Umpire Chris Donlon, who paid the controversial Luke Shuey free kick, is a notable omission for the AFL semi-finals.
But the league says it is purely a question of numbers, with a spokesman noting the extensive finals experience of the six field umpires picked for the two semis.
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The AFL umpiring department has already cleared Donlon's crucial free at the end of the West Coast-Port Adelaide elimination final last Saturday night at Adelaide.
Shuey then kicked the winning goal for the Eagles after the final siren.
Brett Rosebury, Matthew Nicholls and Simon Meredith will umpire Friday night's Geelong v Sydney semi-final at the MCG.
The following night, Matt Stevic, Justin Schmitt and Shaun Ryan will be in charge of the GWS v Eagles semi at Spotless Stadium.
"Chris has had a good year, it's just that others have had better years," the league spokesman said.
"It's very competitive for the umpires, they've gone from 12 spots available in week one of the finals down to six."