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Injuries & Safety

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Safety is the most important consideration in any workplace and the football field is arguably the most important place of all, since it's deceptively easy to injure yourself if you don't prepare properly.

So long as you're a registered umpire (i.e. if you've completed your relevant paperwork at the start of each and every season), then if you injure yourself on the field you'll be covered by Work Cover, the workplace insurance scheme.

Preparation

It's important to prepare yourself properly for matches. Come to training so that you are physically and mentally prepared for the rigours of the match. On match day, hydrate yourself properly in the lead up to the match and ensure that you go to bed early and eat well the night before. On the morning of the match, ensure you have a good breakfast but don't eat too much. At the ground, arrive early so you're not rushed. Do a proper warm up of a decent jog and plenty of stretches. Ensure that this doesn't take place too long before the match so that you cool down again. Ensure that once you get on the field you do a decent warm up at the start of the first and third quarters - at least three laps of the centre square, some short, sharp runs, changes of direction, backward running and so on, followed by more stretches.

Match Day

All injuries are first treated on the spot by the match day trainers, usually the trainer for the home team. The club trainers are responsible for administering first aid to umpires should they require it. If you need an ambulance, you'll receive one.

Club trainers are also available prior to all matches to provide strapping and support, rub-downs, and so on. An umpire need only ask (nicely) and they will receive all the help they require. Please remember when asking to allow sufficient time, as the clubs must obviously also look after their own players as well.

Who to Notify

If you injure yourself on match day, see the trainer at the ground for assistance. After the match, please notify your coaching staff and you will need to seek treatment and then fill out the relevant Work Cover Claim paperwork which can be obtained through your regular umpiring administrative channels. 

Sun Safety

The WRFL is conscious of sun-safety as football can often be performed in hot environments despite being a winter sport. Umpires should carry sunscreen with them at all times and wear it when possible. Many umpires wear sunscreen even when it's not sunny, because UV factors can be hard to judge and when you are sweating profusely your skin's resistance to sunburn is lowered, meaning you will burn more easily.

Umpires (except goal umpires) should avoid wearing hats because not only is it not part of the uniform, but it may impede the umpires vision. Nevertheless, should an umpire wish to wear a hat, they may do so provided it is a peaked (baseball) cap that is plain white.

Get Covered

It's naturally recommended that all umpires seek to have current Ambulance memberships, as well as private health insurance to assist with their recoveries if needed.

 

Become an Umpire

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Academies

In 2009 the WRFL, in conjunction with the AFL, launched the very first AFL Umpires Academy, run out of Mackillop Catholic College in Werribee, Victoria. After 4 years in operations, the number of umpires coming into the system at the school has tripled, with over 100 field,... Read More