If you are interested in becoming a netball umpire, whether you are a player or not, here is some information on the pathway you need to undertake to become qualified. The amount of training and mentorship you receive will depend on what level of competition you want to aspire to.

We caught up with Chelsea Maree, an inspiring young netball umpire and player who does it simply because she “loves it.” Chelsea is the youngest badged netball umpire in her association so we asked her for some tips and advice on how to become a netball umpire and what it’s like to be an umpire.

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If you are a player wanting to be an umpire for your local netball club who is the best person or organisation to speak to, to find out more information?

Chelsea: It’s best to talk to your coach that way they can organise through the association or the other teams, a time for you to umpire. If you aren’t a player then you need to register as a member of your state’s Netball Association before you commence any courses.

How you do become a qualified umpire?

Chelsea: There is a pathway that all umpires follow, when they start the pathways are simple. If you are really interested in umpring you meet the pathways faster, the pathways go from umpring associate/club level to international level.

Here is a brief look at the umpire pathway:

1. State/Local Umpire

Competitions: State League, District, Regional, Zone & State Championships, Associated Tournaments and Club Matches.

Level
Qualifications Required
Assessment
I C Grade Badge

Theoretical:

  • Achieve 70-79% Online Section I Theory Exam

Practical:

  • 1 x Local Game
I B Grade Badge

Theoretical:

  • Achieve 80-89% Online Section I Theory Exam

Practical:

  • 1 x Local Game
II A Grade Badge

Theoretical:

  • Achieve 90-100% Online Section I Theory Exam

Practical:

  • 1 x State Game

2. National Umpire

Competitions: ANZ Championship, Australian Netball League, National Championships and SIS/SAS Championship

Level
Qualifications Required
Assessment
I B Grade Badge

Theoretical:

  • Achieve 80-89% Online Section I Theory Exam

Practical:

  • 1 x Local Game
II A Grade Badge

Theoretical:

  • Achieve 90-100% Online Section I Theory Exam

Practical:

  • 1 x State Game + Rules in Action course
III All A Badge (AA)

Theoretical:

  • Achieve 90-100% Section II Theory Exam

Practical:

  • 2 x half games of a State League game
  • 1 x Highest Level of National Competition 
  • Rules in Action course

3. International Umpire

Competitions: World Championships, Commonwealth Games, Test Match, World Youth Cup and Regional Championships

Level
Qualifications Required
Assessment

II

International Umpire Award (IUA)

Theoretical:

  • International Umpire Theory Examination

Practical:

  • Highest Level of International Competition in the Country

How do you keep up to date with changes to game rules?

Chelsea: We do rules sessions throughout the year and we get up skilled as badged umpires.

What’s your advice for dealing with difficult players and or parents whilst umpiring?

Chelsea: My advice is that you have the whistle so you control the game. The more you umpire, the more you will find that the crowd will disappear and you won’t notice them.

As a netball player too, how do you manage your player and umpire responsibilities?

Chelsea: Since I umpire at a high level, the games are played in the early afternoon while mine are played late in the afternoon so it gives me time to re-zone just like any player, by listening to my music and relaxing and doing my normal pre-game routine.