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Careers and Training for Goal, Boundary and Field Football Umpires.

Commencing in 1892, the VAFA currently has over 10,000 registered players from 74 Clubs and stands as the largest community football competition in Australia. Much of the VAFA’s success depends on the umpires who ensure the integrity of the game and provide a forum where players’ skills, team dynamics, passion and dedication determine game outcomes.

For this reason, we like to provide potential umpires with as much information as possible prior to the commencement of their career. Read more to find out the benefits of becoming an umpire and how to register your interest.

Who are our Boundary, Goal and Field Football Umpires?

From youngsters who love footy and choose umpiring as a career to injured or retired players. Mothers and fathers of young umpires also participate and the VAFA are proud of the many families involved. This includes; a mother (boundary), daughter (field) son (boundary); brother, sister (field); twin boys (boundary); brother (boundary), sister (goal); father (goal), son (Field) and the list goes on.

Recently, umpiring in the VAFA has been the chosen career path of AFL players undertaking the player to umpire program, including; Jordan Bannister, Leigh Fisher and Brent Wallace.

Respect for Football Umpires

The VAFA promotes respect for umpires at all times and encourages relationships between clubs, officials and players with umpires. In fact the appearance of our umpires at clubs after-matches, sharing a drink and a story with players / officials from both teams, and invitations to join in the premiership celebrations on grand final night are the norm rather than the exception.

Football Umpire Coaching

The VAFA prides itself on having an extremely strong umpires’ coaching team and understands the importance of umpires receiving first-rate guidance and leadership. Included in the coaching structure for each discipline are mentors and match day coaches who share valuable experiences. VAFA Umpires also participate in the National Umpire Accreditation Program.

Career Progression

In the past 10 years the VAFA have had umpires promoted to both the AFL and VFL on a consistent basis. Or those who choose to stay a VAFA umpire can build a long term umpiring career which may include coaching.

Football Umpire Remuneration

VAFA Umpires enjoy one of the highest set rates per game, which is tax free under an ATO ruling. Pays begin at $67 per game up to $157 plus generous payments for finals, all being paid into your account monthly.

Zero Tolerance Policy

The VAFA have a Zero Tolerance approach for any player, official or spectator who engages in derogatory abusive behaviour against any umpire. The VAFA insists on compliance with this policy at all times.

No Alcohol

It is against VAFA policy for any alcohol to be consumed by spectators or other parties during a VAFA match. This policy is world leading and ensures that VAFA games aren’t marred by alcohol-induced incidents.

Representative Games

The VAFA plays representative games all around Australia and internationally. A real opportunity to travel with your umpiring career exists within the VAFA.


The enjoyment of being involved with a club and involved in football is part of the VAFA Umpires Association culture. You will be welcomed with open arms into the VAFAUA and can look forward to meeting new friends; many that will last a lifetime.

Life Skills

Meet challenges and develop life skills that will provide you with confidence, people management, dispute resolution and arbitration skills, time management as well as other skills that will prove invaluable in everyday life, enhancing your career.

I am interest in becoming a Football Umpire….what do I do???

  • You can register with the VAFA Umpires which also places you on the National AFL Umpire Registration list, via this link; click Register to be an Australian Rules Football Umpire
  • Then send an email to VAFA Umpire Operations Manager, Haydn O’Connor [email protected] introducing yourself and arrange to attend training at Sportscover Arena and meet the coaches.

Things you will be required to undertake;

  • You will be advised of the pre-season induction meeting for new umpires.
  • Once you have registered, you will receive an email via the National AFL Umpire Registration system with a link to Schedula, which is a program used for match appointments during the season.
  • You are also requested to download Team App to your smartphone which is free from the iphone store or from Google Play Store.
  • Training during pre-season is Monday / Wednesday – 6pm at Sportscover Arena, Glenhuntly Road Elsternwick, beginning the first Monday in February. Which changes to Tuesday / Thursday 6pm once cricket season is complete. In 2016 the first Tuesday training will be 29th March.

Satellite training venues are at;

  • Westbourne Grammar – 300 Sayers Road Truganina – with the group training 6pm Wednesday evening right throughout the year from Wednesday 17th February 2016.
  • North / East – TBC 

Uniforms are available from the VAFAUA and ordering instructions will be available soon on the VAFAUA website – http://vafaua.asn.au

The uniform costs will also be displayed. No cash payments are needed with the funds being deducted from your monthly pay. The VAFAUA also deduct an annual membership.

Working With Children Check (WWCC) – If you are over the age of 18 you will be required to apply for a WWCC card which you can apply for via – http://vafaua.asn.au which is free when choosing ‘Volunteer’.


Head of Umpiring: Haydn O’Connor 0427 333 729 [email protected]

VAFA Umpires Association

President: Owen Hinson

Immediate Past President: Greg Rolfe 0401 734 993 [email protected]

The VAFA Umpires have been based at Sportscover Arena in Elsternwick Park since the VAFA moved their offices there in 1960.

The VAFA Umpires Association is the representative body of the VAFA Umpires and the Umpires together form one of the largest VAFA clubs.

The VAFA is always looking to sign up new umpires, so if you want to stay fit, keep involved in football and want to officiate in the most popular and welcoming league in all community football then the VAFA Umpires is a great place to start.


Jordan Bannister (Field) (2013 NAB Cup Grand Final Umpire), Chris Donlon (Field) (2011 AFL Grand Final Umpire), Leigh Fisher (Field) (Promoted in 2013 as part of the AFL’s player to umpire pathway), Simon Meredith (Field) (2012, 2013, 2014 AFL Grand Final Umpire), Robert O’Gorman (Field) (Promoted in 2014), Nick Brown (Field) (Promoted for 2015), Brent Wallace (Field) (Promoted for 2015), Matthew Jenkinson (Boundary), Damien Cusack (Boundary) (Promoted in 2014), James Scully (Boundary) (Promoted for 2015), Michael Saunders (Boundary) (2012/2013 NAB Cup Grand Final Umpire and 2013 AFL Grand Final Umpire) and Steve Piperno (Goal) (Promoted for 2015)


Joe Hartwig (Development Field), Ben Nicholson (Development Field), Matt Pryor (Development Field), Charlie Blanch (Development Boundary), Andrew Heffernan (Senior Field), Daniel Lawlor (Senior Field), Jarryd Barry (Senior Field), Ryan O’Shea (Senior Boundary), Matthew Dervan (Senior Goal), Chris Doyle (Senior Goal) and Anthony Kyrkou (Senior Goal).