As netball nations begin to emerge from COVID-19 related restrictions in some regions, INF has considered the role and support of the governing body in enabling the return to international play. Specifically, the INF Board has considered the appointment of Umpires to international netball matches and undertook a survey to understand views of the Members and officiating community.
The INF policy on appointing Umpires and Umpires Appointment Panel (UAP) is detailed in the INF Procedure for Appointment of Umpires to Rankings Matches. INF will continue to appoint neutral umpires to all international matches and test series according to this policy during ‘normal times’, the policy is not being changed.
However, whilst COVID-19 restrictions on international travel remain, quarantine and virus testing requirements exist in some Member countries, and to ensure we take into account the understandable concerns that we share with many in our netball community regarding the risk of travelling, etc., INF has agreed to put in place a specific adapted procedure for Umpire Appointments that demonstrates our commitment to supporting the return of international netball.
This interim COVID-19 Umpire Appointments Policy is to be used to appoint umpires and UAP to international matches when returning to international play. The usual process of recommendations and appointments will continue in netWorld, as outlined in the INF Procedure for Appointment of Umpires to Rankings Matches, but with some adaptions to enable matches between the senior teams of Member countries to continue to be used for rankings purposes, even in these exceptional circumstances.
The impacts of COVID-19 are very fluid with respect to travel, border controls and quarantines, and may, therefore, require adjustment of any timelines mentioned as situations unfold. This interim policy provides the spirit and intent of how to manage through any adjustments required with clear and open communication between the host countries and INF.
INF will review the Interim COVID-19 Umpire Appointments Procedure amendment at least every 3 months and report back to all Member countries the outcome of that review.
View the full interim COVD-19 umpire appointments policy here.