Female Football Umpires

UmpirefemaleHow involved should girls get when it comes to ‘traditional’ male dominated sports?

Having 2 sons who both play football (one only auskick but that can be more physical than the real game), I am aware of how much boys love the rough and tumble football brings. My eldest son began tackling this season and that has made the game more enjoyable to watch, and it flows more like ‘real’ football matches. On the weekend we played a team which had 3 girls on their side (one of which was fantastic). However, when it came to tackling, some of our boys hesitated. Did they hesitate because their opponent was a girl? Did they hesitate for fear of hurting their opponent? Did they hesitate because outside the football field, boys are not allowed to man handle girls?

I am a big one for women’s lib but when it comes to a contact sport, I think the sexes should be segregated. I have taught my boys to never hit a girl, never tackle or man handle a girl and to never swear in front of a girl. How do I ‘un-teach’ this out on the football field? In basketball (another of our regular sports played) the sexes do not compete against each other and I think in football, when they reach the level where tackling is allowed, the sexes should be separated. I don’t want my boys afraid to play the game the way they are taught for fear of hurting a female opponent. I know they wouldn’t have the same hesitation going up against other boys.

In contrast to this, I love the fact that more and more girls are now umpiring football matches, especially in our league, the South Metro Junior Football League. 10 years ago there was only 3 girls umpiring and now there is over 25 girls who have joined the league as umpires. We have encountered many girls umpiring our games and they are good, I mean really good. I have seen a young female umpire make a call and behind her I could hear members of the crowd disagreeing with her decision. She never faulted, never showed the crowd any reaction and continued with her game plan. I have also noticed the boys playing show the female umpires total respect, accepting decisions and not carrying on because she is a girl.

I say a BIG yes to female umpires and a BIG no to boys and girls playing in the same competition when physical tackling is involved.

cheers natalie


Despite the fact that girls and footy is gradually becoming more popular, it is something I don’t think I will ever do. Sure I’ll play a game during school PE and kick a ball around with my brothers. Playing or even umpiring at a proper game (and by that I mean under 9’s local team) is not something that has ever tickled my fancy. I might sound incredibly girly when I say that footy is just not for me, but it is entirely true. The thought of running around a muddy field is just unappealing to me.

However, one of my friends does play AND umpire for footy and she loves it. Looking at her you would never be able to guess that she plays footy because she is no way considered a tomboy. In fact, she’s just as girly as I am and more than happy to talk make up with you. She plays in an all girl league (something that I know she is happy with because the boys our age all seem to be tall and bulky) but she umpires for the junior boys league. She has a blast umpiring and playing.

Girls playing and umpiring footy is beginning to get a lot more interest (there was even a girl playing in EJ Whitten Legends game a few weeks back). Whilst I couldn’t think of anything worse, there are many girls out there who would kill for an opportunity to play a game of footy. I know that the club my brother plays for has a girl’s team, his team even had a girl in it last season. The whole club is very supportive of the girls who play. My youngest brothers auskick is also very enthusiastic about girls joining up.



Positive Sports Parents

Being sporty is important. I think that every single person should do at least one sport once in their life. Obviously some people physically can’t, that’s completely different but for everyone else, I think that sports are amazing. Whether you’re into ball sports, athletics or extremes sports, being active is so important. You might not be good at them but the benefits of playing a sport definitely outweigh the negatives.

Personally, I think that there is nothing better than team sports. I struggle more when I do solo sports like running but when I play basketball or netball, I love it. I love that something which keeps you fit and healthy is also a social opportunity. However, I know that hand-eye coordination isn’t everyone’s high point but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do sports. Sports and exercise are unanimous, you can’t do exercise without doing a sport.

I also believe it is even more important for kids and teenagers to do sports. As we’re growing and changing, we need to feed our body with exercise and I think the best way for that to be achieved is through sports. There are so many different sports available to every single person. Sports aren’t limited to certain genders anymore so no matter the sport, you’ll be able to do it. As well as the physical side of things, sports are great for promoting confidence and team work.

I play two sports, netball and basketball, and I do PE twice a week. I personally think that I am quite sporty and I actually love to exercise. The more exercise you do doesn’t necessarily mean the healthier you are but it is a massive factor in keeping healthy. People around my age should understand the importance of keeping fit and staying healthy.  see ya Ash xxx


I remember my Mum saying to me when I began having children, ‘It’s important that they are busy with sports as they will hang around with like-minded children and parents’. I have never forgotten this. I grew up playing basketball, tennis and swimming. I never excelled at any sports but I could always hold my own. Plus, if there was any chance a boy might be watching me, then I tried a little harder to impress.

My children play a variety of sports from basketball, netball, football and dancing. I love to watch them play and cheer a little too proudly from the sidelines on many occasions. Most of my cheering is positive but occasionally a few words will slip from my mouth which could be perceived as ‘unproductive’. (Do you like the way I am explaining my bad behaviour?) I am not saying anything about other children playing the sport, always to my own children. But I have commented on the umpiring or refereeing when I feel the event was unfair.

It wasn’t until my youngest child said something to me at a basketball game about the umpiring did I realise he was simply parroting me. It sounded awful. I sounded awful. So now I make a distinct effort never to comment on the umpiring or coaching or refereeing of a game, especially in front of the children. It only develops into bad sportsmanship.

My husband coaches football and he has told his team they are not to comment on the umpiring at the quarter breaks as the decision has been made and will not be reversed.

I will always have my children’s back if the sport gets out of hand. This have never happened but in the event it does, I will come out fighting for them. As long as they have played fairly and honestly. cheers natalie

Who wants to be a celebrity?

As someone who has grown up admiring celebrities, I hate to admit that the idea of being famous has gotten less and less appealing over the years. The only way to explain this feeling is to blame the exact celebrities I used to admire. It seems to me that being famous or well known also meant that you had to turn into someone you’re not.

I am someone who appreciates my brain and hates the idea of ruining even a single cell. Taking drugs and smoking are things that have always disgusted me so I don’t think that I personally would become completely different if I became famous. However it is apparent to me that people in positions of inspiration and power don’t think the same way.

Famous actors, athletes, politicians and many other types of people, abuse the positions they have been given. I am in no way saying that every single famous person, in fact more often than not celebrities are very inspiring, is a bad example but there are enough to make it a serious issue.

The most famous people in our society at the moment, are people who make the news. In many situations they don’t make the news for positive reasons. There are people in the news for racism, drug use and breaking the law.  There are people who are famous for being rich being racist. There are people who became too famous too young who are abusing the law and themselves.

I feel as if people are getting too much credit for doing nothing and it goes to their head. It goes without saying that there are some good people out there that deserve attention. There are also the people who become celebrities then abuse it and become bad examples. Obviously, the responsibility is huge but it is something they decided on themselves and need to remember there are people out there who admire them and will follow their lead, good or bad.   

See ya Ash xxx

Almost daily there is a news article about a celebrity going off the rails. Most people would love to have even a little bit of what celebrities have – whether it be their fame, their money, their popularity or their status in the community. Too often society put these people on a pedal stool and when they fall off, we turn on them like vultures.

Recently it has been the Australian swimmers in the news. We have had many of our most famous swimmers falling off the rails for a variety of reasons. Is it that we put too much pressure on our athletes? Or is it they put themselves above society and need to be pulled down a peg or 2?

Then there is the celebrities in the music world, especially young musicians who earn too much money too quickly and have no idea how to handle themselves. They need the guidance of good parents (or guardians) to ease their way into a world where is it not real.

As a mother, I do not want my children to become famous, simply because I want them to spend their life grounded. I know I have no control over this, it is a little wish I have. As a child, of course I wanted to famous (can’t remember what for though) as it appeared they lived the ultimate lifestyle.

Drugs, alcohol abuse and depression are rapid in the celebrity world. So I say NO to wanting to be a celebrity. I would rather be successful in my career as a writer, quietly in my own corner with my beautiful family surrounding me. cheers Natalie

Being a Gracious Loser…

I know that everyone loves winning and the people who love losing are people who don’t actually exist. Competition is a part of everyday life and there is always a winner and a loser. In real life no one comes a draw and there are always people who end up on top. As much as we’d like to think otherwise, we can’t always be the winner and sometimes, we have to know when to be a gracious loser.

 Being a gracious loser doesn’t just mean shaking hands at the end of a sports match or congratulating someone on something they achieved but you didn’t, it’s about holding it together yourself. The firsts step of being someone who is not considered a ‘sore loser’ is first off, taking a step back from the situation and contemplate whether or not it is worth getting emotional and teary eyed over.

 Sometimes things in the moment seem worse than they would the next day. Loosing your grand final might seem like the end of the world after the game end but when you wake up the next morning, it usually doesn’t feel so bad anymore. When you miss out on a promotion at work, it may seem as if your career is over but if you take a step back you would see that you maybe overreacting.

 As well as taking a step back, I find it helpful to step into the shoes of the winners. If you had won the game or received the promotion and someone was moping around you and being nasty, it would most likely make you feel guilty. Is it really fair of you to bring someone down after they achieved their goals just because you aren’t happy? Thoughts like these can really make you appreciate the fact that you can learn just as much from losing as you can from winning, if not more.

cheers Ashlea xxx

gracious loser

Once again, well said Ashlea. Losing in any aspect in life is a difficult concept. No one wants to be the loser but unfortunately someone has to come first and someone has to come last. Being able to handle the loss in a mature and rewarding way while learning from the experience can only make you a better person.

It is easy to blame the umpire or the referee or the opposition for cheating. But that will not change the fact that when the siren goes and the game is over, one team wins and one team loses.

  • Being a gracious loser is acknowledging that ON THE DAY, the other team performed better.
  • Being a gracious loser is acknowledging that ON THE DAY maybe your performance wasn’t as good as the other team and therefore they won.
  • Being a gracious loser is acknowledging that ON THE DAY you gave it your best but unfortunately your best just wasn’t good enough.

Nerves can play a major role when is comes to grand finals or final performances. Some people handle nerves better than others. There is nothing wrong with being nervous and each time you experience nerves, you learn how to handle it better and better until the nerves no longer control you. I think it is important for children to understand the concepts of winning and losing and its essential to experience it. Having a scoreboard, a ladder and an overall winner gives children something to strive for. If they do not reach their goal in one season, try again and work harder and eventually your goals become reachable.

cheers natalie

Are team sports important for children?

Being part of a team is definitely important, especially growing up. I’ve always played basketball and just recently started netball. I think that being a part of team boosts your confidence and socialising skills. It also lets you have fun playing your sport with other people.

I love playing in teams because it means all the pressure isn’t just on me like sports such as swimming or skateboarding. In sports such as basketball, netball, soccer, cricket and so many more, you have the opportunity to play with other people who enjoy the same sport as you.

When I play in a team, I always feel as though I have to perform better. Without a team you could play at any level you what’d because no one relied on you to be good. With a team you almost get pushed by your team mates into doing the best you can. Having encouragement makes things so much easier in sport.

Playing a team sport helps you become more social and confident a round others. It helps you to interact with people who like the same things as you. When you play, you are forced to talk to your team mates so you are bound to become friends with people who you may not have been friends with before.

Basically, team sports are really fun. They have everything to make great memories as a child or to keep fit as an adult. Sports are a huge part of Australian culture, as is competition. Competition is a great way for kids to learn how to win and loose. Team sports are definitely a very important thing to be a part of.



All my children play team sports as I think it is essential to learn to be part of a group effort, the highs and lows included but feeling integrated within a small group.

Once a commitment is made to join a team, children need to learn to stay committed. That includes participating in training as well as game day festivities. There is no pulling out of a team sport mid season just because you have tired of the sport. The commitment has been made to be part of a team and as a parent, it’s my role to ensure my children understand this commitment and stick to it.

Teams rely on each to succeed. Teaching children that a team involves other people relying on them and visa versa (yes shock horror – it is not always about you) can be a lesson that helps them succeed when they get older.

Being part of a team also involves the coaching staff. In many children’s sports, the coaches are the parents of team members, devoting their time to the team. Out of respect for the coach, turning up on time to training sessions and game day, is an important part of being in a team.

cheers natalie

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