FORMER AFL boundary umpire Matthew Vittiritti was chuffed when he awoke on Saturday to the cold and rain of a late May day in Bendigo.

The 300-game veteran said after running the Queen Elizabeth Oval boundary for the South Bendigo-Strathfieldsaye game the miserable conditions suited him.

“I was hoping it was going to be raining. The body’s a bit sore nowadays so the wet day suited me down to the ground. It was fantastic for me,” he said.

Now an umpires’ observer for the VFL, he said if the BUA would have him he could come back late in this Bendigo home-and-away season.

“I did run the boundary here for the Bulldogs-Melbourne AFL pre-season game a couple of years ago. That was an interesting night – it was the night the lights went out,” he recalled.

“As far as a BFL game goes I think the last one I did was in 1995. I’d just got on the AFL list that year.

“ I had a week off and was asked to help an up-and-coming boundary umpy that day. My last big game in Bendigo was the 1990 grand final and South was playing that day, too,” said Vittiritti.

His last appearance running the boundary in AFL ranks came in round 22 in 2008. He ran the boundary in his 300th game that day when Richmond beat Melbourne by 80 points.

Vittiritti made his AFL boundary umpiring debut in round 1, 1995, when Geelong downed Melbourne by 14 points. Among his 300 games were the 2001 and 2003 grand finals with Brisbane beating Essendon in ’01 and repeating the dose, this time against Collingwood, in ’03.

On Saturday, South Bendigo hung on to beat the Strathfieldsaye Storm by 15 points: 12.12 (84) to 10.9 (69).

The QEO lights were on for the entire second half!


Leave a Comment