This week the International Netball Federation (INF) has launched its World Class Officiating identity and kit following the increase in the profile of the sport over the recent years and the INF commitment to developing and improving its world-class standards in officiating for international events.
As part of the launch, we caught up with Christina Davidson, International Umpiring Manager at the INF, and Netball Europe A Award Umpire for a Q&A on officiating and umpiring.
How did you get involved in officiating / umpiring?
Christina: Originally a player, I started at 30 (years old) and became my clubs secretary. Umpires were needed so I decided to become qualified myself and from that I gained my first award as an umpire in England – C Award . I then progressed through the awards to become a Netball Europe A award umpire. My passion for officiating continued and I gained more awards and experience related to this which played a big part in becoming the International Umpiring Manager at the INF
What is the best tool an umpire can have?
Christina: Adaptability and a whistle.
What is the most challenging aspect of umpiring?
Christina: Managing yourself physically and mentally and making sure you are where you need to be at the right time throughout a match.
What advice would you give to a young or inspiring umpire?
Christina: Learn the basics and practice them so they become automatic as this will make it easier for decision making throughout a match and progression through the umpiring awards.
How would an umpire achieve their goal of umpiring internationally?
Christina: Be gracious and personable – try to be the best umpire you can be – from that opportunities will come, and you could develop through the pathway to become an international umpire.
What resources are available from the INF to help new umpires?
Christina: The INF Rules of Netball and INF Match Protocols are available on the INF website or you can contact your home country or region to find other resources.
What is the IUA and their aim?
Christina: The IUA is the International Umpires’ Award. The aim of this, like all awards, is to ensure that you’re umpiring to the rules of netball and doing it in a fair manner and making sure players can perform to the best of their abilities.
What is the ITD and their aim?
Christina: The ITID is an International Talent Identified Umpire (ITID) and they are expected to show ongoing improvement and potential to gain an International Umpires’ Award (IUA). They are considered for appointment at international events in support of this.
Who does an officiating team consist of?
Christina: The officiating team during an international match consists of two umpires who are actively umpiring and a reserve umpire. You also have an Official Bench that consists of Technical Officials who are scoring, time keeping and collecting statistics for the match.
For a major event, like a World Cup, you would also have a Technical Delegate (TD) who are an INF appointed person that would be liaising with the organising committee to make sure INF procedures, protocols and rules are being adhered to throughout the whole event.
How does Rules Advisory Panel (RAP) affect officiating?
Christina: The Rules Advisory Panel, also known as RAP, are a panel who work on behalf of the INF board to advise what should happen with the rules of netball. The panel can affect the umpires and officiating team as they can change the rules or protocols which umpires at international matches must adhere to.
Why is it important for the INF to have a Officiating Advisory Group?
Christina: The Officiating Advisory Group (OAG) are there to talk through and implement change. They ensure all the regions and stakeholders are considered during a change process so that any changes by the INF will be reflected around the world.
What is the aim of the International Testing Panel (ITP)?
Christina: The International Testing Panel are a group of volunteers who are appointed by the INF to work with the international umpires. They are appointed to events to make sure that any allocations to matches are done in a fair and transparent way based on performance. They also recommend umpires to events.
For more information on the launch of the World Class Officiating identity click here.
To find out more about INF officiating click here.