Important Dates In SWFLUA History
1957 – First official Match in SWNFL
1957 – First Field Umpire – M Wood from WANFL (Heritage # F1)
1957 – First SWNFL Field Umpire Ted Nisbett (Heritage # F6)
1957 – First SWNFL Boundary Umpire D Owens (Heritage # B1) Umpired for two seasons umpiring 17 games and the League Second Semi Final
1957 – First SWNFL Goal Umpire L Stuchbury (Heritage # G1) Umpired just one season amassing 35 games and did the very first League Grand Final with J Flynn (Heritage # G2). The duo also umpired the Reserves Grand Final.
1957 – First Local Field Umpire to officiate a Grand Final – Ted Nisbett (Heritage # F6) officiated in the Reserves Grand Final between Bunbury and South Bunbury.
1961 – First Umpire to reach 100 Games was Goal Umpire George Prout (Heritage # G7). He would go on to officiate in 305 games and held the games record for many seasons. The 305 games includes 4 League and 3 Reserve Grade Grand Finals.
1962 – The Colts competition started with seven teams.
1964 – The SWNFL was not permitted to know who the Field Umpire for the League Grand Final would be so that information could not leak back to assist metropolitan football writers in their conjectures as to who would be umpiring the 1964 WANFL Grand Final, assuming that the umpire selected for the Bunbury Grand Final would then be out of the running from umpiring the WANFL Grand Final. That policy was adopted also in 1970, 1976, 1977 & 1978, much to the dismay of locals.
1965 – 1967 – With local umpires not allowed to umpire League Games, there was a glut of local umpires who were not getting a game. On a rotation basis umpires went to umpire in the Districts League, with games in locations including Nannup and Balingup.
1965 – Lindsay Johnston (# F142) voted umpire of the year.
1966 – 1976 – The Colts competition was disbanded and sent back to the control of the SWJFL as teams were continually struggling for numbers.
1970 – Ted Nisbett (# F6) the first Field Umpire to achieve 100 games
1971 – George Prout (# G7) becomes the first SWNFL Umpire to achieve 300 games.
1977 – 5 June 1977 Geoff Gibbs (# F313) would become the first SWNFL Field Umpire to Umpire a League Match.
1978 – Kevin Nettleton (# F385) would become the first SWNFL Field Umpire to Umpire a League Final.
1979 – 26 August 1979 Kevin Nettleton (# F385) and Frank Mastrangelo (# F315) first SWFL Field Umpires to Field Umpire a League Final together.
1980 – 13 July 1980 was the first time that the two Field Umpire system used in SWFL using just local umpires. Kevin Nettleton (# F385) and Colin Bell (# F407) would have that honour.
1980 – 27 July 1980. Frank Lendich (# F314) assaulted by a Collie supporter at half time of the match between Collie and AMR. Lendich refused to give the match ball to the reserves Field Umpire and the match had to be abandoned. Initially AMR were awarded the win, and four weeks later the SWFL declared the match a draw.
1981 – Kevin Nettleton (# F385) became the first SWFL Field Umpie to Umpire a League Grand Final.
1982 – 13 June 1982 the SWNFL controversially added Green and Gold panels on Field Umpires shorts and shirts to give their plain white uniforms some colour.
1982 – 12 September 1982, Brian Sutherland (# G48) first umpire in SWFL history to Umpire four consecutive League Grand Finals, when he was appointed to Goal Umpire the 1982 Grand Final.
1983 – 8 May 1983 Medibank Private would become the SWNFL Umpires first sponsor. Modelling the new uniform, the one and only Kevin Nettleton.
1983 – The Umpire of the year was voted on by the two interchange stewards, who would score each umpire out of ten. Kevin Nettleton (# F385) would win in 1983, with some weeks a combined score of 8 being the highest awarded by the two officials.
1984 – 10 June 1984. Colin Bell (# F407) suffered a heart attack after umpiring at Boyanup, it would be his last game as a Field Umpire after officiating 72 games. He return in 1987 as a Goal Umpire (# G103)
1984 – Grand Final, Kevin Nettleton (# F385) and Ray Hingston (# G60), equalled the record set by Brian Sutherland (# G48) by umpiring four consecutive Grand Finals when appointed as Field and Goal Umpires respectively.
1984 – Neville Millar (# G46) Breaks George Prouts (# G7) long standing record for most games Goal Umpired (305)
1985 – Round 13, SWFL refused to publish umpires names in the budget as they had been wrong in previous two weeks.
1985 – Grand Final, Kevin Nettleton (# F385) breaks the record by SWFL umpire, by Umpiring his fifth successive League Grand Final. The match will also be remembered for being the most violent Grand Final in history between South Bunbury and Collie (Saints).
1986 – A historic moment with the SWFL allowing SWFL Field Umpires to Umpire the League Grand Final, doing away with WAFL Field Umpires who had previously officiated the previous 29 Grand Finals.
1988 – 14 August 1988 Kevin Nettleton (# F385) first Field Umpire to officiate 200 League Games.
1998 – 25 September 1988 Kevin Nettleton(# F385) Field Umpires his eight successive League Grand Final as a field umpire.
1989 – The SWFLUA had a severe Field Umpire shortage with just 19 Umpires, with Colts matches filled with Club Umpires.
1989 – Numbers would be boosted by three after a brawl in the Murray Districts Football League (Now Peel League) between Harvey and South Mandurah. The umpires were harassed and resigned. Those who returned were Chris Sabourne (# F417), Nick D’Olympio (# F485) and John Board (# F454)
1990 – Field Umpires were getting $80 per game.
1990 – The continuing umpire shortage got worse when Chris Sabourne (# F417) took ill during the AMR v Busselton derby, leaving one Field Umpire to control the match.
1990 – John Guerrini (# G157 / # B187) became the first Umpire to Umpire a League Grand Final in two different disciplines)
1991 – The SWFL trialled something in the Preliminary Final week of 1991, with the Colts match at 10.00am, the League at 12.10pm and the Reserves at 2.45pm. It was never repeated.
1992 – 12 April 1992 The Send off Rule was implemented and rumours of secret betting took place as to which Field Umpire would whip out a yellow card first. That honour would go to former player Anthony White (Heritage # F510).
1992 – 7 June 1992, Field Umpire Kevin Nettleton (# F385) the first Field Umpire to reach 300 League Games.
1992 – 20 September 1992 Karl Skraha (# G100) Goal Umpires his fifth successive League Grand Final, a SWFL record for Goal Umpires.
1994 – Boundary Umpire stocks took a tumble with Colts and Reserves Field Umpires doubling up as League Boundary Umpires.
1994 – 18 September 1994 Karl Skraha (# G100) Goal Umpires his seventh successive League Grand Final, a record for Goal Umpires
1994 – 18 September 1994, Ian Beard (# B166) Boundary Umpires his first League Grand Final, creating a record for most League matches umpired (136) before getting a League Grand Final.
1995 – 25 June 1995, the first night match was played. It was played at Margaret River with AMR playing Donnybrook. The match started at 5.45pm with Field Umpires Ken Sabourne (# F481) and Neil Darby (# F540) in charge. Boundary Umpires were Ian Beard (# B166) and Dave Hodgson (# B247) while the Goal Umpires were Jeff Eastcott (# G140) and Ron Oliver (# G141)
1995 – 9 July 1995, Karl Skraha (# G100) breaks the existing games record for Goal Umpires of 347 held by Barry McCaughan (# G81).
1995 – 23 July 1995, Karl Skraha (# G100) first Goal Umpire to achieve 350 career games
1995 – 24 September 1995, Ian Beard (# B166) first umpire in SWFL history to officiate in every final across Colts, Reserves and League.
1996 – 27 April 1996 would be a historic night in Collie with the first night match, and the first night derby between arch rivals Mines Rovers and Collie. Nearly 2000 people turned up to watch. A week later the first night match at Hands Oval with South Bunbury playing Collie on 4 May 1996. The SWFL would go crazy with night games, with more than half the matches played under lights including Busselton playing Carey Park at Hands Oval on 24 August 1996.
1997 – 4 May 1997 the three umpire system was trialled for the very first time, in a Colts match. There were many throughout the season, with two of the three umpires then doing the League Game.
1997 – 14 September 1997, Karl Skraha (# G100) becomes first Goal Umpire to achieve 400 career games.
1998 – Round 1, Goal Umpires lost forever their iconic Dust Coats, Ties and Bowler Hats.
1998 – 30 May 1998 will go down in history as the night the lights went out and no-one knew what to do. Collie were playing Carey Park and lead by two points just prior to half time. Weeks later the match was called a draw.
1998 – One of the more famous Wood Duck Moments occurred when Shane Lindley (Heritage # B207) knocked himself out on 5 July 1998 and was taken to hospital mid match.
1998 – 12 September 1998 would be a historic moment with Collie and Mines Rovers playing off in an Elimination Final in Collie. Nearly 2500 turned out to see Mines Rovers win by three points in the stand-alone fixture.
1999 – 18 April 1999, Karl Skraha (# G100) first Umpire of any discipline to reach 500 games.
1999 – 1 August 1999 the three umpire system was trialled in a League game for the first time.
1999 – First time three umpire system used in a Final for Field and Boundary Umpires.
2001 – 8 July 2001, Karl Skraha (# G100) first umpire to achieve 600 Career games.
2003 – First time that three Goal Umpires appointed to a day to cover Colts, Reserves and League, with an influx of Goal Umpires. Previous to 2003, Clubs provided Goal Umpires for Colts matches.
2003 – Zane Scheffner (# F556) became the youngest field umpire to amass 100 League games aged 24.
2004 – Boundary Umpire numbers hit rock bottom, with no League Boundary Umpires for the Donnybrook Reserves or League matches, and no Boundary Umpires for all three grades at Margaret River.
2004 – 13 June 2004 Krystal Findlay (# B407) became the very first female umpire in the SWFL as a Boundary Umpire.
2005 – 9 April 2005 the art form of bouncing the football by Field Umpires removed from Country Football. On the same day, Umpires who had always been predominantly in white, moved to black shorts, orange sock and shirts.
2005 – 17 April 2005, Kevin Nettleton (#F385) first Field Umpire in SWFL to reach 500 Career games.
2005 – 5 June 2005, Brenton Bartlett (# B389) becomes the youngest umpire ever to make a report, aged 14, and the report was upheld by the tribunal.
2006 – 20 August 2006, Louise Parkes (# G215) and Linda Webb (# G203) became the first two females to Goal Umpire a match together.
2007 – 6 May 2007, Kevin Nettleton (# F385) First Field Umpire to reach 400 League Games as a Field Umpire.
2007 – 29 July 2007, First time a Father and Son combination of Graeme Lawrence (# F529) and Ben Lawrence (# F599) were in charge as field umpires of a SWFL match.
2007 – 7 October 2007, Louise Parkes (# G215) first female umpire to officiate a Grand Final, doing the Colts Grand Final.
2007 – 7 October 2007, first time that three female umpires had control of the Boundary in a Grand Final with Cassie Bickerdike (# B425), Krystal Findlay (# B407) and Allivia Bartlett (# B410) all officiating.
2008 – John Guerrini (# G157) breaks the all-time Goal Umpiring record for most consecutive League Grand Finals when he umpires his eighth Grand Final in a row, breaking Karl Skraha’s (# G100) record of seven.
2009 – 10 May 2009 Jodi Maisey (# F640) becomes first female Field Umpire.
2009 – 7 June 2009 Jodi Maisey (# F640) Umpires Australian Womens Championship, and was voted All Australian Womens Umpire.
2009 – 20 September 2009, John Guerrini (# G157) breaks Kevin Nettleton (# F385) record for most consecutive League Grand Finals umpired when he Goal umpires his ninth in the 2009 Grand Final. He also broke in the same match the record for the most League Grand final appearances, also breaking Kevin Nettleton’s record of ten, as he Goal Umpired the 1999 Grand Final and Boundary Umpired the 1990 Grand Final, prior to the nine consecutive Grand Finals as a Goal Umpire between 2001 – 2009
2009 – 20 September 2009, Ashley Pulford (# B330) breaks the records for most League Grand Finals umpired when he umpires his seventh Grand Final as a Boundary Umpire.
2010 – Ashley McInnes (# 211) equals the record of Ashley Pulford (# B330) when he umpires his seventh Grand Final as a Boundary Umpire.
2011 – Harold Membrey (# 316) breaks the record for most games as a Boundary Umpire (260), surpassing Ian Beard (# B166)
2011 – 2 October 2011 Rachel Austin (# B476) becomes the first Female Umpire in any discipline to umpire a League Grand Final, when she was appointed as a Boundary Umpire.
2011 – 2 October 2011 – John Guerrini (# G157) appointed to his 11th consecutive League Grand Final as a Goal Umpire.
2013 – Katrina Edwards (# G239) first female Goal Umpire to be appointed to a League Final when appointed to the Elimination Final
2014 – 26 July 2014 – third draw of the season, with Paul Matthews (# 652), Aaron Andrews (# F648) and Jason Crowe (# G135) officiating all three of them.
2015 – Grand Final – Jason Crowe (# G135) equals the all-time SWFL record for most League Grand Finals (13).
2016 – 7 August 2016 – Jason Crowe (# G135) first Umpire in SWFL history to Umpire 700 Games.
2016 – 28 August 2016 – Kevin Nettleton (# F385) achieves 700 games (includes Goals and Boundary).
2016 – Grand Final – Jason Crowe (G#135) breaks the all time SWFL record for most League Grand Finals, when he umpires his 14th League Grand Final. Katrina Edwards (#G239) becomes the first female Goal Umpire to officiate a League Grand Final
2017 – Umpires moved to the AFL Colours of green shirts and socks with dark grey shorts.
2017 – 9 July 2017 – Aaron Andrews (#F648) awarded JJ Lusick Medal for best Field Umpire at the Landmark Country Football Championships for the second year in a row.
2017 – 22 July 2017 – Harold Membrey (#B316) Boundary umpires his 400th SWFL Match, a SWFL record.
2017 – Grand Final – Matt Devenish (#G250) becomes youngest umpire in history to officiate a League Grand Final (15 years, 3 months 20 days). Jason Crowe (#G135) continues to break the all time record by officiating his 15th League Grand Final.
2018 – 20 May 2018 – Jason Crowe (#G135) officiates in his 800th Game – first umpire in SWFL history to do so.
2018 – 17 June 2018 – Kevin Nettleton (#F385) officiates in his 700th Game – first Field Umpire in SWFL history to do so.
2018 – 30 June 2018 – Katrina Edwards becomes just the second field umpire in the SWFL, umpiring a Womens match.
2019 – Grand Final – Jason Crowe Goal Umpires his 400th League Game, Jarrad Andrews (#B489) Boundary Umpires his 9th consecutive League Grand Final. In the same Grand Final, Riley Hearne (#B641) becomes the youngest Umpire to officiate a Grand Final at 13 years, 8 months and 9 days, surpassing Matt Devenish (#G250) in the 2017 Grand Final.
2020 – 26 July 2020 – Jason Crowe (#G135) officiates in his 900th Game – first umpire in SWFL history to do so.
Current Records 1957-2021
Games Record Holder Overall – Jason Crowe 962
Games Record Holder Field – Kevin Nettleton 706
Games Record Holder Boundary – Harold Membrey 510
Games Record Holder Goals – Jason Crowe 962
Most League Games Field – Kevin Nettleton 440
Most League Games Boundary – Harold Membrey 274
Most League Games Goals – Jason Crowe 429
Most Grand Finals Overall – Kevin Nettleton 19
Most League Grand Finals Overall – Jason Crowe 18
Most League Grand Finals Field – Kevin Nettleton 10
Most League Grand Finals Boundary – Jarrad Andrews 10
Most League Grand Finals Goals – Jason Crowe 18
Most Finals Overall – Kevin Nettleton 103
Most Field Finals Overall – Kevin Nettleton 105
Most Boundary Finals Overall – Ian Beard 46
Most Goal Finals Overall – Jason Crowe 68
Most Games Umpired without obtaining a League Final – Brian Davis 307 games (1983-2004)
Most Games Umpired without obtaining a Final – D Hayward 219 games (1979-1994)
Most Games As Emergency For Grand Final – 5, Peter Franklin and Ashley McInnes
Most Games As Emergency For League Grand Final – 3, Peter Franklin, Greg Koch
Most Games As Emergency For Reserves Grand Final – 3, Ray Pulford
Most Games As Emergency For Colts Grand Final – 3, Ashley McInnes, Brian Davis
Overall Summary (1957 – 2021)
762 Field Umpires
710 Boundary Umpires
273 Goal Umpires
133 Umpires have umpired in more than one discipline and 25 of those have umpired in all three disciplines.
12 Field Umpires only have umpired 300 games or more, 3 Field Umpires only have umpired more than 250 League Games
8 Boundary Umpires only have umpired 200 games or more, 4 Boundary Umpires only have umpired more than 200 League Games.
10 Goal Umpires only have umpired 400 games or more, 6 Goal Umpires only have umpired more than 200 League Games
28,605 League Games
22,107 Reserve Games
12,751 Colts Games
1280 Womens Games
Average Games umpired per Field Umpire 31.77 games
Average Games umpired per Boundary Umpire 24.89 games
Average Games umpired per Goal Umpire 83.70 games
** Note all records are as accurate as can be obtained from Football Budgets and Official South West Football League Records. Many games in minor grades were listed as “Club Umpire” and hence these umpires are not listed or known.
# All figures up to and including round thirteen 2021.