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AENA Umpires threatened with disbarment for officiating non-affiliated games

October 7 2002 at 5:40 PM
Score 5.0 (1 person)
Andy Dawson  (Login Netballman)

 
I would appreciate peoples views on an important issue which has arisen from a conversation I recently had with an umpire I know.

She is an AENA qualified umpire who has also has been a regular umpire for mixed friendlies and tournaments for many years. However she has just told me that an AENA county affiliation officer advised her that if she (or any AENA qualified umpire) were to officiate at an unaffiliated game, she would be stripped of her AENA umpiring qualification.

Whether or not this was a misunderstanding or actually what was meant I am currently investigating, but such threatened action would seem to me not only to be unreasonable but actually illegal under European law.

Under current AENA regulations, mixed netball is not recognised and such games could not be held under affiliated status. Due to the considerable ramifications of this I have taken the issue up with AENA (and will report the outcome here) but I would like to instigate a more general discussion of the matter, and would appreciate hearing views of other players and umpires.

Do you think this is fair or resonable? Or even legal? Do you umpire unaffiliated games? Has any such comment ever been made to you?

Cheers,

Andy

 
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Claire
(Login cbaldwin)

AENA Umpires

Score 4.0 (1 person)
October 8 2002, 7:55 AM 

It is really interesting to read your message as this happened to us. We joined a newly set up league whose main aim was to encourage people back in to the game. Brilliant! We were umpired by a fantastic umpire who was affiliated, after about a year she was told (I beleive) that she may be unable to umpire non-affiliated games and so we had to have a vote and decide to affiliate or lose this umpire (who has really made a difference to our playing).

We were told that the advantages of affiliating were that AENA courses could be held at our centre (has not happened), that umpiring courses would be held (this has happened) and that we would be insured to play (if you read the small print I am not so sure that this is true). Anyway, I see the affiliation as just paying £15 per person per year for the sake of keeping this umpire as I don't really see many advantages - perhaps I am not informed enough...

I'm not sure that there are advantages, but like I said it was only with the 'support' of AENA that we cantinue to be able to enjoy a game every week and that's good enough for me!

 
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Gordon
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Re: AENA Umpires threatened with disbarment for officiating non-affiliated games

Score 5.0 (1 person)
October 8 2002, 2:31 PM 

AENA Byelaw 4.1.7 (Byelaw 4 is headed RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF MEMBERS) reads as follows:

Members and Registered Participants must not play, coach or umpire with long established non-member clubs. Breaches of this Byelaw shall be deemed to be misconduct and may be subjected to disciplinary procedures. However, in the case of newly formed leagues or clubs, and for the purposes of demonstrating to long established non-affiliates the advantages of membership, help may be offered on a temporary basis, for the duration of one year, in order to encourage and assist clubs to apply for membership.

The Articles of Association provide that if a complaint of 'misconduct' is made against a member, it must first be investigated (Article 5.2a) and if there is a "case to be answered" it should be dealt with by a Discipline Committee (Article 5.b). If the member concerned wishes to, they may appeal (Article 5.2c).

Within the Handbook there is no provision for anyone to have any qualification removed without AENA following the above investigation/discipline process. In fact as a former County Umpiring Secretary I was involved in a couple of cases where Umpires appeared to have obtained their qualifications under 'dubious' circumstances or were misrepresenting the qualification they held as being something higher. It was made clear to us that we could no take any form of unilateral action against any qualified umpire.

However Byelaw 4.1.7 makes it clear that to umpire in/for a un-affiliated team/league to contrary to the rules; especially if you've been seen to do it for more than a year and the team/league appear to have no intention of affiliating. Since Mixed Netball teams/leagues cannot affiliate then I would question how this rule could possibly be applied.


PS this couldn't be posted on the AENA Site since it contains un-acceptable language!

 
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Rona
(no login)

Re: AENA Umpires threatened with disbarment for officiating non-affiliated games

Score 5.0 (1 person)
October 8 2002, 3:41 PM 

What's unacceptable about it, Gordon? Is it that the tone is less that complimentary about AENA? In which case, that's discrimination...and a whole load more law suits start rearing their ugly heads there and then...before we even get to the point of this particular post!

If AENA isn't prepared to pay ALL its umpires ALL of the time, what call does the Assocation actually have over their allocation of time? If they want to help people as they start out, come back to netball, or play in a mixed league, is that such a crime? I don't think so!

 
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Gordon
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Re: AENA Umpires threatened with disbarment for officiating non-affiliated games

Score 3.0 (1 person)
October 8 2002, 4:28 PM 

Rona - I've sent a copy of the message to AENA asking them to comment (after all the website does say that's what we should do!)

As to umpiring etc. You can indeed buy your own Public Liability cover - at about £25 + IPT its about twice the affiliation fee

 
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Andy Dawson
(Login Netballman)

This topic on the AENA chatroom...

Score 4.0 (1 person)
October 9 2002, 5:13 PM 

Now, tell me I'm paranoid, but I raised this topic on the new AENA chatroom, and it says there are 6 messages, but I only see two...


 
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Gordon
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Re: AENA Umpires threatened with disbarment for officiating non-affiliated games

Score 4.0 (1 person)
October 9 2002, 9:38 PM 

It seems to me that the site is quite closely monitored. But I noticed that in the Mens Topic someone got away with a 4 letter word!

(Thankfully removed today sometime)

 
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Rona
(no login)

Re: AENA Umpires threatened with disbarment for officiating non-affiliated games

Score 5.0 (1 person)
October 10 2002, 2:17 PM 

Would love to comment on the AENA site but (quelle surprise!) it wasn't working last night - and it's not working again today. If they can't do the simple things (like having a website that actually works), why on earth does the Association bother with one at all? It's making them look even more inept....

 
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Andy Dawson
(Login Netballman)

Re: AENA Umpires threatened with disbarment for officiating non-affiliated games

Score 5.0 (1 person)
October 11 2002, 3:30 PM 

There does indeed appear to be a problem with the AENA chat room... or is it something to do with me?

On the Umpiring section, the thread about unaffiliated umpiring shows (at 11/10) 8 items in it on the main page but only 3 items actually appear... And similarly in the general section on men's netball, it shows 5 items on the main page but only 2 appear... What's going wrong? Where are these missing postings? And... why does it only appear to be happening in threads that *I* write to?! Gordon surely if things are being removed (and you're right they are) it's not just these areas? Or do people only swear if men are involved? :-)

As for the umpiring question, more on the saga as I get it... we do at least appear to have set the cat amongst the pigeons, and unsuprisingly there are conflicting messages coming out...

 
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Gordon
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Re: AENA Umpires threatened with disbarment for officiating non-affiliated games

Score 5.0 (1 person)
October 11 2002, 8:14 PM 

Andy - I think it must be an indicator of deleted messages (its quite possible the messages themselves aren't *actually* deleted, only flagged in some way as to be unreadable.

If nothing it'll be a handy indicator of what editing takes place at AENA

 
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Rona
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Re: AENA Umpires threatened with disbarment for officiating non-affiliated games

Score 5.0 (1 person)
October 14 2002, 12:10 AM 

Total censorship?! I can't even get INTO the AENA site - and haven't been able to do so (as has been the case with several other people that I know) for the last three days. Is this is a question of being an "approved" user?! Is it any wonder people become disillusioned with the AENA?!

 
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Andy Dawson
(Login Netballman)

Not something obvious...?

Score 4.0 (1 person)
October 14 2002, 2:43 PM 

Rona,

I know it sounds sill but - I presume you've registered? The chat page won't let you in unless you do... And you have to login each time you use it. Bit of a pain, but...

Just follow the "register" link of the main chat page.

Mind you isn't this MUCH better? :-)

Andy

 
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steve goodfellow
(Login SteveGoodfellow)

AENA site/censorship

Score 5.0 (1 person)
October 16 2002, 1:00 PM 

just had an email from AENA re missing messeges, they say they have only removed two but they are aware of missing postings and are working on it.
Regards Non Affliation at the recent national heats the entry form said that players must be affliated by November 7th! so was I in breach of AENA and will they throw me and all the officials related to the heats out? Also it is theoretically possible for players to play for two different clubs as they could move before Nov 7th!
When I pointed this out on the AENA site my messege disappeared between luch and supper time!

 
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humph
(no login)

access

Score 3.0 (1 person)
October 16 2002, 5:48 PM 

Rona - how do you dial up to the Internet - are you using Tiscali as your ISP? I had this problem - couldn't access the site, but they've now fixed it - was something to do with server settings at Tiscali and they had to ask them to change them!

 
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Rona
(no login)

Re: AENA Umpires threatened with disbarment for officiating non-affiliated games

Score 4.0 (1 person)
October 17 2002, 12:08 PM 

I'm actually accessing on broadband, so it's not a Tiscali problem (though I know several people who ARE with them and are tearing their hair out!) - I'm afraid it's just that the AENA site is still down more than it's up (worrying when you think that's where we are supposed to pick up NCL results etc etc!).

And why haven't the England team pages been updated? Trials were at least two weeks ago - Jo Steed retired after the Commonwealths - and yet she's still in the team sheet.

Not very impressive really, is it?!

 
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