Become an Umpire

Be a crucial part of the game while making friends and getting paid. Experience a front row seat to Australia's greatest game.

What is it?

Umpires are the eyes and ears of the footy field. Whether you’re in the field, boundary or goal, umpiring is a critical role. Umpiring provides an opportunity to be part of the game in a different way.


No matter the role, umpires train during the week and officiate on weekends together as a team. Fitness levels and experience can vary by position, but you can expect to be part of footy’s dynamic, fast-paced environment.


Boundary Umpires move along the boundary of the football field, judge whether the ball is out of bounds (or out of bounds on the full) and return the ball to play via a boundary throw in. Boundary umpires also assist the goal umpires in determining scoring shots.

Field Umpires officiate the play in line with the laws of the game and apply them within the spirit of the laws. They continually move around the football field following the play and position themselves side on at all times so that they can clearly observe the field of play.

Goal Umpires are positioned between the goal posts at each end of the field. They are responsible for judging whether a goal or behind has been scored, signalling that a score has been made and recording the score on their goal cards.


Here are the steps to becoming an umpire:

  1. Find out more about umpiring: Complete the First Bounce Certificate online or fill in your details to Find out More 
  1. Attend Umpire Training and get practical experience and training
  1. Register and complete education modules via the OfficialsHQ platform

You are ready to umpire your first game!

You can download the list of direct club contacts here.

The AFL Umpire Pathway Framework provides more information for aspiring umpires on how to progress through the ranks. Find out more below:

Umpiring starts in the community. Umpiring local footy matches is the best way to learn and hone your umpiring skills. There are also opportunities to complete nationally recognised accreditation alongside your practical umpiring experience:

  • ‘First Bounce’ Certificate
  • Foundation Umpire Accreditation 
  • Community Umpire Accreditation
  • Development Umpire Accreditation

Each level of accreditation aligns to the AFL Umpiring FTEM Framework, using the same core competencies that we recognise in all our AFL/AFLW Umpires.

Talent ID programs exist at State Underage Talent Competitions , State League and State Academy levels to provide umpires who excel in the community the opportunity to be identified and provided further learning opportunities.

The Umpire Development Pathway is for aspiring umpires like you. Learn about the Elite Umpiring Profile and the six capabilities that are important for your development.

Opportunities to umpire in the AFL and AFLW system.