Umpire Footy

Australian Football matches require appropriately educated and qualified umpires for the level of athlete and competition the match takes place within.

There are three types of umpires with the AFL with different levels of training and accreditation needed for each:

  • Field Umpiring – these are the umpires in the middle making all the decisions around free kicks and managing the game. Perfect for anyone who likes to be in the thick of the action!
  • Boundary Umpiring – for those who like running and being on their feet, boundary umpires are responsible for judging when the ball goes out of bounds and helping the goal umpires with crucial score decisions.
  • Goal Umpiring – the umpires making the big decision on whether the score was a goal or a behind. Goal umpiring is less physically demanding than field or boundary umpiring but still allows you to be an integral part of the game

Want to become an umpire?

Getting started is easy!

AFL Canada members have FREE access to the AFL Umpires ‘First Bounce’ course.

The first bounce course is a foundational learning course for umpires to learn the basics of Umpiring Australian Football before taking the field. 

The course should take 45-60 minutes and is all online. 

AFL Umpires First Bounce Course.

Following the completion of the first bounce course you will be ready to start shadowing umpires on the field!

If you have your first bounce certification and are ready to get out and blow the whistle contact to organise your next steps.



Why Umpire?

You have the best seat in the house! That is just one of many benefits to umpiring Australian Football in Canada:

  • Fitness: Umpiring keeps you physically active and fit across the summer.
  • Leadership: Provincial leagues either have or are in search of Head Umpires offering huge leadership opportunities for personal development.
  • Staying in the game: A lot of Umpires are ex-players looking to stay involved in the game. While AFL Canada has pathways for both players and non players alike, umpiring footy is a great way to stay involved.
  • Travel Opportunities: AFL Canada’s National Teams either host or travel to International Matches each year, we always like to send umpires along where we can as well. Every three years we travel to Australia for the International Cup!
  • Financial Benefits: Some leagues across Canada and in other countries pay Umpires a match wage. Paid opportunities may also be available in various National and International games/tournaments.  


Getting Started

Getting started:

Umpires Pathway

Introductory Umpire

New umpires who are working toward completing, or have completed the Foundation Umpire course.

Some local games are umpired by Foundation Umpires (Volunteers) accompanied by Development or Advanced Umpires.

This is a great way to see if umpiring Australian Football is for you!

You can access the Foundation Umpiring Course via this link, reach out to for any further queries

***AFL Canada members get access to this course for free.

Development Umpire: Level 1

Competitions at or above the local level would require the majority of Field Umpires be at this level.

Successfully achieving this level requires:

  • Completion of the Introductory Umpiring Course;
  • Attending and participating in a course and coaching session with AFL Canada accredited umpire Coaches that would cover the required curriculum from AFL National Umpiring Curriculum;
  • Be observed and demonstrate the applicable field umpire Development Umpire Accreditation Competencies.

Advanced Umpire: Level 2+

Competitions at or above the Provincial level would require a minimum 1 Field Umpire at this level.

Successfully achieving this level requires:

  • Development umpire certified by AFL Canada.
  • Attending and participating in a course and coaching session with AFL Canada accredited umpire Coaches that would cover the required curriculum from AFL National Umpiring Curriculum.
  • Be observed and demonstrate the applicable field umpire Advanced Umpire Accreditation Competencies.
  • Note that in order to gain this certification an AFL umpiring staff member needs to be present to evaluate the umpire.
    • Major Events such as the Parallel Cup, AFL Canada Cup International Cup or USAFL nationals are typically where AFL Canada Umpires will gain level 2 status with the requirement of a Level 2 Umpires Coach being present.

Professional Umpires – Level 3+

Umpires in charge of AFL & AFLW games need a minimum requirement of level 3 certification.

Shared Respect

AFL Canada is committed to providing all players, coaches, and umpires with Respect in Sport and therefore recommends that all sport leaders participate in the Sport Activity Leaders Program developed and delivered by the Respect Group.

These online modules are easily accessible and are designed to empower people to recognise and prevent bullying, abuse, harassment and discrimination through interactive, online certification.

AFL Canada Umpire Resources

Reach out to either of the below to help out with anything related to becoming an umpire – both can be reached at

  • Derek Govier – AFL Canada Head Umpire
  • Jacob Haeusler – AFL Canada Executive Director.




Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial