A new rule trialled by the Mininera and District Football League to scrap boundary umpires in junior and reserves games is likely to be in place for the remainder of the season.
The rule, where the field umpire would bring the ball in 10m from the boundary and ball it up instead of a boundary throw-in, was initially part of a five-week trial with the league’s board set to meet on Monday with the rule likely to be implemented for the remaining 11 rounds of the season.
League chairman John Box said the issue will be on the agenda at the meeting with a decision to be made regarding the rule’s implementation for the rest of the season.
“At this stage I think it will stay in, everyone seems quite happy about it from everyone I have spoken to,” he said. “The majority of clubs think it is working quite well and agree with it and it seems to be serving its purpose.”
The rule change was prompted after many clubs had trouble finding volunteers to fill the boundary umpire roles each week with the league and clubs meeting pre-season to discuss the idea with the lack of volunteers available in some areas.
The league is yet to commit to implementing the rule beyond 2018 but said it was open to the idea of making it permanent if clubs were on board.
“As long as the clubs are happy then we would look at it,” Box said.
Despite the success, Box said it is unlikely to expand to the senior football games.
“My feelings are it should only stay with reserves and juniors,” he said.