A GROUP of 10 umpires will relocate to New South Wales this weekend to support the competition and assist Sydney and Greater Western Sydney to adjust to the league's new rules.
The AFL on Thursday confirmed it had sent a contingent of officials to the state as the clubs ramp up their preparation for the AAMI Community Series and home and away season.
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Umpires have had more than 300 club visits throughout this pre-season, with clubs deploying them for match simulation drills and intraclub matches whenever possible.
Often the umpires have also given guidance on the interpretation of the new man on the mark rule, which has been tightened by the AFL in a bid to enhance ball movement this season.
The AFL's executive general manager of football Steve Hocking said the umpires would be on hand as the competition navigates the weeks before the start of the season.
"I can confirm 10 umpires will temporarily relocate to New South Wales to support the men's competition throughout the pre-season matches and in the lead up to the Toyota AFL Premiership Season," Hocking said.
"We commend the commitment from the umpires and the AFLUA for the role the group plays in continuing to support the game.
"The health and wellbeing of the wider community and everyone involved in football continues to be the priority as we navigate the ongoing pandemic."
AAMI COMMUNITY SERIES Check out the pre-season fixture
Hocking also confirmed men's and women's teams in Victoria can return to pre-lockdown training following the relaxing of restrictions in Victoria this week.
The Swans and Giants will face off in a practice match before their AAMI Community Series clashes, which will see Sydney take on Gold Coast at Giants Stadium on Sunday, March 7, and the Giants play Brisbane at Manuka Oval in Canberra on the same day.