Crio’s Q? The player-umpire relationship quandary.

Will Minson’s report will be relegated by newshounds now chasing “(blue)blood”…but there are some matters related to the, admittedly minor, contact made by the big Footscray ruckman on an ump in the VFL on the weekend that need settlement.

I reckon it is time for codes to be very clear about contact between players and officials.
Players must, wherever possible, respect umpires’ space. I’d hate to see the sort of “rushing” prevalent in soccer.
In return, umps should keep their distance from players – I can’t stand the arm on the shoulder and the “mate” exchanges.
Business relationship only. They are not mates. They are co-workers.
Other sports have very different traditions of what is and is not acceptable interaction.Which do it best?
And how should it be applied in Aussie Rules?


  1. Did a bit of umpiring way back. Our coach always told us never to say please or thanks to the players. I cringe when I hear the afl umpires be so polite to the players. Agree with you Crio that they are far too close and nice, no idea why they have to know the first name of every player. Back on the mark NOW number 27!

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    As a umpire now quite rightly we are encouraged to learn names and communicate I totally agree with this instruction it helps control and help the game unlike the arrogance and it’s all about me attitude of Razor Ray and Troy Pannell

  3. Andrew Weiss says

    As an umpire I think it is important to be able to talk to the players especially at the junior levels. Explaining why a free kick was given helps players see how you saw it (even though they might not agree) and quite often defuses any hostile situation that could occur. Back in the old days many of the SANFL and VFL umpires spoke, chatted and joked around with the players and because of this there was generally good relationships and respect between players and umpires. The biggest problem these days is that the umpires have microphones and everything is heard. On top of that there are a few umpires that like to be centre stage as well. As for players touching umpires and umpires touching players during the game the simple answer is it does not occur no matter what the situation.

  4. Peter Fuller says

    Andrew +1. Every sentence in your comment is spot on.
    Communication is a key skill in managing the game. I am in danger of erring in the direction of excessive explanation. It’s like that criticism of parents who explain at length to their small child the reason for the instruction/prohibition – something I may have been guilty of in the distant past. I’m pretty sure that my 34 year old baby would say so anyway.

  5. Rabid Dog says

    Any thoughts on the ‘contact’ incident in last night’s game?

  6. What happened?

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