus Oval describing it as incredible with night games and the light shows her favourite. “Even with 30,000 supporters in the stand, it feels like a full house with the noise they generate.”
In preparing for each match Sally always packs the day before a game. She has a low-key morning and sleeps in for as long as possible, before driving to the game listening to music and enjoying a cup of coffee. She then listens to a quick session of Smiling Minds before heading to the change rooms.
To let off steam, Sally takes to bush walking and bike riding in nearby bushland or going for a swim. She also relaxes with family and friends.
Congratulations Sally on your milestone and we look forward to seeing you behind the goals again once footy resumes!