Almanac Footy History – The Crapp Chronicles Part 2: Three Cheers for Crapp’s first year



Following a somewhat successful 1893 season, the Fitzroy Juniors were confident going into the 1894 season, with ‘no less than eight players candidates for the first 20 in the coming season’. However, the club also noted its regret that one H. Crapp had been injured during play and would recover to hopefully take the field. We are not yet sure what happened between this date in early March, and mid-April, but it appears that Ivo Crapp would turn his attention instead to the art of the whistle.


To begin he applied to umpire in the league he had been playing in, the Victorian Junior Football Association, a junior league that ran from 1883 – 1928. The permit committee selected its umpires in mid-April of the year, with Crapp second on the list (it was alphabetical, but he was one of 21 umpires granted a permit).


His first match came as a practice game, in a match that pitted Carlton against a team of juniors, nicknamed the ‘Calithumpians’. The match ended in a win for the Calithumpians, 3 goals to 2, points not being included back then. No mention was made of the umpiring. We can assume then that Ivo wasn’t bought in as an umpire until round three of the season, his first match being two teams from the ‘A’ section of the league, Camberwell and Ascot Vale, at the latter’s ground. The following week, for whatever reason, Ivo did not umpire, however the week after he again umpired Ascot Vale as they played in a match against South Yarra with South Yarra getting the win but, again, no mention is made if Ivo.


The following week, however, Ivo was appointed to umpire an extra game, not between VJFA teams but between Healesville and Yarra Glenn at Yarra Glenn. This was both teams’ second match in the series to decide the winner of the Irvine Trophy , the trophy won by the best team in a league of four teams, consisting of Healsville, Yarra Glenn, Coranderrk and Lilydale.


As the central umpire, Ivo earned praise from the Lilydale Express, spectators, and players alike for the ‘strict and impartial manner in which he discharged his duties’. Then, several weeks later, after two further umpiring jobs in the VJFA, Ivo earned more respect at the Essendon Cricket Ground where he umpired a game between Collingwood Juniors and Essendon Districts. In this game, though beaten, the Collingwood Juniors gave him a ‘hearty three cheers’ following the match. They considered Ivo Crapp ‘the best umpire they have had all season’.


Ivo umpired the season to its conclusion, finishing up along with the teams in September. In his first year with the whistle, he umpired 13 VJFA games, 2 Irvine Trophy games, and one practice game for a total of 16 matches umpired (that we know about so far).


Read more Crapp Chronicles  HERE


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