This week is National Community Umpiring Week, as the game takes a chance to celebrate the work of umpires in local football and to encourage people to get involved in umpiring football at the grassroots level.

“Football is such a big part of the Tasmanian community and our umpires play such a vital role in ensuring games tak place, across all of our competitions right across the state,” General Manager of Tasmanian Football Council Jackson Hills explained.

“The week is about appreciating the work they do to make sure games go ahead and everyone gets to enjoy the sport we all love,” he added.

David and Andrew Monks (PICTURED) are brothers that have both taken up boundary umpiring and are examples of how the rewards of community umpiring can see families embrace and get involved in umpiring.

“We’ve got some terrific umpires in community football in Tasmania that perform a fantastic service to the sport.

“Umpiring is a fun and fulfilling community in itself and often we see it becomes a family thing where dads and brothers, and sisters are all getting involved and we love to see that.”

The week is a National AFL supported week with the sport at all levels, from the AFL right down to grassroots football celebrating community umpires.

In Tasmania, several local umpires will get the opportunity to be a part of the North Melbourne and Adelaide match at Blundstone Arena. They will be shaking hands with players and celebrated as part of the event.

“We really want this week to be about not just saying thank you to current local umpires that do a great job but also showcasing that umpiring is a fantastic thing to be involved with.

“It is an extremely rewarding pasttime with financial and fitness benefits, and just like playing and coaching the game, umpiring can be a fulfilling career,” Hills said.

AFL Tasmania is also excited to announce the appointment of Umpiring Development Coordinator Sam Bridges. Bridges will be working hard to develop umpiring within the state, stimulating the growth of umpiring numbers across Tasmania through the development and delivery of appropriate recruitment, retention, education and training programs to attract and maintain umpires in the AFL umpiring system.

Bridges will be working with schools, communities and other sporting bodies across Tasmania to attract a diverse range of new potential umpires to our game. He has already commenced in the role.

Community Umpiring Week takes place during Round 7 (Monday May 1 – Sunday May 7) of the AFL season.