USAFL UA Umpire Accreditation Scheme
The USAFL UA follows the AFL Umpire Accreditation scheme in all aspects. Below is the process by which an umpire may gain accreditation for Field, Boundary, or Goals. Because the Accreditation Scheme is the same as used by the AFL, all accreditations awarded under this scheme are equivalent to being accredited as such in Australia.
The USAFL UA Umpire Coach is responsible for accreditations in the US. In addition, the USAFL UA works in conjunction with AFL Canada and its subsidiary leagues to promote and support umpire accreditation across all of North America.
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USAFL Accreditation Levels
There are three accreditation levels recognized by the AFL. In addition, the USAFL UA has added a fourth, introductory level, Level 0, to recognize an umpire who has started on the accreditation path, but has not yet achieved Level 1. Below are the recognized levels of umpire accreditation:
USAFL UA Accreditation Process
There are two parts to the accreditation: Theoretical and Practical.
Theoretical – Go to this page http://www.afl.com.au/umpires/courses and take the exam. It is $12AUD. You can proceed straight to the course. It will take you about 2-3 hours. When completed, send your certificate via email to tue USAFL Umpire Coach (your certificate is sent to your email in 24 hours following completion).Also, you should download the assessment form for use during your Practical.
Practical – The practical portion of accreditation is observation of your skills in game. A minimum of three observations is required and is normally done over a period of time so that feedback can be incorporated into your skillset over time. Observations can be done by an accredited coach at any time. Typically this is completed at Nationals. It starts with observations at one tournament and then during the next season you have multiple coaching sessions via phone with the USAFL Umpire coach, and then are observed again at the next Nationals for your accreditation.
Level 0 accreditation was added to the USAFL UA Umpire Accreditation Scheme to recognize those individuals who have begun the process of becoming an accredited USAFL Umpire. This accreditation is not a formal part of the accreditation scheme in Australia. The Level 0 accreditation applies to all three categories of umpire simultaneously.
The requirement for Level 0 accreditation is to attend and complete a sanctioned USAFL Umpire Clinic (the theoretical), and to be observed umpiring at least one match (the practical). This applies to all three categories of umpiring because the umpire clinic curriculum covers all three categories.
Level 1 Accreditation requires completion of the Level 1 AFL Course (the theoretical) and a minimum of three game observations (the practical). Accreditation is a process because it takes a period of time to develop the necessary game management skills, and it takes time to be involved in sufficient game situations to have some of the less common situations occur. The purpose of the observations is to ensure that the umpire has displayed sufficient levels of knowledge of the laws, how to apply them, and how to manage the match at a basic level.
Level 2 Accreditation requires completion of the Level 2 Umpire Manual with your Umpire Coach (the theoretical) and a minimum of three game observations (the practical). Accreditation at Level 2 requires that the umpire demonstrate an advanced level of game management skills, a high level of understanding of the laws, and exhibits match control when atypical situations arise.
Level 3 Accreditation requires being assigned to a minimum of three Senior matches in Australia, and thus the USAFL is not able to accredit umpires at this level in the US. However, there is no restriction against an umpire going to Australia to be accredited, and this level is recognized in the US.
When Does Accreditation Occur?
In the US, normally observations are completed at the USAFL National Tournament, due to the difficulty of being able to perform on-site observations. However, if the Umpire Coach can complete three observations on site at games during the season, the accreditation may be granted. This applies separately to each category of umpiring (so an umpire may be accredited at Level 2 Goal, Level 1 Boundary, and Level 0 Field, depending on what has been completed).
Where are the Materials?
Below are links and pdf documents for Level 1 and Level 2 Umpire Accreditation. In addition, the documents for Level 1 and Level 2 Coach Accreditation are referenced (although this accreditation must be done by an accredited umpire coach and currently there are none outside of Australia).
You may download the Laws at this webpage. In addition, there is a 13 minute video to help explain the interpretations of the Laws. It is strongly recommended that the content of this video be committed to memory as it will greatly assist the aspiring umpire to achieving accreditation.
This document is a great handout to give to teams and new players so they can understand the role and purpose of the umpires.
While this is now a bit dated, it is still an excellent manual to guide an umpire in how to apply the laws of the game.
It is highly recommended that an umpire keep a running diary of matches, especially during the drive towards accreditation. This log book will help you remember what you did well and what you need to continue to improve.
Who is My Coach?
Currently, the USAFL UA Umpire Coach is Jeff Persson. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Currently, he makes himself available on Monday nights during the footy season to do phone coaching sessions with any umpires who wish to be ready to be accredited at the USAFL Nationals in October. You are encouraged to take advantage of this if you are truly serious about achieving your accreditation as an umpire.
Umpire Accreditation Materials
- 2021 Laws of United States Australian Football (PDF)
- 2020 Laws of United States Australian Football (Word)
- 2020 Laws of United States Australian Football (PDF)
- 2020 Laws of Australian Football
- AFL Spirit of the Laws
- The Ultimate Umpiring Guide
- Umpires Manual Umpiring Diary
- 2019 USAFL Umpire Match Assessment Form
- 2019 USAFLUA Rule Changes and Interpretations
- AFL Umpires Manual Level One
- AFL Umpires Manual Level Two
- AFL Umpire Coaches Manual Level One
- AFL Umpire Coaches Manual Level Two