Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Umpiring to rules, not AFL trends

Goulburn Valley football umpires are umpiring according to the rule book and are not influenced by what is happening in the AFL.

MATTHEW GALEA May 9, 2014 3:10am

Chris McCallum

Goulburn Valley Football Umpires Association umpire adviser Chris McCallum said AFL trends should not influence district umpires.

Instructions to Goulburn Valley umpires have not changed, despite the AFL’s crackdown on the bump — demonstrated most recently with the two-match suspension handed down to Melbourne’s Jack Viney on Tuesday night.

‘‘We umpire according to the rule book. We’re not at all influenced by what is happening in the AFL,’’ McCallum said.

‘‘We get no direction from AFL umpires during the season in terms of what we should be focusing on.

‘‘In regards to the bump, our main emphasis hasn’t changed and is to protect the player going for the ball.’’

McCallum said while changes to the rule book were applicable to district umpires — unless otherwise indicated — the aim was to keep umpiring consistent not only week to week but season to season.

‘‘We have a seminar in February down in Melbourne all umpires advisers attend from across the state,’’ McCallum said.

‘‘There we will go through the rule changes for the year and touch on other areas such as administration, but that’s it.’’

However, not every rule change the AFL makes is carried across to country footy — which is not always understood by spectators.

‘‘For example, at AFL level the rules in regards to deliberate behinds, where umpires can now give free kicks for deliberate behinds, does not apply to country football,’’ McCallum said.

‘‘There’s another one about the ball hitting the roof, which obviously only applies in the AFL to games held at Etihad, and rules surrounding interchange as well.

‘‘In the AFL if there is a breach of interchange protocol, a free kick can be given and a 50m penalty, but doesn’t apply in country footy.’’

McCallum said he did not have an opinion on the policing of bumps in AFL, reiterating there would be no extra focus on it in the local game.

‘‘If there is contact through a bump to a player’s head, there will be a free kick,’’ McCallum said.

‘‘But you find most of these cases (in the AFL) are taken to the tribunal on the back of video evidence — not from the umpires on the ground.

‘‘There’s no video review in our game, so it can’t happen here.’’

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