If the state leagues are to be judged, there’s still room for further change.
Every state league competition has now had either a female field or goal umpire referee a match, after Gabby Simmonds and Chloe Wright took umpired East Perth and West Coast at Leederville Oval.
Eleni Glouftsis was the first female to umpire a home-and-away AFL match, taking charge of Essendon and West Coast in 2017. She showed it’s possible, even preferable, to have greater diversity at all levels of the sport.
The WAFL had previously lagged behind it’s state and national counterparts, but now that the ground has well and truly broken, we can expect big things to continue unravelling in this space.
Congratulations to field umpire Gabby Simmonds who makes history tomorrow night becoming the first woman to field umpire a WAFL game.
Goal umpire Chloe Wright will also be making her debut in the same game between East Perth & West Coast – the duo also a first for the WAFL. 👏🏽 pic.twitter.com/v6RU5laVbb
— Nadine Rabah (@NadineRabah25) August 15, 2019
“I got into umpiring as a way to keep involved in the game after playing Auskick when I was younger,” Simmonds told the WAFC Record.
“There weren’t any junior girls’ teams in my area, so I decided to give umpiring a go.”
Wright became a goal umpire because her sister played state footy.
“I started goal umpiring because my sister decided to begin playing football, and her team required a goal umpire. I decided to give it a go and surprisingly ended up enjoying it.”