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The umpiring talent pathway consists of three major AFL National Championships:
Umpires that show potential to officiate at AFL level are selected for these championships from State League umpiring groups.
The next batch of potential AFL umpires is assessed under the Talent Identification Program.
The AFL Umpires National Talent Identification Manager observes State League umpires throughout Australia and short lists possible AFL umpires for the Umpires Combine held in October annually.
These umpires are tested physically and psychologically during the three day combine before the National Talent Identification Manager, in conjunction with the AFL Umpires Coaches, selects the next AFL umpires.
The AFL Development Program has been created to prepare the country’s best State League field umpires for the requirements of umpiring in the national competition. The program is a collaboration between the AFL and State Umpiring Departments and will underpin the Talent Identification program already in place.
The program commences annually with a development camp followed by regular observations, teleconferences and communication between the AFL Umpiring Department, State Coaches and the umpires in the program.
The program will deliver education to the umpires in a wide variety of areas with a major focus on off-field skills and building high performance capability.