The AFL has announced it will trial the use of four rotating umpires in the upcoming bye rounds.
Three will remain on the ground at the one time but the usual emergency umpire will now become involved in the trial in rounds 12 - 14.
The AFL will implement this to better understand the physical and cognitive benefits of being able to flexibly manage the four umpires’ game involvement, following several trials in JLT matches over recent years and a VFL match.
the Umpiring Department said it was hoped the trial will enable the collection of data and observations to help determine if this on-field umpiring model should be one considered for the future. Develop insights as to whether such a four-umpire model will enhance the career longevity of umpires. Potentially allow the best decision-making umpires the opportunity to officiate in multiple games should the model reduce the physical demands on an umpire.