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Boundary Umpire 101


Get up to speed with the basics of boundary umpiring with this Boundary Umpiring 101 guide prepared by boundary umpires coach, Leigh Rowbottom.

How to setup at the start of each quarter

  • At the start of the game and after half time, walk to the centre of the ground beside each other, behind the Field Umpires and in front of the Goal Umpires
  • Warm-up (at least two laps of the centre square)
  • Stand on the centre circle facing each other, with backs to a corner
  • Run backwards a couple of paces, then turn and run to your corner
  • Approx five metres from the corner, turn and run backwards to the corner

Running in general play

  • Don’t run inside the “Tram Lines”
  • Do take shortcuts where you can
  • Try and read the play, predict who’s going to mark the ball etc.
  • Stay on the line when play is near your boundary line
  • Try and stay 10 metres from play down the line
  • Keep your eye on the ball

Centre Square

  • Be alert for any player that enters the square after the Field Umpire is set
  • Watch for players pushing other players into the square
  • As soon as the Field Umpire bounces or throws the ball up, move away


  • Be confident
  • Strong whistle and signals – Blow, show, go
  • Look to the Field Umpire

Ball Relays

  • Work as a team
  • Take turns on the long run
  • Collect the ball as quickly as possible
  • Person on the long run wait just near the top of the goal square
  • Avoid running near large packs of players
  • Run a couple of metres apart – it makes passing the ball easier
  • Make the pass as easy to catch as possible
  • The person that collects the ball, runs to the nearest corner on their side
  • On the long run
    • run hard through the centre
    • pass the ball to the Field Umpire
    • run to the far corner on your side
    • run the last five metres backwards into the corner
  • Work as a team



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