Congratulations to goal umpire Jason Yazdani, who joins the list of debutants in the ongoing 2022 AFL season.
Jason, WAFL’s 2016 Rising Star and 2021 Goal Umpire of the Year, officiated in his first AFL match in Round 9 – West Coast v Melbourne at Perth Stadium. He has been awarded AFLUA Heritage Number 357.
Reflecting on his AFL umpiring debut in front of a 27,000-plus crowd at the Perth Stadium, Jason said, “I was grateful to receive the opportunity, acknowledging many years of work and development to reach this stage. It was not only a great reward for me but also for my family and friends who have supported me to this stage in my umpiring.
“It was an awesome experience. I took the 10 minutes before the game started to really soak up the atmosphere. Once the game started and the noise lifted, instinct kicked in and it felt like a regular game.”
On the AFL debut matchday, Jason officiated alongside the likes of Chris Donlon, Brett Dalgleish, Josh Garrett, Sam Walsh and Nathan Doig, among others. “I was really lucky to have such an experienced team on the day. Before walking out, Sam Walsh gave a really kind speech – acknowledging that I should have confidence in my ability to go out and do the job. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been given this opportunity,” Jason said.
“This helped in settling my nerves before we walked out. Throughout the game, the other umpires also gave me positive feedback to keep me on track.”
Jason commenced umpiring with the Perth Football League in 2014, and was adjudged the PFL Goal Umpire of the Year in 2015.
His good form continued, and Jason umpired his first AFLW match (Round 2, Fremantle v Collingwood at Perth Stadium) and the AFLW Grand Final – both in 2018. He was appointed for the 2020 WAFL Grand Final as well, and has 27 career AFLW matches to his credit.
Having officiated in his maiden AFLW and AFL matches at the Perth Stadium, the venue has a special significance for Jason. “The Perth Stadium is one of the best, modern venues in the world. It is a privilege each time I get to umpire there,” he noted.
“From the design of the stadium maximising the noise of the crowd, to the light shows during quarter-breaks, it really builds the atmosphere and makes it a special place to umpire.”
What has been the best umpiring advice for him so far? Jason said, “The best advice I have received is to slow things down – whether it’s when you are making a difficult decision, or consulting with other umpires.
“Having composure to take your time often helps you get the right outcome rather than rushing and making a bad decision. This has helped me in big moments throughout my career, when difficult decisions had to be made.”
A qualified Actuary currently working as a Data Scientist, Jason loves to travel and enjoys hiking mountains around the world. Outside of the Australian Rules football, he is a cricket fan. He also spends time involved in community development volunteering programs.
Congratulations, Jason, on your debut. We wish you the best for the season ahead.