The International Netball Federation (INF) has launched a World Class Officiating identity and new kit, following the increase in the profile of the sport over the recent years, and the INF’s commitment to developing and improving its world-class standards in officiating for international events.
Netball continues to grow around the world with over 20 million women and girls playing the sport which can be attributed to the success of major events such as the Netball World Youth Cup 2017, Gaborone, Commonwealth Games 2018, Gold Coast and the Netball World Cup 2019, Liverpool. However, there are only 40 current umpires with an International Umpires’ Award (IUA). Through World Class Officiating, the INF aims to increase awareness of officiating in the sport, improve the development of umpires and deliver world-class events.
The brand identity gives officials a bold new look both on and off the court which embodies the INF brand and reflects the sport. The ‘O’ standing for officiating and officials symbolises a ring, which demonstrates how the officiating body in netball surrounds, protects and guides the INF. A ring is seen as a symbol of commitment, strength and honesty, which reflected stakeholders’ values in the World Class Officiating Survey conducted in 2017. The ring also alludes to wholeness, authority and order, something which officials bring to the sport.
With a brand identity in place, the INF worked with sponsors Gilbert, to create an IUA kit for on and off the court, an International Talent Identified Umpire (ITID) kit for on the court and an IUA Testing Panel (ITP) kit. All of which will be worn by officials.
Christina Davidson, International Umpiring Manager at the INF says, “The INF is increasing the visibility and awareness of umpires and officials in netball around the world. A new identity and kit may seem like a small step, but it is a step in the right direction to further supporting our officials and ensuring they reflect the INF in all they do. Officials enable the global game and without them, netball would cease to exist which is why we want them to have their own identity to demonstrate how integral they are to the sport. I’d like to thank Gilbert for their support and dedication on this project and I look forward to building upon this and developing our World Class Officiating arm at the INF.”
In addition to the launch of World Class Officiating, the Department of Sport and Exercise Science, Referee and Match Official Research Network at the University of Portsmouth are currently undertaking a research program in umpire development in netball over the next 4 years which began at the World Cup in July. The outcome of this research will be fed into the INF Officiating Advisory Groups (OAG) and will further help to enhance and develop umpires in the sport.
To find out more about officiating in Netball and the INF click here.