The UK Rules
'Follow the Regulations'
Hand Signals

Netball Umpiring Hand Signals

A good netball referee takes officiating to a higher level. Find out how umpires signal and emphasize the terms used in refereeing netball games.

NETBALL UMPIRE SIGNALS: Umpires will announce rule decisions in the correct sequence. They give concise directions to all players in both teams.

Netball officials use precise and sequenced terminology to indicate and state rule infringements.

Umpires give clear voice calls combined with sharp netball whistle prompts. They also use gestured netball hand signals for further clarity.

Netball Hand Signals and Whistle Use

Netball players face many challenges during a match. Umpires need to make clear decisions using the correct and comprehensive phrasing. In doing so, competitors receive appropriate and unambiguous enforcement of the regulations handed out by ruling officials.

There is some help for trainee referees and inexperienced umpires in the IFNA Rule Book. But, netball umpiring tips are minimal. Try to keep things simple and use the right umpiring terminology. It must reflect which rule is being penalized on the court and with clarity.

Netball officials sometimes refer to the proper sequencing as the 5 'W's. They have a similar role as the 'W's in netball frequently asked questions. As a rule, they apply to most infractions in the game.

This list should help you learn what you need to say (and what not to say) in netball umpiring. They follow that precise moment when you blow the netball whistle for a violation

5 'W' Terms of Netball Umpiring

  1. What: What is the infringement?
  2. Who: Who committed the rules violation?
  3. What: What advantage has been awarded?
  4. Who: Who is receiving the advantage?
  5. Where: Where should the next play get taken from?

A loud whistle and good strong voice are an umpire's two chief tools. Whistleblowing stops the play and your speech controls the game.

Netball Umpiring Hand Signals and Finger Whistle UseGive clear instructions with brief reasoning behind your decision to both teams.

Note: The communication should extend to any other umpires helping you to officiate.

Umpiring Terms for Netball Referee

The terms in bold font represent common umpiring terminologies and rulings. The phrases (in brackets) are a brief description of the correct netball terms that it relates to:

Umpire Terminology Finger Whistle Use

Umpires and referees use a netball whistle to state their decisions and playing regulations. As a rule, most officials in netball will make a short sharp blow using a finger whistle.

The player breaching the rules needs to see the official and hear the umpire whistle. Umpires communicate with hand signals in netball. Whistle blasts are also blown to start the game and each time a goal gets scored.

Netball Umpiring Tips: A finger whistle is easy to handle. But, any pea whistle is fine for netball umpiring. All players and assistant officials must hear the blast. It is most effective when combined with clear netball umpiring hand signals.

Netball Umpiring Tips for Whistle Use

Good Qualities of Netball Umpires

Umpires' Duty of Care to the Players

Netball Umpiring Hand Signals and Terminology used in the United Kingdom