Milestones continue this week with boundary umpire stalwart Rob Haala clocking up his 200th game in the Carlton v. Adelaide match at the MCG. Rob commenced his career with the Southern Football League in 2001 and umpired his first AFL game in 2004. Rob, who has been Mr. Consistency on the boundary with 14 finals appearances, finally achieved the ultimate success, the 2012 AFL Grand Final.
Pat Tongue clocked up his 50th game this weekend in the ANZAC day clash in New Zealand between St.Kilda and Sydney. Pat commenced his umpiring in the Eastern Football League and umpired his first final in 2012.
The frenzy around scoring technology has gone to another level after the weekend’s round of matches. One concern seems to be goal umpires straddling the goal line and being partially inside the field of play. Former grand final goal umpire and goal umpires coach, Brian Pratt said today, “Goal umpires have been straddling since day dot. The only way to tell if a ball has been touched on the goal line is to be standing on that line”. For any doubters, click here to view the YouTube newsreel footage of the 1958 Grand Final. At 5:45 minutes, Jack Lee is in a perfect straddle as the ball is contested on the goal line. As you can clearly see it is not a recent direction for goal umpires.