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Help! I'm 14 and am umpiring my first game this weekend!

Hello. I am a 14 year old girl. I have never umpired before, and i am expected to umpire this weekend.  I will be starting on 10-12 year olds. As you can see i dont have much experience at umpiring and i am pretty nervous that im going to stuff up or call the wrong award for the infringment that occured. I have read the Netball Australia umpiring book but some of the words are too fomral for my liking, i dont quiet undertsand. ANY TIPS PLEASE?!

Hi Ashleigh,

It may be a cliche but everyone has to start somewhere and I'm sure most experienced umpires were nervous in their first games as well!

The best you can do is to study the book, perhaps watch some matches online and practice umpiring (what calls would you have made?) and to look up any words you don't understand online.

Best of luck for this weekend!

Hi Ashleigh,

Don't be too nervous, I assume you are a passionate player if you are upiring therefore you would already have good knowledge of the rules, if you see an or think an infringement has occured, call it becomes you will most likely be right. and even if its wrong, in my experience people dont usually argue with you. the biggest thing with 10 year olds is stepping. you will have another umpire there with you,speak with them before and in the intervals, watch them when the players are in the other umpires third and see what they call.

Good luck, hope that helps

Yeah i agree,  just go out and do your best.  it takes a lot of guts to pick up that whistle and have a go.  i prefer the coaching hat than the whistle.  trust your instincts, and even if you dont feel the confidence, go out as if you have been doing this for years.  whats the worse thing that is going to happen anyway?  you are wrong.  like an umpire has never been wrong before.  but stick to your guns, learn from it, and keep going.  each time you umpire you will get better and more confident.  i just say thank you for umpiring, for we wouldnt be able to take our kids to netball on a saturday morning without people like you.

Ask for another experienced umpire from your club to be at the court with you for some moral support, which will also show the sideline supporters that you are in training. The first thing I tell my new umpires is study the rule book, loud voice...loud whistle. Blow from a deep breath from your lungs and not just the air in your mouth. Stand up straight, give clear hand signals, and with 10 year olds, clear and understandable calls, which may need repeating and explaining at times. All this goes a long way to emit your confidence, even though you may still feel a bit shaky inside. GOOD LUCK!!

We had a first time umpire, umpiring our netta game last Saturday. Just a couple of things will make your game flow. Make sure you blow your whistle loudly, speak in a loud voice and once you have made a call stick to it ( even if your not sure. If your umpiring younger grades, Run onto the court where the infraction was made, set it up, then run back to the side lines. Otherwise good luck.

The most important thing to remember is giving the ball to the right team when an infringment has occured.  Even if you've called the wrong penatly, as long as you are giving the ball to the right team it's a fair game.  

If an infrignement invovles 2 players (obstructions and contacts) then it's a penatly and a player has to stand down.  If the infringment involves 1 player (offside, replay, step, out of court) it's a free pass to the other team.

Thank you everyone for your help. I am umpiring a carnival this weekend, hope I do well. It will give me some more practice! 

My advise for future games ask your club/school if you can umpire scratch matches, practise makes perfect.  As a club we support all our new umpires with an umpiring coach then there's less stress. I'm sure you will do fine, yes definately take control of the game, loud whistle and clear instructions. All the best.

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  • or access our tried and tested plans