Positioning is assisted by having awareness and anticipation in reading and following play. Positioning is the key in ensuring good and correct decision making.
OFF CORNER-CENTRE BOUNCES
Should always run forward off corner angling towards boundary line and ready for next movement in play.
Around ground and in proximity of boundary line, position15m to the long side of play. Vicinity of goals: 25 metres out, both boundary umpires to position themselves at the post. Over 30 metres from goals, both boundary umpires to be to the long side and moving towards the goals as balled up.
THROW-INS NEAR GOALS 25 METRES FROM POST
Partner opposite to position at post, but if throw-in over 30 metres stay adjacent to throw-in. Although can back yourself by positioning at post, but aware of play quickly rebounding back down the ground.
ON THE FULL
If the ball is to be kicked back towards you, only mark the spot if you’re within 10 metres, then quickly back off. If you need to move down the ground past the spot, point to the spot as you turn and quickly back away.
BOUNDARY LINE CONTESTS
Always endeavour to maintain a 10 metre distance away from contest for a better view. If likely to be too close or play moving towards you, quickly back away. Take care not to step off the boundary line to avoid players that are running towards you as you could miss a decision. Back away as quickly as possible. When chasing play, which is near the boundary line, down ground and around the bend from you, you should always run wide of the line for a better view. When play is on YOUR SIDE of ground it is important to RUN THE LINE, not 5m inside the boundary line, in readiness to adjudicate any decisions.
PLAY OPPOSITE SIDE OF GROUND
To save energy, move in towards centre square line, but ensure you don’t run inside the square. Keep focused and follow play on the opposite side of the ground. Preferably jog on the spot or along following play. Standing still can give the impression that you’re switched off or spectating. Definitely no walking when following play. It is easier to trigger from a jog. Be mindful if play quickly switches to your side of ground and be ready to move out to boundary line with some urgency. Keep your eye on play, backing away to the boundary line on an angle if necessary.
PLAY DEEP IN GOAL ZONE
You must always endeavour to push down inside 50m arc to be closer to play and be ready to hit the post. There is a tendency to
hang back and wait to see what happens. You need to be proactive, anticipate and move nearer play. When at the post for contests in vicinity of goals, if there’s a definite defence clearance, you should move out from the post quickly. By dwelling at the post you can easily be caught out.
SET SHOTS OUTSIDE 50 METRE
For a set shot from inside 60 metres, you should push down to the post. If the kick falls short and becomes defence possession, you must be alert to move out from post quickly. If a short pass and attacking player has possession, continue to hold position at post.
GOALS DOWN GROUND ON RUN
When chasing down ground for a goal on the run and taking the short run, if you’re likely to be caught back a little, you must push down close to goal square, 10m for relay. There’s a tendency to cut across too far up ground and meet partner and no relay occurs.
Position 1 ½ - 2 m apart running together with handover well inside 50 metre arc. Lead boundary umpire taking long run should ensure a clear path to centre of the ground, it is untidy running through players. Run a little wider if necessary to avoid players.
BACKING OFF POST_POINT SCORE
Important to develop urgency in backing off from post, along boundary line and propping at 50 metre line. Be aware/alert for short pass/kick out near line or miss kick near line. If this occurs, move outside boundary line and forward if necessary for clear view. Can be a tendency to lose focus backing away from post, in modern football being quicker, you need to stay switched on.
SET KICK/FREE KICK CLOSE BOUNDARY LINE
If close behind the player with kick on the boundary line up to 2 metres inside line, you MUST WAIT for player to move inside line to take kick before running forward/past him. Player has right of way and you should NOT run outside line past him.
Set shot at goal from middle of ground to your side of ground must turn at player with kick and back into post even if 40-50 meters out. In this situation other boundary umpire needs back to the post for last 5 metres.
If there is a mark or free kick, when you reach or are level with the player taking the kick, turn to face player and back off. Also boundary umpire on opposite side should back away when level with the ball.
50 METRE PENALTY
Both boundary umpires can run forwards until the point where the kick is to be taken from and then run backwards.
In all these situations you MUST NEVER TURN YOUR BACK ON PLAY.
Positioning is a vital part of your umpiring. The better you can anticipate and read the play the more efficiently you can move up and down the ground. It is far better to keep within range of play than always be trying to catch up.