The UK Rules
Referee and Officials

Netball Officials: Umpiring Netball Games

'Netball Referee: The Role and Responsibilities of Netball Umpire'

ROLE OF A NETBALL REFEREE: Applying IFNA laws is the chief role of umpiring officials in netball.

All officiating netball umpires focus on enforcing the regulations of the game and controlling fair play.

Netball officials have a big responsibility. They must apply all the rules according to the International Federation of Netball Associations.

Many see the role of officials and umpires in netball as the third team functioning inside the court.

The fast-flowing game would not flow smoothly without netball referees. They all play their part in delivering a comprehensive and responsible strategy. This is particularly true around the elite international arenas. But professionalism and fairness is evident at club level too.

Section 7 of the netball game rulebook is key. It covers the official umpire's functional role and responsibilities of a netball referee.

Even so, it has limited guidance on some match play interpretations. Try this basic guide on correct umpiring terms used by netball officials and assistants.

Appearance of Netball Officials

What clothing items do umpires wear in netball? Generally officials wear a plain white shirt, dark coloured shorts, and white socks.

The basic appearance of a netball umpire includes proper netball trainers or track shoes footwear. Netball umpires also need a whistle and a band for signalling centre calls.

Roles of a Netball Referee

Umpire Checks Before the Game Begins

  1. Netball officials should complete a pre-game inspection and check the safety of the court.
  2. Measure the goal post dimensions and confirm the match ball is regulation size. Umpiring netball games also means ensuring that everyone prepares their scorecards.
  3. Ensure all players are wearing appropriate uniforms. Check each player for long nails or sharp jewellery.
  4. The umpire should position the timekeepers, scorers, and team benches in readiness.
  5. Umpires in netball should equip themselves with a pea or finger whistle. They should wear appropriate netball umpire clothing as recommended by the IFNA.

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Netball Umpires Rules and Duties During Play

Umpiring Netball Hand Signals

The officials and umpire in netball watch the game with scrutiny. They are responsible for making infringement decisions and awarding penalties where they are applicable.

Netball hand signals given by the umpires in netball judge and determine who is at fault. They decide whether it was a defender or an attacker who caused a contact and obstruction foul.

Player should take penalties from the side of the court closest to the umpire's position. Wrongly taken penalties result in a free pass to the opposition.

Netball Umpiring Rules after the Game

The final role of officials in netball occurs when the game finishes. They should carry out and oversee all necessary score card reports. Make sure you document any endorsements such as late team arrivals.

Follow that by endorsing both scorecards. Print your name and the names of all scorers along with the team captains.

Netball Coach Duties

Netball Player Duties


Netball Coaching Drills: Get the latest training drills with coaching tips for beginners.
Netball Equipment List: Listing all the training gear and match kit used in netball.
Netball Scoring System: Learn how to use the 'odds and evens' points format.
Netball Safety Rules: An important guide for netball health and safety regulations.
Netball Terminology: A concise list of netball terms and phrases from A-Z.
Netball Umpire Signals: How umpires signal and emphasize the terms used in refereeing.
Timekeeper in Netball: The duties and responsibilities for accurate timekeeping in netball.
IFNA Official Rules Book: [PDF Download Option].

Netball Referee: Role and Responsibilities of Officials in Netball