Young umpire keeps cool
LUCA Bisogni has a wise head on his young shoulders.
The 14-year-old umpired at the recent national Primary Schools Sports Association Aussie Rules titles in Darwin.
Despite a punishing schedule in searing temperatures, Bangalow-based Bisogni kept his cool as he oversaw matches involving some of the country's best young talents.
The Byron Bay High School student said the tournament experience had spurred him to stick with umpiring.
"It is great that I have found something I love," he said.
"I really want to stay with umpiring and I don't think anything could turn me off it."
Top juniors from across Australia took part in the week-long event and Bisogni served as both goal and field umpire, sometimes overseeing multiple matches each day in baking conditions.
"Everyone was very passionate, especially the coaches and reserves," he said. "I just tried to block that out.
"There is nothing you can do except call the calls as you see them.
"I got some good tips and I made some new friends as well."
Bisogni said good communication with players is key to umpiring success.
"I try and make sure everyone can hear what I am saying and what is going on," he said.
"It is good when it has been a good game and you think that you didn't really affect the result at all. It means that you let the game flow."
Melbourne-born Bisogni began umpiring about two years ago after encouragement from family.
He officiated in local matches and the state PSSA competition before being picked for the national contest.
The year eight student, who plays for Byron Magpies juniors, said he was keen to continue combining umpiring with playing.
"I really like being involved with the sport in a different way," he said.
"I didn't used to be very respectful of the umpires (when I just played) because I had no experience of the game. Now I know they are making the calls from their viewpoint."