AFL football boss Brad Scott says Aussie Rules urgently needs another SIX THOUSAND umpires – and calls on supporters to change their ‘attitude’ towards officials with the sport’s future under threat
- AFL chief Brad Scott has revealed that Aussie Rules is facing an umpire crisis
- Scott says that the sport is currently 6,000 officials short at community level
- He says the game’s growth and attitude towards umpires has had an impact
- The ex-North Melbourne boss called on supporters to change their ‘attitude’
Brad Scott believes the AFL is facing an umpire crisis and has called on supporters to change their attitude towards officials with the games future under threat.
Scott, the AFL’s general manager of football, has implemented significant changes to the rules ahead of the 2022 season, including a crackdown on abuse aimed at umpires during games.
A number of players have already been punished with 50-metre penalties for abuse during the AAMI Community Series and pre-season matches in an effort to curb the concerning rise in player dissent.
AFL football manager Brad Scott has detailed the umpire crisis facing Australian Rules
Now, Scott has revealed that the sport is 6,000 umpires short at community level and has attributed that sobering reality to game’s rapid growth in popularity as well as the trend of umpire abuse.
‘I am surprised and somewhat disturbed that the game is growing so quickly in the men’s and women’s game and that growth is simply outpacing the growth in umpires,’ he said on SEN Breakfast.
‘To be 6,000 umpires short at community level is a massive concern. We are desperate to get community footy back and to get it back in a big way and assist all those leagues out there that do such a good job.
‘The reality is if we don’t have enough umpires we are going to have to cancel some games. That is a key priority for us.’
The ex-North Melbourne coach says that the sport is 6,000 officials short at community level
He has called on supporters to follow the 18 clubs and change their ‘attitude’ towards officials
Scott added that all 18 AFL clubs have thrown their support behind clamping down on umpire abuse and called on fans to follow suit and change their attitude.
‘It isn’t necessarily that umpires are walking away, but it’s not growing as quickly as we’d like. We think it would if the attitude towards umpires changed.
‘We are talking about, in some cases, young 12, 13, 14-year-old boys and girls getting out and umpiring and copping abuse from players and the crowd.
‘It is something that has been tolerated in the past and we have got to do something about it because we need umpires in our game.
‘We’re 6,000 umpires short. If we don’t address this, it’ll be pretty hard to play our game. All 18 clubs are unanimous in their support, if they can do it we all can do it.’