01.10.23 09:17 AM By Editor

Australia’s inaugural sports officiating summit - the only dedicated national event for the sports officiating industry - will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre this November.

Delivered over three days from 22 to 24 November 2024, the National Officiating Summit will attract more than 1,000 officials from all sporting disciplines and levels to Australia’s sporting capital, delivering specialist content for the grassroots level through to elite competitions.

Australia is facing a severe shortage of match officials with sports struggling to keep up with the demand for officiating services. This crisis is due to a combination of factors including an increase in levels of verbal and physical abuse of officials, increased competition sizes and reduced retention post-Covid, alongside the ongoing challenge of being an under-resourced area of sport.

The Summit will assemble the largest gathering of officials, educators, administrators, organisations and government representatives from the sports officiating industry. This pioneering event will quickly become a pilgrimage for a sector of sport currently unserved by the sports event calendar.

The multi-day Summit is designed to inspire, educate and connect sports officials through a dedicated program of industry-leading speakers, workshops, expert panels and discussions across all aspects of the industry. The Summit’s exhibition is also set to welcome a range of specialist brands showcasing the best global products and services for sports officiating.

The trailblazing Summit is supported by the Melbourne Convention Bureau (MCB) and the Victorian Government and is expected to draw strong visitation from sports officials across Australia and overseas, delivering up to $2.2 million in economic contribution.

Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) has partnered with the event, providing a natural relationship to sport through its proximity to venues such as Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Rod Laver Arena at Melbourne and Olympic Parks, AAMI Park and Marvel Stadium.

MCB Chief Executive Julia Swanson notes “Victoria is proud to be the sporting capital of Australia, and that leadership extends beyond the playing field.

 “We look forward to welcoming the National Officiating Summit in Melbourne later this year and showcasing not only our city’s sporting credentials but also our city’s flair for hosting exceptional business events.”

With Australia set to host two global events between 2026 - 2032, the pathway opportunity for the nation's next generation of officials is like never before. The National Officiating Summit seeks to be at the forefront of facilitating the growth and success of sports officiating into the future.