THEY say you know an umpire has had a good game if you don't notice them.
And while he won't be chaired off afterward or given the fanfare of a club stalwart footballer celebrating a milestone, umpire Ryan Dedini's path to 250 senior games in the middle has been rewarding.
The 34-year-old will bring up the benchmark when he helps officiate Saturday's clash between Mangoplah-Cookardinia United-Eastlakes and Osborne at Mangoplah Sports Ground.
It was a journey which began in 2008 after one too many mishaps as a footballer saw him pick up a whistle in order to stay involved in the game.
"I just had a few mates involved and I'd had a few injuries and broken bones on the footy field, so I thought I'd give umpiring a try," he said.
"With umpiring you've got the best view in the house, and you've got the interaction with not only the other umpires but the footy boys at the end of the game.
"The social side is a great part about it and in my role I'm now the RUA (Riverina Umpires Association) president and umpires coach as well.
"We get to do a lot of work with the junior guys and progress them through, which we really enjoy."
Dedini has officiated in four Farrer League grand finals and two Riverina League deciders.
"You can't beat the atmosphere and the vibe of finals, especially eliminations when the boys put their bodies on the line and throw everything in it," she said.
With only three senior games a week in this year's abridged AFL Riverina Championship, umpiring spots have been at a premium.
But there's still some competitiveness when it comes to securing the big games at the end of the year.
"Our numbers have been restricted with the clubs trying to save money, they've taken over the reserves and under-17s themselves with their club umpires," Dedini said.
"We're covering the three games a week, which limits us to nine senior guys, so we just put ourselves through a rotation system where we get four out of the six.
"Then it will come down to performance levels come the finals."
Dedini said less games have given them extra time to nurture the young umpires coming through.
"It helps the senior guys work with the juniors. We can use this year to progress the kids who are really up-and-coming so come 2021, they can just sit comfortably in a first grade position," he said.
One of those is Callum Logan, who umpired his first RFL seniors match between Wagga Tigers and Osborne last week.
"Callum's done a few senior games in the Farrer League, he's really interested in umpiring so he's decided to step down from playing the game to focus on that," Dedini said.
"We're pushing the idea that you can play as well as umpire. Not only is it social, you can also earn some decent money out of it.
"I'll try and work toward the 300 games and go from there."