Sport

Making the right calls

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February 17, 2018

Keeping on your toes: Emma Jackson and Alice Biddle both umpired at last weekend's beach netball competition as they get ready to officiate Shepparton Netball Association games again this year.

It was not the same surface, but the basic premise of umpiring beach netball remained the same as the regular game.

Many district residents officiated the games at Victoria Park Lake, after receiving guidance on a few of the more obscure rules.

With the cushioning sand players were allowed to dive on the ball as unlimited substitutions could take place.

Some of the umpires were provided by Shepparton Netball Association and association president Dianne Orr said the games saw plenty of fun on the netball court.

‘‘I went up there on Saturday and a lot of the players had a ball, it was fantastic and they loved the contest on sand with a few different rules,’’ she said.

‘‘The beach netball was run by Netball Victoria and through the council here, so they would have contacted the girls (to umpire).’’

Umpires are always in high demand by SNA, who need 24 officials a time slot on Saturday mornings.

The association bloods new officials in the junior matches, before they feel comfortable with the under-17s and afternoon timeslot.

‘‘We have an umpire development program and, because we have younger grades and new beginner netballers, we take the umpires and develop them and put them on the younger games,’’ Orr said.

The ideal official starts young, developing skills on the sidelines while possibly also playing on a Saturday.

‘‘At about 13 we ask them to do foundation work online with Netball Vic and then they come and have some mentors at the court who are very well qualified to go around and coach and mentor the young umpires,’’ Orr said.

‘‘Afternoon players sometimes umpire as well as some people who have been around for a long time.’’

There is no cut-off for people wishing to be an umpire, with those interested able to contact the Association at any time.

For more information on umpiring, email SNA president Dianne Orr at [email protected]

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