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The Home of the WRFL Umpires Become an Umpire Today

Issue 1 - April 2015

Welcome to the first issue for 2015. Thanks to the two main editors, writers, managers, reporters and gophers in Harry Spurling and Edmund Mitchell. Both these fine gentlemen decided to take up the responsibility of publishing this tripe for the second year running. Unfortunately all those people with more talent declined the offer. Please remember that the contents of this great publication are totally fictitious. All names, people, places, events and dog carts have been changed to protect the innocent, the guilty and all others.


How do we recruit new umpires? Well, one way is just turn up with your mates. It seems that new young boundary umpire in Caitlin Kelly was appointed to a game in round one. She brought along two friends to watch but this changed when the other boundary umpire failed to show up. So one of the friends, Lili Ward, volunteered to fill the gap. And that’s one way in which to recruit new umpires.

Former WRFL umpires keep popping up everywhere. Firstly there is James Vrselja as team manager at North Sunshine. Then there’s Nathan Wallace getting a kick for the Wyndham Suns against Sanctuary Lakes on the front cover of Issue 2 of the Footy Record. And a quick glance through the Record at the various team lists brings up others such as Aaron Briscoe, Jared Moore, Conor Ryan and Dillon Hinge, to name a few. Then there are the current umpires: Mitchell Taleb, Scott May and Xavier Smith.

Great quotes of the 2015 football season: “It’s a great opportunity for Roughie to play without that shoulder.” (Brett Montgomery); “They are building a new prison. Get excited!” (Jackson Carroll); “I don’t care what time the games finishes as long as the ice-cream van is still there.” (Vaughan Garner); “I’m 55 years old. Why don’t you young fellas go get the ball?” (Manor Lakes spectator after retrieving the football from behind some distant parked cars to some younger spectators leaning casually on the fence); “Is this the new idea? Tell all goal umpires to bring a stop watch to the game.” (Adam Cosham after seeing goal umpire Gordon Mutch with a stop watch in the rooms
before a practise game.); “Which one’s the dog, Allan?” (Field umpire Merv Bartley to Allan Larrad who had his small dog on the lead at a quarter time break.)

Some may think umpires are crazy but in some cases that might or not be true. One umpire, from another association, ran a game on Saturday, went for a 103 kilometre ride on the bike through hilly outer suburbs before running another game on the Sunday. And the bike ride is something that he does every weekend!

Henry McFerran often tells the story that he liked training at Scovell Reserve before the lights were installed. The reason is that he was able to hide on the far side of the oval in amongst the bushes and not be seen. He’d sit out a few laps before joining in the running. Seems like one of the VFL field umpires did a similar thing in pre-season training but was caught out and given his marching orders.

It’s great that the WRFL have a host of young umpires in all three disciplines. Unfortunately some are very young and really need to take more responsibility for their situation. One of the young goalies realised that he didn’t have any flags so he rang up the coach to ask about flags. He rang at 9 am and told the coach that he didn’t have any flags for his 9:45 am game. The coach was very dignified and replied that he should have phoned earlier. Like five days earlier! The coach got the flags to the lad!

The goal umpires were discussing doing the Under 16 games on each Sunday. Allan Larrad was keen to field umpire one junior game and then wave flags in the next. Craig Hill suggested that he run off the field and quickly pull on his black plastic pants for the second game. That brought smiles to all who heard because Allan was told not to wear those pants over his usual black trousers last season even if it was wet. That didn’t stop him from doing the same thing the next week. Oh, look. There’s an observer taking notes and Allan’s got those black plastic pants on over his black trousers...

Whenever a goal umpire or a boundary umpire sees a reportable offence the player/official must be reported and ordered off the ground. This must be done through the field umpire.

The observer threw a fold-up chair in the car and took it to the local game as he watched the umpires in action. It was only then that he noticed that the arms of the chair were covered in hundreds of small pieces of white electrical tape that he had been using at home in the garage. Every time he cut a piece of tape it was one or two centimetres too long. As he sat in the chair in the garage it was handy just to stick the little bits of extra tape somewhere, anywhere, ah, on the arms of the chair. He just forgot to take them off!

If you have a report in your game you should ring Terry O’Donnell and let him know. The association makes sure that you have a delegate to assist you at the tribunal.

It was a game of Superules and a behind had been scored. Everyone was waiting for the fullback to bring the ball back into play. He was a little bit hesitant when an opposition player at centre half forward called out, “Play on!” The controlling field umpire immediately blew his whistle, spoke to the player who had called out and penalised him with a fifty metre penalty. Unbelievable!

Some interesting (famous) names appear in various WRFL team lists: Hayden Kennedy (Altona Under 18); James Taylor (Albion seniors); John Kennedy (Wyndham Suns seniors); Sam Mitchell (North Footscray seniors); Mark Taylor (Wyndhamvale seniors); Michael Clarke (Sunshine seniors); Ricky Martin (Sunshine seniors).

Phil Henderson was listed to umpire the reserves game with a green shirt umpire. It was none other than Little Willie Watson. Somebody must have pressed the wrong button because I’m sure that Willie umpired last year, and the year before, and the year before...

The coach was frustrated with a couple of umpires pulling out in the day prior to the games. But things grew worse when a text message came through saying, “I can’t get to my reserves game.” The game started at 11:45 am and the text message came through thirty minutes after that at 12:15 pm!

Great quotes of the 2015 football season: “You look like a ballet dancer!” (Michael Lynch to Dave Voigt after a particular training stretch obviously looked very cute.); “I’m a little tea-pot.” (Sang Trevor Budge doing a different stretch.); “I’ve got a bruised stomach.” (Henry McFerran after being hit by the ball when he joined in the goal umpires’ training.); “I carry everything in twos. I’ve got five pens.” (Con Grouios, the goal umpire.); “I have to leave early because I’ve got to get my toe-nails clipped. I’ve got a five o’clock appointment.” (Mark Westgarth)

Great quotes of the 2015 season: “He doesn’t move much. He’s a goal umpire.” (Adrian O’Donnell speaking about Tim Moloney); “You’ve got a lovely pimple on the back of your neck.” (Indra Campbell to Ryan Webster); “I can’t take training because I’m only Level 1.” (Dave Voigt).

The goal umpire had spent two hours cleaning out his umpiring kit bag and getting everything ready for his first match of the new season. It was a lower senior grade and he was kept amused by the quirky comments of field umpire Merv Bartley. At half-time in the rooms Merv brought out a huge bag of jelly beans that he generously shared with his fellow umpires. The goal umpire, renowned for having a sweet tooth, took more than his fair share. He thought nothing more of it until he got home and began to unpack his bag. After removing several items his put his hand back in the bag and felt a lump of screwed up tissue. He had no idea what it was but after a second or two he began to curse the lazy fellow umpire that had dumped their rubbish into his bag instead of finding a rubbish bin. It was only then that he closely examined what was in his hand. Inside the tissue was a huge handful of jellybeans. Thanks, Merv!

A few umpires were in a rush. So after their game they just grabbed their gear, said a hasty goodbye and dashed to the car. O ne umpire who didn’t run out took his time to change and pack his gear. When he reached for his shoes he sensed that there was a little problem the only shoes left weren’t his. Someone had walked out with his shoes by mistake. So he shuffled out to his car in shoes that were made for Ronnie McDonald. Over the next few days he tracked done the culprit and arranged the swap. That should be easy. Just drive to the next suburb bar one and take one pair of shoes off the veranda and leave the other ones in their place. On arrival, the veranda was a virtual shoe shop!

The association held a Trivia Night recently and only about thirty people turned up. Everyone there seemed to have an enjoyable time. The table called Match Abandoned (Stewie, Allan, Vaughan and partner) just pipped The Grey Matter (goalies) for the major cash prize. The Wogs (Gerry, Dean, Andrew with help from Henry and Richard) finished fifth out of five teams. Luckily Italy was the answer to 33 questions. The group known as Row B was fortunate because the Westgate Bridge figured heavily in their dialogue. Well done to Adrian O’Donnell for organising and running the night. Pity more people didn’t come.

“They’ve got it wrong,” said the well-known radio commentator. A free kick had been paid downfield after the player who had kicked the ball out of bounds on the full was flattened after he had disposed of the ball. The old rule said if the ball went out of bounds then the ball would return back to where the infringement took place. The current rule says that it may be taken from where the ball crossed the boundary line. Of course, if it is a disadvantage to take it from that spot then the ball can be taken back.

It was a Masters game for players over 40 and the umpires had just walked on the field for the second half. The two teams were already on the ground and most were in their designated positions. The two goalies started to jog towards their respective end. Even so, the siren sounded before one goal had even got to the goal square. No real urgency as the team kicking his way had only kicked two behinds in the first half. Nevertheless he tucked away his behind flag and made his way towards the other goal post. A true professional, he kept his eye on the play which was a player streaming toward him from about thirty metres out. And he had the ball. And he was preparing to kick. And the goalie still had a handful of flags in his right hand. He did the only thing that was possible. He dropped them behind the post and made perfect position under the ball as it sailed through the goals. After signalling a major he headed for the pile of flags, retrieved two white ones and waved them. Now he had time, after recording the score, to tuck them away, pick up the others and put them away neatly as well.

In the Under 18 games and the Under 16 matches, the fullback must wait for the flag to be completely waved before being allowed to kick the ball back into play.

Speaking of this subject, in a local game the fullback was taking too much time kicking the ball back into play, so the field umpire called, “Play on!” The full-forward charged in and the fullback did a neat little circle around him while bouncing the ball before disposing of it by kicking it from within the goal square. The field umpire blew the whistle and proceeded to have a ball up at the end of the square. (The player must kick the ball clear of hands and feet before playing on including bouncing.) 

The Football Quiz

1.Which local Western Suburbs team did Callan Ward play for?
2.Which AFL team have Evans, O’Brien, Smith and Beasley as Rookies?
3.What number does Josh Caddy wear for Geelong?
4.Which club won the 1997 Division 1 Seniors & Reserves premierships?
5.Who wears number 2 for Spotswood?
6.Who coaches the West Coast Eagles?
7.Which two teams did Des Tuddenham represent at the highest level?
8.What is Sam Newman’s first name?
9.Which former WRFL umpire was on the front of Issue 2 of the 2015 Footy Record?
10.Which WRFL team plays home games on the John McLeod Oval?

Attendance Card: Always remember to have this filled in by one of your panel of umpires recording carefully and clearly all the names of the umpires who officiated in your game.

All umpires are encouraged to keep a record of all the games that they umpire. Then you will be able to know when special highlights or milestones are approaching. Schedula has made this much easier especially for those who have only umpired in the past 2 seasons.

WRFL umpires are going to Tasmania for Saturday 27 June
Tasmania umpires are coming to Melbourne for Saturday 4 July
that means that it is the Mid-season Dinner Dance and $1000 Draw. 

Answers to The Football Quiz

1. Spotswood 2.Brisbane 3. 23 4.Yarraville 5.Tom Langlands 6. Adam Simpson 7 . Collingwood
and Essendon 8. John 9. Nathan Wallace (now playing with Wyndham Suns) 10. Deer Park

Remember that if you have any ideas for articles or interesting stories or simply great gossip then please put them into writing and hand them to our junior reporter in Graeme Hodgart who will hand them on to Harry Spurling and Edmund Mitchell. You can also send information via email at at anytime. See you next month for edition number two.