How to umpire for netball

Updated February 21, 2017

The players may be the stars of any sport, but the person controlling the match is arguably the most important person of all. Every game of netball needs an umpire, and if you are willing to learn, it is relatively easy to get the hang of the basics of umpiring.

Buy a netball rulebook. Just like any other sport, there are obscure technicalities and subtle nuances which an official must know. Obtaining, and studying, the rulebook before you attempt to umpire any matches will ensure you have the base theory knowledge to carry out the practical task.

Attain the suitable necessities for an umpire in netball. Ideally you should wear white, which will set you apart from the players who wear coloured bibs. You should wear running shoes or netball training shoes. As far as practical equipment goes, you should always have a whistle, pencil, pencil sharpener, score pad and a timer.

Look for teams who require an umpire. Check the notice board at your local sports centre and check sites such as in order to find teams which need officiating.

Enlist a "buddy" to help you officiate your first match. The first match could seem daunting, so if you know any experienced umpires, ask them to help you along.

Ask for help and advice. There is no substitute for experience, so when you umpire matches ask the advice of umpires who may be officiating other matches at the same hall or event. This advice could prove invaluable as you try to improve your umpiring skills.


If you wish to umpire netball matches at a seriously competitive level then you will be required to take the steps outlined here and apply them to attain official certificates from your local netball federation.

Things You'll Need

  • Rulebook
  • Whistle
  • Pencil
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Score pad
  • Timer
  • Uniform
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About the Author

Alan Temple has been writing since 2007 and has published articles for "The Scotsman" and "The List." He now works in the media department of Motherwell Football Club. Temple graduated with honors with a journalism degree at Napier University in Edinburgh, Scotland.