United States Australian Football League Umpires Association – USAFLUA


***Sunday 8AM UPDATE***

USAFL Nationals Sunday Umpire’s Schedules


Sunday Morning




Sunday Afternoon





Annual General Meeting and Nationals Umpire Meeting Videos


If you missed the AGM or the Nationals Umpire meeting Monday night, please use these links to see the videos:

2021 USAFLUA Annual General Meeting



2021 USAFLUA Nationals Umpire Meeting



Thank you,

Laurie Rupe, President



2021 USAFL Nationals – COVID-19 Guidelines for Umpires


My Fellow Umpires (to include Umpire Groupies, Umpire Cheer Squad, Umpire Booster Club Members, and others):

Everyone (including players, admins, staff, coaches, umpires, family in attendance, etc.) attending USAFL Nationals 2021 must submit either:

  • Proof of Covid-19 vaccination, or
  • Proof of a negative Covid-19 test result (PCR or rapid test)
    1. Administered by a health professional (home tests will not be accepted)
    2. Taken Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at 8am or later, and
    3. Submitted to the USAFL no later than Friday, October 15, 2021, 5pm

If you’re not vaccinated and won’t be by Nationals 2021 (A person is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after the second shot of Pfizer/Moderna or single shot of Johnson&Johnson. The last possible date to get your second shot for entry on Saturday, October 16 would be October 2.) will likely need to pre-schedule a covid test that can be taken and have results returned within the limited time frame noted above.

People with no vaccination or appropriate negative test results submitted to the league in a timely fashion may not attend the tournament. There will not be any exceptions allowed. Walk-ins, people showing up on Saturday morning without completing the safety requirements in the timeline provided will not be eligible to work or play.


To see the rest of the 2021 USAFL Nationals – COVID-19 Guidelines for Umpires document, please go to the PDF version of the Guidelines at –

2021 USAFL Nationals – COVID-19 Guidelines for Umpires



Toby Persson

USAFLUA Tournament Director



Important Information from the USAFL – 2021 USAFL Nationals Hotel Details

With Regionals now behind us, the focus now shifts to Nationals in Austin. The experiences and lessons learned from these regional tournaments will serve us well as we prepare for Nationals. The Board continues to work with the Safety Task Force to assure the safety of USAFL participants and officials at 2021 Nationals in Austin. The aim at this stage is to have final Nationals safety plans in place no later than week of September 5 for communication to all clubs. Club Registration, Club Conference and AGM information will also be shared over the next couple weeks.

In the meantime, clubs can begin making hotel arrangements.  We have been able to secure hotels conveniently located to Onion Creek Soccer Park at rates ranging between $144 – $169, including breakfast and free parking at most hotels. This represents a significant savings as the average daily rate for the weekend is approaching $300.  

Whilst some players may be undecided at this stage, The Cut off Date to make reservations is Sunday, September 12. After this date room availability and rates can not be guaranteed. It is understood that some players may still be undecided by this date. The cancellation policy (see below) allows rooms to be cancelled up to 3 days prior to arrival date. It is recommended that at this time you reserve a block of rooms for your club based on the maximum number of rooms needed. Then cancel any rooms not needed once your club’s final numbers are confirmed.

USAFL National – Reserve Rooms Here  – Cut Off Date is September 12

Cancellation Policy:
Cancellations must be received by 6 p.m., 3 day(s) prior to day of arrival or will result in a penalty of 1 night’s room plus tax. For all changes or cancellations please use the links provided on your confirmation emails or contact HBC Event Services by phone at 505-346-0522 or by email at support@hbceventservices.com.

Housing Policy
Reminder that the USAFL Housing policy was waived for Regionals, but it is in place for Nationals (see attached). Per the USAFL policy, as in previous years, ALL Non-Commuting teams participating in the tournament MUST make all hotel accommodations using our tournament housing services.  A $1,000 fine will be issued to any club that does not utilize an official Nationals hotel. Please do not call the hotels directly.  Please book through the hotel reservation link above.  We appreciate your support as these partnered hotels assist in sponsoring our event.

Need Help
If you are trying to book online and a certain hotel is showing fewer rooms than your club needs contact HBC at 505-346-0522 or by email at support@hbceventservices.com they may have additional rooms available. Please note that their standard business hours are Monday through Friday 7am – 5pm MST.

A Travel Protection Plan is now available for purchase for all new reservations booked through this website.

Most importantly this plan has a “Cancel for Any Reason” benefit that will protect 75% of your non-refundable hotel booking and event registration costs for only $21.05 (based on a 2-night stay). Book your hotel reservation and select YES to add the Travel Protection Plan and protect your trip. Alternatively, you can call HBC directly at 505-346-0522 (Travel Protection Plan can only be added to your booking within 20 days of your hotel reservation date).

To see the full terms and conditions of the Travel Protection Plan, please click here.

Please call HBC Event Services at (505) 346-0522 and/or support@hbceventservices.com if you have any questions and/or have any special hotel requests.

HBC Weather Guarantee

If the event is canceled due to weather, you will not be charged a cancellation penalty that you could have been subject to, if you had made your booking elsewhere. This guarantee does not include reservations made after the hotel cut-off dates. This guarantee applies only to reservations with confirmations that start with “ARN” unless otherwise noted in the cancellation policy. 

Accident Insurance

Buddy offers On-demand Accident Insurance starting at $9 for a day for as few or as many days as you need coverage. That means only $9 for a USAFL game or $18 for a tournament.

Protect yourself and support your club. The USAFL has partnered with Buddy to provide an affordable accident insurance option to registered USAFL players and support your club while doing it. How it works – Sign up for coverage for a USAFL game, tournament or other activity via usafl.com. Then at the end of the season your club will receive a rebate check for a percentage of all policies you and your teammates purchase throughout the season.


*NOTE: Offer only available to registered USAFL members, must be logged in to your USAFL account to access the offer.

This is accident insurance which provides limited benefits. Limited benefit plans are insurance products with reduced benefits intended to supplement comprehensive health insurance plans. This insurance is not an alternative to comprehensive coverage. It does not provide major medical or comprehensive medical coverage and is not designed to replace major medical insurance.

If you have any additional questions visit Buddy’s FAQ page at: https://buddyinsurance.com/answers/ or contact them directly at support@iambuddy.com or 833.462.8339 for coverage or insurance related questions.

Again please forward this information throughout your networks, it can also be found on the NATIONALS PAGE. Reach out if you have any questions on any of the above.


Doren James

United States Australian Football League

Executive Director


1-872-22-USAFL (87235)



USAFL Umpires Association Video Teleconference – New Umpires

Thursday July 29, 2021 – 8PM Central

If you missed this video teleconference, a recording can be found at:

Greetings UA,


Our second video teleconference from the USAFL Umpires Association in July is specifically designed to assist newer umpires to know what resources are available, what the accreditation pathway is, and to answer questions. While aimed specifically at newer umpires, all umpires (accredited and aspiring) are invited to attend. 


The USAFL Umpires Association is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.


Topic: USAFLUA Umpire’s Summer Series – Meeting #2 – New Umpires

Time: Thursday Jul 29, 2021 08:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)



USAFL Umpires Association Video Teleconference – Rules Refresher

Wednesday July 21, 2021 – 8PM Central


If you missed this video teleconference, a recording can be found at:


Thank you to our fiends at the American Gold Sports Alliance (AGSA) for their assistance with hosting our USAFLUA video teleconference recordings. To learn more about the AGSA and their mission to support student-athletes from undeserved communities, please visit their webpage at AGSA.org.

As we move to doing more virtual operations in 2021, we are providing a couple of virtual calls in July for our Umpires Association.  The call on Wednesday night, July 21, 2021 call is aimed at updates to the Laws of AFL, the USAFL modifications to those laws, and how to apply the laws in game (as well as to answer questions). All umpires (accredited and aspiring) are invited to attend both sessions.

Laurie Rupe

USAFL UA President





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.

50m Penalty

  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.











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.



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