RDFL on hunt for umpires

Riddell Umpires are after more umpires (Supplied)

Riddell Umpires are looking at different ways to try and attract and keep umpires ahead of the upcoming Riddell District Football League season.

Riddell Umpires secretary David Hili said his team is paying particular attention to recruiting mature aged umpires for the 2024 season.

“We’re going directly to the clubs and doing a promotion on more of the mature age people who we’re looking for,” he said.

“We’re looking for retiring players, players that can maybe do some Sunday junior’s games or early games, so they can balance their football and umpiring.

“Or if they are recently retired or long retired and just want to stay in the game, umpiring is a great opportunity to do that.”

After last year’s recruiting drive focused on recruiting young umpires from junior clubs, Hili said it is important to strike a balance in the umpiring ranks.

Also with female football on the rise, there is a higher demand for umpires which this drive will also help with.

“We have good up and coming umpires and as they progress from junior into seniors, you want to pair them up with more senior umpires and we’re lacking in that 25- 40, 45 age group of umpires,” he said. “So we want to fill that gap.”

“Senior women’s football and junior girls football is certainly trending upwards and the numbers are expanding, the league had some new clubs on board last year so we certainly want some more umpires on board to cover those games.”

Hili said there are many positives to joining the Riddell Umpires team, for all ages groups.

“One of the draw cards for the younger ones is it’s some tax free dollars for them and we always say that it’s a lot better than some of the alternative [first jobs], you’re outdoors, you’re keeping fit and even for some of the mature age umpires, they like the idea that they keep a certain level of fitness,” he said.

“We’re also just like any other sporting group. We have very good camaraderie between everyone, apart from all the stuff on the track and all the lectures, we always put on a hot meal after training and sit down and have a meal together and that creates a really good environment.

“Especially for the younger ones we believe it teaches them a lot of life skills with being organised, learning disciplines , learning how to be assertive when you need to be, good communication skills, the list goes on.”

Training begins on the second Wednesday of February, with a particular program for new recruits and especially the ones they are targeting.

Details: recruitment@riddellumpires.com.au.