Celebrating our team in green

This week, we're celebrating the more than 17,000 registered community umpires across Australia who make an enormous contribution to our game.

Celebrations for Community Umpiring Week will take place during Round 9 of the 2024 Toyota AFL Premiership Season, with the AFL and broader football community coming together to recognise its team in green.

The week aims to highlight the invaluable contribution and role umpires play in Australian football, create awareness around umpiring pathways and promote respect for the men, women, girls and boys who officiate matches at all levels of footy around the country.

There are currently more than 17,000 registered community umpires across Australia – pleasingly up 21 per cent compared to this time last year – and as footy continues to grow, the AFL needs more people to pull up their socks and pick up a whistle.

As part of the celebrations, a host of initiatives will roll out during the week, each one designed to help drive engagement between AFL and community umpires, upskill and develop junior umpires and provide memorable match-day experiences for local umpires.

These initiatives across all state and territories include:

- More than 80 AFL umpires will attend local umpiring training sessions and officiate local junior footy matches.

- AFL players will officiate local junior matches.

- AFL umpires at each Round 9 match will be led onto the ground by community umpires, giving them an incredible game-day experience.

- Junior community umpires will also officiate half-time Auskick grid games.

- AFL captains will meet community umpires at the coin toss and capture photos.

- Recognition via Umpire Service Awards for more than 1,200 umpires who have recorded more than 25 years and 50 years of service.

AFL Executive General Manager of Game Development, Rob Auld, said he was looking forward to celebrating Community Umpiring Week in Round 9.

“Community Umpiring Week is a terrific initiative and provides us with an opportunity to celebrate, recognise and promote the invaluable contribution umpires at all levels make to Australian football,” Auld said.

“This week we’re also able to provide experiences for our community and junior umpires to connect with the elite game, enabling them to learn from the best, participate in AFL match-day experiences and help develop their skills and further their career.

“As the game continues to grow, we need to ensure we’re attracting more people to get involved in umpiring. We’re pleased to see a 32 per cent growth in women and girls’ registrations compared to this time last year, however we need to keep pushing and ensuring once they’re in, we’re supporting our umpires in the best possible way.

“We know there are many benefits of umpiring spanning from health and wellbeing to social, and it offers a great opportunity for anyone to be involved in our game regardless of age, gender and football experience.

“On behalf of the AFL I would like to thank the more than 17,000 registered community umpires across the country who head out each weekend and officiate thousands of games – without their dedication and skillset, the ball wouldn’t be bounced.

“I also want to recognise and thank the AFLUA and all the AFL/AFLW listed umpires who provide fantastic support and their time to supporting and growing umpiring at all levels.”

If you have an interest in umpiring or would like to know more, please visit

Community Umpiring Week celebrations will take place at the following AFL matches, noting activities in New South Wales and Queensland were held in Round 8 as they do not host matches in Round 9.