I need to admit that today was a big day for me not just because of Dane and Karl's first footy games, but also because I was able for the first time to don the white coat of a footy goal umpire and wave the flags to signal successful scores as the ball was kicked between the goal posts. I write this somewhat tongue-in-cheek, but you have to know the tradition of the goal umpire's gestures to appreciate the art of signaling a score. See the videos below of a real footy goal umpire and of me today for a comparison of technique. I seem to have failed to acheive all of the style points today, but I do have a good sense of the rules and will continue to work on my form if asked to do it again.
When a goal is scored by kicking the ball between the two inner goal posts, the goal umpire affirms it by pointing both hands out from the waist and then after attracting the attention of the goal umpire at the opposite end of the oval, both umpires grab their two flags and wave them over their heads in sync. If the ball misses the centre but passes inside the outer posts for a behind, only one hand is pointed out from the hip, and the umpires only wave one flag over their heads (as I'm doing with one flag in the photo at right). In the video of me at bottom, you won't see me point since the goal was scored at the other end of the oval.
Here's the video comparison of me and the real AFL deal: