United States Australian Football League Umpires Association – USAFLUA
APPROVED AFL/USAFL RULE CHANGES AND INTERPRETATIONS SUMMARY CHART
In anticipation of the restoration of play for the United States Australian Football League (USAFL) in 2021, the USAFL Umpires Association is providing this AFL/USAFL Rule Changes and Interpretations Summary Chart reference for players, coaches, and administrators.
This chart can also be found in PDF format at: Approved AFL-USAFL Rules and Interpretations Summary Chart
|Year||AFL Rule/Interpretation||USAFL Adopted||Explanation and Rationale|
|2021||Maximum of 75 Total Player Interchanges per Match||No||This rule addresses specific AFL considerations and is not applicable to USAFL games where there are no limitations on interchanges.|
|2021||Mark set at 15m from center of the top of the goal square at Kick-Ins||Yes||The USAFL adopted the previous rule change moving the Mark to 10m from the center of the top of the goal square and there is no reason not to adopt this change.|
|2021||Three Players to be Stationed Inside 50 Meters at Each Stoppage||No||This rule addresses specific AFL considerations and is currently experimental. As such, there is no reason for the USAFL to adopt it.|
|2021||Standing the Mark||No||The AFL is interpreting this rule to require the opponent on the mark to remain stationary until the umpire calls “play on.” This interpretation addresses a specific AFL concern with the pace of the game, scoring, and defensive tactics. This is viewed as difficult to administer in the USAFL where players and umpires are often inexperienced. Therefore, players will not be penalized if they move (other than forward) while standing the mark. Umpires will continue to make it clear where the mark is set.|
|2020||Team Officials and Team Runners||No||This rule specifies when team officials may enter the playing surface. USAFL games are played in summer and at the community level, so Water Runners are allowed on the field provided they do not interfere with the game or carry messages. Team Runners may enter at any time to deliver a message and return to the boundary, provided they do not interfere with the game. They may not be in the 50m arc at a Kick-In.|
|2020||Starting Positions||No||This rule implements a “traditional” set up at center bounces requiring each team to have six players inside the 50m arcs, including one in the goal square. This rule is viewed as impractical to implement in the USAFL where games are often played with fewer than 18 players on each team and/or with one field umpire.|
|2020||Kicking for Goal Post-Siren||No||This interpretation allowed a player awarded a Mark or Free Kick before the siren to use a Snap or Check-side kick for goal. This interpretation is viewed as to difficult to administer in the USAFL.|
|2020||Procedure After a Behind Has Been Scored||Yes||The Mark at a Kick-In is set 10m from the center of the top of the goal square, though for USAFL metro games, the distance may still be set at 5m. A player need not kick to himself to play on out of the goal square. A player who plays on from the goal square and kicks out of bounds without the ball being touched is not penalized for “out on the full” but may be penalized for “deliberate out of bounds” if appropriate.|
|No||This interpretation allows the player with the ball to play on during the advancement of the mark. This interpretation is viewed as impractical to implement in the USAFL.|
|2019||Marks/Free Kicks||Yes||For all Defenders who take a Mark or are awarded a Free Kick within 9m of the goal line or reasonably close to the behind post, the Mark is set in line with the top of the goal square. There is no reason for the USAFL not to adopt this rule.|
|2019||Umpire Contact||Yes||Players are prohibited from setting up behind the Umpire at each Center Bounce. This rule is desirable in the interests of umpire safety.|
|2019||Marking Contest||Yes||The “hands in the back” interpretation is repealed, allowing a Player to place his hands on an opponent’s back to protect his position in a Marking contest, but not to push the opponent in the back. There is no reason for the USAFL not to adopt this interpretation.|
|2019||Ruck Contests/Prior Opportunity||Yes||A Ruck Player who takes possession of the ball while contesting a bounce, throw up, or boundary throw in will not be regarded as having had Prior Opportunity. Where there is uncertainty as to who is the designated Ruck, the Ruck for each team will continue to nominate to the field umpire. There is no reason for the USAFL not to adopt this interpretation.|
|2018||Kick-In After Goal Umpire Signal||No||This rule permits an immediate Kick-In after the Goal Umpire signals a behind (one raised index finger). This rule is viewed as impractical in the USAFL where games are often played with non-accredited Goal Umpires. Players must wait for the flags to be waved.|
|2018||Advantage Rule||No||The AFL allows a Player’s choice to be considered in applying the rule. This is viewed as difficult to administer in the USAFL where players and umpires are often inexperienced. The field umpire will continue to have sole discretion to award advantage.|
|2018||Deliberate Rushed Behind||No||The AFL interpretation allows a Free Kick to be awarded when a Player, not under pressure or close to goal deliberately knock or take the ball over the goal line. This is viewed as difficult to administer in the USAFL where players and umpires are often inexperienced.|
Leadership Changes at the United States Australian Football League Umpires Association
Millsy Turns the Page, while Laurie Rupe Steps into the Umpire Association Presidency
Jonathan Mills, known to all his Australian Football friends as “Millsy” has had numerous highlights in his 20 year association with Australian Football in the United States, including officiating in the yearly national tournament held by the United States Australian Football League (USAFL), participating in numerous Australian Football League sponsored International Cup of Australian Football tournaments in Melbourne, and a visionary to the eventual formation of the United States Australian Football League Umpires Association (USAFLUA).
On Monday, at the USAFLUA Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on-line, Millsy gave the Umpires Association a unique and very personal account of his history with the USAFL and the USAFLUA, especially reflecting on his tenure as the first and only President of the USAFLUA. Stating with certainty, Millsy said, “I will now be assisting rather than managing” in the future. Millsy is confident that he will continue to be active as an umpire and continue his passion for the sport and backing of the USAFLUA Board of Directors.
Millsy’s concluding remark, as noted in the minutes of the USAFLUA AGM….
The full text of Millsy’s message to the umpires is listed below.
Laurie Rupe ascends to the USAFLUA Presidency after serving on the USAFLUA Board of Director as one of the Members at Large.
Laurie is a USAFLUA Field Umpire – Level 2, while also holding a Level 1 Goal Umpire accreditation. Also known as “Boom Boom” on the grounds, Laurie played on the Minnesota Freeze side, before she took up umpiring. Laurie was one of the 2017 International Cup Umpire scholarship recipients, traveling to the IC17 in Australia. Laurie can’t always see the AFL in person or on television, but when she does, she favors the North Melbourne Kangaroos.
Welcome to Adam Alverez
Joining the USAFLUA Board of Directors for the first time is Adam Alverez, a member of the New York Magpies. Adam was voted onto the Board as a Member at Large. Adam has been umpiring for 4 years and is a Field Umpire. Adam is a proud Brisbane Lions supporter, looking for great things from his team, in the coming weeks, especially considering the unplanned, but very welcome home field advantage.
Incumbents Jason Sherlock, Secretary, and Ryan Minmier, Member at Large, were voted in for an additional two-year term.
The other USAFLUA Board of Directors and Portfolio members include:
Vice President – Stephen Arnott
Treasurer – Sid Caesar
Member At Large – Shawn Farber
Member At Large – Ryan Willsmore
Umpire Head Coach – Jeff Persson
Goal Umpire Coach and USAFLUA Nationals Director – Toby Persson
AFL Canada Liaison – Brian Dunkin
USAFLUA.org – The official site for Australian Rules Football Umpiring in the United States.
USAFL Umpires are invaluable volunteers who give their time to ensure that the league has professionally run games. Without the umpires, the games would not exist. It is important that these individuals become and remain accredited and that they are available for all USAFL games.
The USAFLUA is proud to be partners with these Umpire Associations