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Roles of The Umpire in Netball

author image Maude Coffey
Maude Coffey retired after 10 years working as a professional body modification artist in the tattoo industry. She is certified in principles of infection control and blood-borne pathogens. Coffey received additional training and classes, such as anatomy, jewelry standards and aftercare, from the Association of Professional Piercers. Coffey aims to educate about safe tattooing and piercing practices while writing for various websites.
Roles of The Umpire in Netball
A netball on a court next to a clipboard. Photo Credit s-c-s/iStock/Getty Images


To become an umpire for netball matches, you must learn the rules and regulations of the game along with the hand signals that communicate an infringement. Your decisions are final, except when the umpires disagree. The scorer of the netball game assists the you when a disagreement occurs.

Pre-game Inspection

You must complete a thorough check of the court and the team players before the match begins. The officials inspect the netball court and ball to ensure regulation size and check the goal posts for correct placement and size. All players on the netball teams must pass an inspection from the umpires. You check the players for inappropriate fingernail size, jewelry and uniforms. If you conclude that the court and players are within regulations, the netball match begins.


While no official uniform exists, the International Federation of Netball Associations makes umpire clothing recommendations. You should wear colors that differ from the color of the uniforms of the two netball teams playing in the match and a light color such as white or cream, the federation advises. Athletic shoes are the safest and most common footwear for umpires. A whistle is part of your uniform and along with hand signals, alerts the netball players to elements of the match, such as the end of a quarter or a penalty.


A toss-up occurs when two players of opposing teams violate the offside rule, according to the online site UNSW Netball. If you call a player in a netball match offside, this means the player crossed the line of the court section that designates that position's area. When two players are caught offside at the same time, you stand between the two players, holding the ball. The players stand still until you release the ball into the air and blows the whistle. The players attempt to possess the ball or hit the ball to a team member.


As the umpire, you're responsible for controlling the players on the court if there is an injury. If a player becomes ill or is injured during a match, you inform the players to remain on the court and resumes the match the affected player leaves the court or becomes able to resume play. In case of an emergency, you're responsible for stopping the game with a whistle blow.


Decisions such as calling penalties or awarding a throw in to a team are a part of a netball umpire's responsibilities. If an infringement of the rules occurs, you alert the players with a whistle blow and rewards the non-offending team with a free pass or shot. In the event that the netball travels out of bounds, or off the court during play, you decide which team member had possession of the ball before the ball fell out of bounds. You stop play and awards the team member with a throw-in, which is a pass from outside the court, according to NetballOnline.com.

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