Like the ten clubs, the SWFL Umpires celebrate milestones as well, and have one of the most comprehensive set of statistics in Australia dating back to 1957, when the SWFL was formed, which can be found on the SWFL website.
Last weekend two officials celebrated milestones, with Kevin Hutchins officiating his 100th League Game as a Field Umpire when he presided over the Augusta Margaret River v South Bunbury fixture at Gloucester Park. Hutchins, a former player, has plenty of experience, having officiated in two League Grand Finals.
Spectators at the Collie Recreation Ground may have been wondering why a Boundary Umpire was walking out in the front row of the Umpiring Panel and holding the ball aloft. Twenty three year old Jarrad Andrews (pictured below) officiated a remarkable 200th League Game as a Boundary Umpire at Collie on Sunday, the youngest Umpire to achieve such a feat. Andrews holds the all time record for most League Grand Finals Umpired as a Boundary Umpire, having officiated in the last eight consecutive Grand Finals. Andrews also had to the bulk of the running on Sunday in very warm conditions when his team mate, Zac Peachey sustained an injury in the warm up. Andrews also umpires in the WAFL, making this effort even more meritorious for the amount of running he does each weekend.
This weekend four Umpires will achieve significant milestones.
Mark Buswell, who started as a Boundary Umpire in 1974, will celebrate a double milestone, when he Field Umpires the match between Harvey Bulls and Augusta Margaret River. Buswell will Field Umpire his 200th game, and when added to his 150 games as a Boundary Umpire, it will be his 350th game in the SWFL.
Veteran Goal Umpire, Jason Crowe will rack up another milestone on Sunday at Hands Oval, officiating in this 850th match. Regarded as the most experienced Goal Umpire in Country Football in Western Australia, Crowe has officiated in 16 consecutive League Grand Finals, and already holds the games record for most games umpired in the SWFL. He is also closing in on 400 League games which he should reach by the end of the season.
Umpiring the same match on Sunday, Aaron Andrews will officiate in his 200th League Game. Andrews is only the fourth SWFL Umpire to reach the milestone behind Kevin Nettleton, Greg Koch and Peter Franklin and in two weeks time will move to 13th place on the all time records list of games umpired as a Field Umpire. Andrews has represented WA multiple times and has officiated in four League Grand Finals.
The final milestone is at the other end of the spectrum, but just as significant with Matt Devenish Goal Umpiring his 50th League Game, the youngest goal umpire to achieve the feat. As a fifteen year old he Goal Umpired the 2017 League Grand Final, the youngest to do so. He is now on the WAFL Panel, and this weekend will also umpire with his father, Paul, who makes his League Debut.
Well done to all of our SWFL Umpires with those milestones.