Umpires to focus on player safety

Field umpires will go into Season 2018 with an expectation they will do all they can to ensure the safety of players during Adelaide Footy games. A new 20 minute Interpretations Video has been released that outlines a number of important areas for umpires to focus on. As well as being compulsory viewing for all panel, recreational and club umpires, it is highly recommended that players, coaches, officials and supporters watch the video before the season begins.


Umpiring Manager Colin Rowston says the video outlines the differences between AFL and Adelaide Footy League umpiring. “At AFL level, umpires are instructed to reduce stoppages wherever possible to make the game more attractive for spectators and the TV audience. It means that the player first to the ball is often penalised for decisions such as holding the ball or deliberate out of bounds. In local footy, the emphasis is more on protecting the player first to the ball as often as possible. The other main difference is the fact that all AFL games are closely scrutinised on video, whereas local footy usually relies on umpires to act immediately on the field to keep control. That means there is a need for such things as yellow or red cards and the melee rule.”


Adelaide Footy umpires have been given the discretion this year to call play on if they see an obvious duck or drive with the head. While the emphasis is still on the tackler to tackle low, players should be coached not to deliberately put their head in places of danger in an effort to draw a free kick. The difficult area of dangerous tackles has also been clarified, with umpires asked to issue red cards when they see tackles with two actions and a forceful drive into the ground. Yellow cards and/or free kicks are sufficient for dangerous tackles when there are two actions but with no force or when there is one forceful action to the ground.


The 2018 Umpiring Interpretations Video can be downloaded at


For more information about Adelaide Footy umpiring, visit


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