The Umpiring Is Everyone's Business campaign is aimed at raising awareness for the need to create a better, more positive match day environment for umpires, particularly at grassroots level where there are issues with recruitment and retention of umpires.

Whether you are a coach, player, parent, administrator, supporter, we all have a role to play in creating the positive match day environment. Your attitude and behaviour has a direct impact on an umpires enjoyment of their role.

Umpiring is a significant issue for our game. The demand for umpires is not being met by the supply of umpires available (89% growth in appointments and only 13% growth in umpires) - if the current trend continues, the community level including the RDFL will suffer.

There is an annual umpiring turnover at community level of 20-25%. Recruitment is difficult, but retention is a more significant challenge. The main reason for this turnover and the challenge to recruit is the existence of poor match day environments that are generated by players, coaches, administrators and supporters (including parents). These environments consist of abuse and intimidation towards umpires.

Umpiring can often be a very difficult and challenging task and umpires do the job because of their enjoyment and love of the game - when the match day environment is poor their enjoyment deteriorates and this leads to eventual drop out.

The Riddell Umpires have taken the step of producing an RDFL version of the AFL Umpiring Is Everyone's Business campaign as recruitment and retention of umpires is a large challenge to our association. Billy Mitchell, the featured umpire in the campaign is one of the Riddell Umpires top senior umpires and at the ripe old age of 20 is a large part of the future of our umpiring association. We need to create a positive culture so that the Billy Mitchell's of our association stay for many years to come. Brent Tuckey who played in the AFL for Collingwood 1998-2001 and West Coast Eagles 2002 would not only be one of the highest profile players to join our league in recent years but he would also go close to being the player with the highest level of respect for umpires within the RDFL. When asked why he was willing to be a part of the Riddell Umpires campaign, Brent said "Without umpires we don't have a game". Current Romsey Coach Dean Helmers who was on Geelong's AFL list, also agreed to be a part of the campaign because he has a high level of respect for umpires and he knows that a happy umpire is a better umpire, and a better umpire, means a better game.

The Riddell Umpires wishes to thank Dean and Brent for their time and asks that the members of the RDFL community jump onboard this campaign and support our umpiring group like Dean and Brent.

To see the AFL Community Umpiring Is Everyone's Business Campaign, CLICK HERE

To see the AFL Umpiring Is Everyone's Business Video featuring Nick Riewoldt, CLICK HERE

To see the AFL Umpiring Is Everyone's Business Video featuring AFL Umpires and Community Level Umpires, CLICK HERE