Umpires prepare for ANZ Championship

It wasn’t just the players who were put to the test during the Australian Diamonds camp in Canberra recently, with 13 umpires from across Australia participating as part of the inaugural High Performance Umpires’ camp.

NSW umpires Rachael Ayre, Jemma Carlton, Courtney Harrington, Clare McCabe, Helen George (pictured, right), Sharon Kelly, Michelle Phippard (pictured, middle) and Tara Warner (pictured, left) joined officials from across Australia for the two day camp.  The camp covered topics such as fitness and nutrition, recovery techniques, and introduced to the new assessment tool being used by Netball Australia’s Umpires Committee during the 2014 ANZ Championship season.

Amongst the group was New South Wales’ reigning Australian Umpire of the Year Sharon Kelly, who said the new assessment tool will give umpires a clearer indication of their match performances.

“The new assessment tool was introduced during the Australian Netball League last year, and will be used during both the ANZ Championship and National Netball Championships this season,” Kelly said.

“Netball fans may not know but umpires are assessed during every ANZ Championship game and given feedback on our performances.  This tool will help with refining our skills and knowledge of the game.”

“With all new things, it will take some time to be trialled and tested, but it’s very exciting to see what we can take from it.  However for me the biggest indicator will always be the players on court and their reactions.”

Much has been made about 2014 and 2015 being big years for elite netballers with both the Commonwealth Games (July 2014) and Netball World Cup (August 2015) being contested, however Kelly said umpires will also be judged on their performances to earn international allocation.

“It’s a huge year – I worked out that I don’t have a netball-free weekend until mid-August!  We go straight from the High Performance camp into pre-season, the Netball NSW Biennial Conference, then the ANZ Championship season before the 2014 Commonwealth Games camp,” Kelly said.

“I’m really excited about this season.  Everyone says that the ANZ Championship competition keeps getting better, and I have to agree.  Last year the standard of play and closeness of competition was the best I’ve seen, and this year it is looking even better.”

“It’s coming around fast but I’m really excited to get underway,” Kelly concluded.

Netball NSW has plenty of information workshops and practical sessions for umpires and bench officials to get involved in over the coming months…

Bench Officials – Timing and Scoring Education Workshop
Monday 10 February and Monday 3 March
The Scorer & Timer education workshop is the minimum requirement for all scorers/timekeepers for Waratah Cup and Divisions 2-8 of DOOLEYS State League. Click here for more information

Netball NSW Biennial Conference
Saturday 22 – Sunday 23 February
The fifth event of its kind, the 2014 Biennial Conference will cater for all levels of netball coaches, umpires, administrators and supporters, focusing on education, learning and development opportunities for those members of our netball family who wish to develop their skills, network and galvanize themselves for the season ahead. Click here for more information

Umpires ‘B’ Camp
Saturday 1 – Sunday 2 March

Open to all umpires who have their National ‘B’ Badge, and will cover topics including Procedures and protocols, techniques, and practical coaching.  Participants will also be given the opportunity to be coaches by National ‘AA’ and ‘A’ Badged umpires. Click here for more information

Umpires ‘C’ Camp
Saturday 8 – Sunday 9 March

Open to all umpires who have their National ‘C’ Badge, and will cover topics including Procedures and protocols, techniques, and practical coaching.  Participants will also be given the opportunity to be coaches by National ‘AA’ and ‘A’ Badged umpires. Click here for more information

Umpires Convenors Conference
Friday 14 March
The Convenors Conference is for all Association Convenors and their committees who wish to be informed of the numerous State and National programs, procedures and rules.  The workshop is an opportunity for participants to gather information and share experiences with others, gain ideas or assistance from other Convenors.  Topics covered include Procedures for Testing, Umpire Accreditation update, and Promoting and Rewarding Umpires. Click here for more information