Some of our best umpires seem to have been cursed this season and no matter how hard they work, recover and rest they just can’t seem to get a break!

Scott Jeffery comes on in round 16 to replace the injured Nick Foot for his first AFL game of the season.  Fast forward to last Thursday before his first official game of 2018 and he re-injures his calf.  Couple this with Nathan Williamson and Curtis Deboy who were injured on Tuesday night at training and we almost have a shortage of umpires for the weekend. This weekend we had Farmer, Jeffery, Wallace, Foot, Deboy and Williamson all unavailable.  Troy Pannell was corked in the thigh on Thursday night but should recover in time for this weekend.

Congratulations to our milestone makers this weekend.  Adam Bastick notched up his 100th and team mate from the west, Josh Garrett umpired his 50th game.  Adam is in his second stint on the AFL boundary panel.  He debuted in 2012, missed in 2013 when Nathan Doig returned to the list, but re-entered the fray in 2014.  Josh umpired his first game in 2016 and was the Bill Sutton medalist in 2017 for the best first or second year boundary umpire.  Well done to both of you.

It seems that Queensland boundary umpire Peter Bock is short a few frequent flyer points. He has been performing on Adelaide Oval and Etihad Stadium the past couple of weeks.  While it’s not the 23 degrees he is used to at the Gabba, there is nothing better than full stands in Adelaide and a Friday night fixture at Etihad.  While on a change of temperature, spare a thought for WA based goal umpire, Brett Rogers who stepped out onto the G in a twilight game on Saturday evening between Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs.

Umpires are in trouble now for accepting “low fives” from players.  Ray Chamberlain was seen giving Angus Brayshaw a smile and a return “low five” following a shank kick that went out of bounds and was correctly called a BTI when a skill error caused the miskick.  It seems like nobody can have fun out on the park anymore!

Just as an aside, I would’ve thought Richmond coach Damien Hardwick would have wanted to give his players more goal kicking practice and not ducking practice after their loss to GWS on the weekend!  Umpires become the diversion for a loss again!

It was a tough weekend to be an emergency umpire over the weekend.  Leigh Haussen had that privilege twice.  He travelled to Launceston to sit in the Hawthorn v Brisbane match, then sat again in the North Melbourne and Sydney match, after Troy Pannell injured himself in Adelaide.

Some of our best AFL umpires have been up on the Gold Coast coaching young pathway umpires in the boys and girls national under 16 championships and the Diversity carnival. What a wonderful opportunity for young aspiring umpires to be coached by Chelsea Roffey, Matt Nicholls, Matt Tomkins, Michael Craig and Dave Harris. 

Have a look for the video featuring our FM MDE participant this week, Sam Perkins who had a great day at the MCG at the Collingwood v West Coast match on Sunday.

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