Milestone for football umps

June 14, 2024 BY

Commitment: The Ballarat Football Umpires Association has more registered umpires than ever. Photo: SUPPLIED

THE Ballarat Football Umpires Association has celebrated the registration of four hundred umpires.

This is the first time the club has seen such registration levels, and head of umpiring operations, Billy Mitchell, said there has been a drive to increase numbers.

“We have had a number of different recruitment initiatives that we’ve been doing over the last two or three years,” he said.

“So really connecting with the local schools is one program where we have a number of academies set up at Ballarat High School, St Pat’s and Ballarat Grammar.

“On top of that we’ve been developing our relationship with a lot of football clubs so use that as a source of umpires.”

Mr Mitchell said being a part of the association has the benefits of joining any sporting club.

There has been a drive to make the club more inclusive.


“It’s first and foremost a really great way to be involved with the game,” he said.

“For people who enjoy football, getting involved with umpiring is a different angle on the game.

“It’s very social as well as we’re just like a football club with a number of functions.”

The club has seen a 25 per cent increase in participation by women and girls, and Mr Mitchell thanked club members for creating a welcoming culture.

“We’re very appreciative of everyone who takes to the field each week,” he said.

“Their commitment right across the season is valued and being an umpire does require flexibility and dedication to the craft. “We also thank them for their contribution to the culture and environment we’ve been able to establish.”