The AFL’s Umpire Mentoring Program (Green Shirts) is an umpire education and development program that aims to use experienced umpires to mentor new and inexperienced umpires during the early stages of their development.
The program takes in new umpires, places them with a mentor within the umpiring group who is there to give feedback and advice to the new umpire.
The umpires are provided with a light green uniform as part of the program. This colour is used exclusively by umpires in the program, with the aim of letting players, coaches, officials and spectators know that the umpire is new and learning. This leads to greater understanding from these stakeholders and a better learning environment for the new umpire.
In the nine Junior Metropolitan Districts in 2009, there were 242 umpires in the program, with 49 mentors assisting their transition into umpiring.
“The Umpire Mentoring Program is our most vital development program for umpires, as it helps to build better game day environments for our new umpires,” said Junior Community Umpire Manager Paul Pitchers.
“The opportunity to recognise these umpires for taking up umpiring, as well as thanking the mentors for their role, I see as being a vital way of retaining these people in our great game long term.”