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The Whistle Round 6

  • The Whistle Round 6

Women In Umpiring

With Mother’s Day having just past us and a historic day in AFL football this weekend it is the perfect time to acknowledge all women involved in umpiring.

It would be remiss of me to not acknowledge all mothers and partners who are there by our sides week in and week out. They are there after we have a terrible game or when our umpiring gear needs washing after a wet day on the field. We thank you for everything you do.

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It’s not always the case as sometimes the mothers or partners are out there and apart of the game that we all love. Colac and District Football Umpires Association have a number of female umpires who are out officiating on the boundary and in the goals. We are yet to have a female to take up the reins of being a senior field umpire so if you ever considered taking up the job, why not come and be a part of our history of being the first female to umpire a senior game?

A couple of years ago we made history with Penny Serle being our first ever and only female umpire to officiate in a Senior CDFNL Grand Final in our 49-year history. Something for all our female umpires to aspire to!

It will also be a historic day on Sunday in the AFL when Eleni Glouftsis will be the first ever female field umpire to umpire an AFL game playing for premiership points at Etihad Stadium when Essendon plays West Coast Eagles. Eleni received a three-year scholarship to join the VFL and AFL ranks in 2014. She has umpired 33 VFL games over the past 2 seasons following another 15 senior SANFL games in South Australia. A start to an amazing career and an opening for so many other women out there to push themselves to the limit and reach for their goals.

The AFL has previously had 4 other female umpires all of which are goal umpires - Katrina Pressley, Chelsea Roffey, Rose O’Dea and Sally Boud. Katrina Pressley was the first ever female umpire to umpire an AFL game when she was selected on the AFL list back in 1998. She went on to umpire 28 games in her 6 seasons. Chelsea Roffey debuted in 2004 where she has gone on to umpire 204 game up to the end of 2016 and is still on the list today. Along with that she was the first ever female to umpire an AFL Grand Final back in 2012. Rose O’Dea debuted in 2014 where she has gone on to umpire 35 games up to the end of 2016 and is still on the list today. Sally Boud debuted in 2016 where she has umpired 10 games up to the end of the season and is still on the list today.

With the AFL Women’s League inception this year, females will continue to be a part of our great game for now and into the future.