By Nathan Johnston – South Gippsland Sentinel Times

THE South Gippsland Umpires Association has a severe shortage of field umpires and the situation could become worse as those who are left are quickly burning out.
Association committeeman and 300-plus game umpire Scott Hillis said most of the available umpires are doing two matches every Saturday – a junior match and then seniors later.
Scott’s been strapped to the GPS and clocked 25km in a day, which he said is not sustainable.
“We can’t sugar coat it anymore. It’s pretty bad at the moment. Most guys are doing two games every weekend and we’re running out of legs.”
He said the workload is not just having a physical impact.
“If we’ve been given a Fourths game on Phillip Island, we leave home at 8am, and by the time you do the seniors later, you don’t get home until 8pm.
“We used to have three umpires for every senior game, but now 90 per cent of the games we can only provide two.”
The SGUA provides umpires to the Alberton league, this end of the West Gippsland competition and Leongatha and Wonthaggi’s home games in the Gippsland League.
He said if the situation continues, clubs will be forced to provide their own umpires for Thirds games.
“We haven’t done the Seconds for four or five years and we can’t do the juniors on a Sunday.”
Umpires from the Latrobe Valley were called in to umpire a match at Tarwin recently.
“I’m not sure what’s causing the shortage but we’re not getting enough in.”
Scott said he was concerned this stretch on resources could affect the standard of umpiring.
“It used to take two or three years of umpiring in the juniors and then the reserves before you would be considered for a senior game.

Scott Hillis from the South Gippsland Umpires Association


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Original article written by Nathan Johnston reporting for South Gippsland Sentinel Times. Image contained in this post is taken from same article previously mentioned.

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