As the standard of Australian Football played in Europe reaches new highs, there has never been a greater need for national leagues to nurture, develop and retain dedicated “homegrown” Field, Boundary and Goal Umpires. Better local umpires will ensure playing standards continue to improve.

AFL Europe is always interested in hearing from people of any age or background wanting to take up umpiring and provides an umpires developmental pathway. This pathway enables new umpires to initially gain a fundamental understanding of the Laws of the game with the ultimate aim of producing AFL-standard umpires within Europe. As an umpire develops their understanding of the game, those personable and talented umpires with a drive to succeed can attempt and be awarded our accreditation courses.

No previous knowledge or understanding of the game is required for persons interested in taking up umpiring Australian Football for the first time. Umpires who have umpired games within our organisation have either played, referreed in other sports or is the first role they have undertaken within amateur sport. We merely ask those wishing to commence umpiring within one of our member leagues to have a willingness to learn, an ability to accept and develop from constructive criticism and commit to maintaining a basic level of fitness.

Our umpires are respectful of other participants in matches and endeavour to earn respect in return by positively instructing new and experienced players alike in the laws of the game. They possess composure, patience and decisiveness and realise (like the players) they will make mistakes. Our umpires understand that in availing themselves of the ongoing learning opportunities we provide, they can learn coping strategies by which their knowledge of the laws is improved, and that their concentration and consistency become more pronounced.

With our organisation maturing and member leagues developing the internal resources required, minimum selection criteria for umpires at our marquee events are being phased-in. In 2012, a Level 0 (or equivalent) accreditation is the minimum requirement for umpires at these events. In 2014 this rises to Level 1 (or equivalent).

Level 0 courses are regularly convened to enable developing and existing umpires to improve their knowledge of the laws, interact with other umpires within the region and form a focus point for the umpiring community. Level 1 courses are held when demand is adequate and at an appropriate frequency to ensure umpires’ knowledge remains timely. Courses are delivered in a relaxed, “safe learning” environment in a mixture of theoretical and practical elements.

The tenets of fairness and safety for players alongside keeping games flowing are the concepts which underpin the umpire’s consistent application of the laws of our game. These are the key topics discussed in our Level 0 course, for the benefit of consistent interpretation of the laws across the region. The Level 1 course expands on these topics, introducing our duty of care, self-assessment and managing others. This more advanced course is available to those who have successfully completed the pre-requisite Level 0 course.

So if you would like to find out more about becoming an umpire, or you wish to express interest in hosting a Level 0 course, please contact the European Umpires Coordinator via

Coaching materials:

Feedback Template (wordx)

Feedback Template (pdf)

The Game Plan and Key Focus Areas

Abridged Umpires Diary

Holding the Ball flowchart

Umpiring Signals

Positional Concepts (General Play)

Goal Umpire Basics

Foundational Interpersonal Skills

Coping with Disappointment

Blow Show Go


What’s Your Decision?

Whether watching the elite competition via the AFL Global Pass or our homegrown talent in our local leagues, there are often instances where as spectators, players or umpires, we have a variety of views on each decision the umpire in control of the match makes. Be it Play On, Free Kick or Mark, our position and perspective have a big influence over the decision we make.

But what’s your decision?

In the forthcoming footage, we share with you some common examples from Community Football, and want to know what decision you would make.

Take a look at this first piece of vision Remember that the spirits of the laws firstly focus on protecting player safety, secondly on fairness and thirdly on keeping the game moving.

Cameron Richardson (Bacchus Marsh)

Do you have comments or suggestions? Contact the AFL Europe Umpires Development Manager to share your views! Keep an eye on this section as we upload more vision.


Umpires week stories:

Umpiring at the Axios Euro Cup

AFL Europe Umpires’ Profile

German umpiring on the rise

Training plan and materials for umpires

2014 Umpires Teleconferences

Umpires Workshops & the development of umpiring in Europe

Gavin Ward’s experience as DAFL umpires coordinator

AFL Europe Umpires’ profile – Part 2


If you are interested in umpiring Australian Football in Europe, please email, enclosing a copy of the completed registration form if possible.

AFL Europe Umpires Registration Form (word)

AFL Europe Umpires Registration Form (pdf)


2014 Courses (Register on Eventbrite):

24 – 25 May – Benelux Umpire Workshop – Level 0 – Amsterdam, Netherlands

9 – 10 August – Britain Umpire Workshop – Level 0/1 – TBC, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England

30 – 31 August – Eastern Europe Umpire Workshop – Level 0/1 – TBC, Finland

11 October – Umpires Teleconferences

18 – 19 October – Iberian Umpire Workshop – Level 0 – Madrid


Previous workshops include:



Level 0 – Reading, England

Level 0 – Graz, Austria

Level 1 – Dublin, Ireland – European Championships



Level 0 – Fulda, Germany

Level 0 – Paris, France

Level 0 – Galway, Ireland



Level 0 – Stockholm, Sweden

Level 0 – Milan, Italy

Level 0 – Prague, Czech

Level 0 – Belfast, Nth Ireland – Euro Cup



Level 0 – Denmark/Sweden – European Championships

Level 0 – Milan, Italy – Euro Cup



Level 0 Workshop – Austria

Level 1 Workshop – Dublin, Ireland

Level 1 Workshop – Reading, England


Latest DVD from the Umpire Development team at the AFL

Umpire AFL – A Basic Guide DVD



#betterumpiresmeansbettergames #thethirdteam