Mother/Daughter umpire pairs

The final day of Community Umpiring Week this year also happens to be Mother’s Day! So we wanted to acknowledge three mother-daughter umpiring combos from across NSW/ACT.

We spoke with these three mother/daughter umpire pairs about what umpiring means to them. Here’s what they all had to say:

Nelly and Zali

“Umpiring together really means a lot to us, in the beginning it was simply about spending quality time together on the weekends and earning a little bit of extra cash. However, we got to learn and improve together and it’s always great to have someone to talk about the games with. There is a special trust when we’re umpiring together whether it be in the goals or on the field. We get to spend time with the people we love around the sport and the community we love.”

 Phoebe and Cara

Phoebe – “I started boundary umpiring last year to compliment my playing and to earn a little bit of pocket money. It has given me a deeper understanding of football and made me a better player, particularly in boundary ruck contests. Mum and I don’t get to umpire many games together because I have umpired a lot of first grade women’s and mum isn’t umpiring first grade, but we get the chance to chat together on our way to and from training and games. It was really exciting to umpire the 2nd Grade Women’s Grand Final last year and show how excellent female umpires are. I have met some wonderful people umpiring and made some nice friends. I hope to move to field umpiring next year and it would be great to have more female umpires to share the experience with and make some more friends.”

Cara – “I started goal umpiring after Phoebe’s boundary umpiring coach talked me into it. It took Scott Gurney all of 30sec to convince me of the merits. I never played footy but have watched plenty and been involved in the game in other ways, including my 2023 committee role with the AFL Canberra Umpires Association as the Female Representative to the League to be an advocate and conduit supporting female umpires in all 3 disciplines. Whilst I don’t get to umpire with Phoebe much, I really enjoy my trips to and from training with Phoebe, and look forward to our uninterrupted time together so we can catch up on the events of the day, and talk about footy. I would never have thought about becoming an umpire, but it has been a most rewarding experience, where I have learned many skills which I can apply in my professional work as well. The best aspect about umpiring is meeting new friends, and watching community football from the best position: between the big sticks.”

“Phoebe and I both agree umpiring has some benefits for players, it one thing to play by the rules, it is another thing to be the adjudicator. We encourage anyone to give it a go, especially players who are considering retirement or may have had some injuries which means they cannot play as much anymore, people who work and struggle to meet playing commitments, people who love to run and want to have fun doing it. There are so many reasons why umpiring AFL is an option for all females.”

Amanda and Alysha

“Being involved in umpiring together means we can always rely on each other if we have any problems. It also means that events that would ordinarily decrease our time spent together if only one of us was involved, actually provides more opportunities to connect and spend time together”

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