SIX PROSPECTIVE AFL umpires will press their claims to be added to the senior umpires list for 2015 at a combine-style training camp held in Melbourne this week.
The camp is the next step in a gradual overhaul of the identification, selection and development of potential umpires.
Umpires boss Wayne Campbell told AFL.com.au the camp complemented efforts to "add real rigour" to the way in which potential umpires are identified and added to the senior umpiring list of 32 umpires.
"We want to get to know the umpires as well as we possibly can. Our talent ID people have watched them thoroughly on the ground and this week is about getting to know them as people," Campbell said.
The six umpires will participate in speed, agility, skill and endurance tests relevant to umpiring, be interviewed by coaches and also undertake psychology tests that will assess their traits.
In 2014, members of the AFL umpires department observed talented umpires officiating throughout the country in order to identify those with potential to become senior AFL umpires.
Umpiring talent identification manager Tim Shearer and umpiring development manager Adam Davis attended 78 games around the country during 2014, observing a pool of 31 umpires identified as likely prospects at the start of the year.
Previously, it was the domain of the states to observe and then recommend umpires to the AFL for assessment at the end of the season. That system had created limited opportunities for the AFL umpiring department to observe prospective umpires in games and led to those umpires being trialled in the NAB Cup series.
The 2014 AFL umpires panel had nine members at the start the year who had umpired fewer than 50 games and eight with more than 200 games experience. It is likely three to four changes will be made to that panel for 2015.
The umpiring combine will begin in Melbourne on Wednesday with Mat Adams (Western Australia), Curtis Deboy (South Australia), Nick Brown (Victoria), Jack Edwards (Victoria), Brent Wallace (Victoria) and Joel Harris (Tasmania) attending.