Umpire Aleisha Neumann will add another feather to her growing bow of achievements as she prepares to officiate the JDH Hockey One League Men’s match between the Adelaide Fire and Perth Thundersticks on Sunday.
The crucial Round 5 fixture will see Neumann become the first woman to umpire a men’s match in the JDH Hockey One League since the league’s inception in 2019.
Notably, it is the second significant piece of history Neumann’s name will be associated with. In February 2020 she became the first woman to umpire a sanctioned international men’s match, adjudicating the FIH Pro League encounter between New Zealand and Belgium.
“Only one person can say they did it the first time, and it proves that it’s something that shouldn’t be an issue. It should be the best person picked for the job, regardless of age, gender or race,” said Neumann after her feat of umpiring a men’s international.
“At the end of the day it’s about the players and us getting out there to the get the right outcome for them.”
Regarded as one of the world’s best umpires, Neumann is one of a host of talented Australian officials making their mark on the national and international scene.
Since making her international debut in 2014, she has gone on to umpire at the Tokyo Olympics, two Commonwealth Games, two Women’s World Cups and multiple FIH Pro League seasons.
The JDH Hockey One League gives Australia’s top umpires the opportunity to continue honing their craft, while being role models and showcasing what is possible to aspiring umpires coming through the ranks.
“That’s an exciting part of what we do is being able to meet kids that are young and aspiring umpires,” said Neumann.
“To see the excitement on their faces makes you realise where you have come from.”
Earlier this year Neumann was announced among five Australian officials appointed to officiate at the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
The women’s match double header between the Adelaide Fire and Perth Thundersticks at MATE Stadium starts at 1.00pm local time on Sunday before the men’s match at 2.30pm. Tickets are available through Intix and every match of the JDH Hockey One League 2023 Season is LIVE and free on 7plus.