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UMPIRING TOPICS

October 31 2002 at 8:25 PM
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Gordon  (no login)

 
Just a couple of points for discussion/views

Last Saturday I umpired a Division 1 game in one of the main leagues in my area. The standard of netball (as was to be expected) was quite high but one of the GDs took exception to my calling her up for Obstruction (and thus the consequent penalty pass or shot). When at the beginning of the 3rd quarter there was a very loud call to her teams mates along the lines of "Watch out for your 4 feet girls" I took exception to this. Especially since the Obstruction was actually for Intimidation (defending action in the GAs eyeline rather than trying to defend the ball) and most certainly NOT for defending within 3 feet.

As a goal had just be scored of a penalty shot, I simply blew my whistle and awarted a Penalty Shot for "Player Descent" - It certainly stopped any further back-chat and the game seemed to proceed in better humour from there on.

I know the rule book requires me to re-start the game and then award the penalty but that seems unnecessarily officious and prevents the umpire from responding quickly to the incident. Was I right to do this?

I've always been told that intimidation is Obstruction and that's what you should call - although some players said (after the match) that an increasing number of umpires do infact all "Intimidation". Is this widespread?

How much should an umpire lean towards helping players understand the rules? I'd have thought if there was any doubt in her mind, the GD (though her captain) could have asked me during either of the 2 previous intervals. Am I being unreasonable?

Gordon

 
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Kirsten Lowery
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Re: UMPIRING TOPICS

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October 31 2002, 10:38 PM 

In situations where there is some amount of sighing and moaning, it can be hard to remember while umpiring that netball is supposed to be fun for all involved and that sometimes we as umpires have to do our bit to help, so just saying "obstruction, intimidation" clears everything up.
I think a (not so) quiet word would have probably sufficed- a penalty shot should only really be given as a last resort after a warning as it can have a huge impact on the game, and you should always take it back to the centre. But by just adding an extra word to the call can make all the difference. A big part of being a good umpire is adapting to the match you are doing, and if this means straying from your usual way of calling, be all means do so. It makes things much more enjoyable, which we sometimes lose sight of. I find it difficult at times going from county to my league, and I get frustrated when players don't respond properly. But more often or not its because they don't understand the call. So I just have to adapt, otherwise confusion reigns, and no-one has fun.

 
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Steve Goodfellow
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Re: UMPIRING TOPICS

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November 1 2002, 1:32 PM 

Gordon, I think that I would have called time the asked the player and captain over and told them that I felt that the CD was disputing my decisions and that if my ddecision was disputed again I would award a Penalty Pass or Shot from within the "D".
For senior games.
I think that the terminology used should be exactly as the rule book states:- Becuase if both umpires are talking the same language players quickly "tune in" as do the umpires.Also by useing the correct terminology the umpire does not inadvertantly "Coach" while umpiring eg If you say "obstruction,arms before distance" you are coaching.
At the top end there has to be an assumption that players are skilled and conversant with the rules therefore she knew it was wrong to call out and the captain had the opertunity to ask for clarification.

At the lower end its different story.......

 
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Kirsten Lowery
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Re: UMPIRING TOPICS

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November 1 2002, 5:55 PM 

Re the "coaching" aspect. It isn't. Umpires at international level do it, imtimidation being the main one they use. It makes things clear, it can stop any potential dissent, and means everyone understands without going into depth at an interval where we'd prefer to be having a drink than explaining decisions. A similar scenario was used in a part 3 question in this years A Award written paper- full marks were given for dealing with the situation straight away.
We have to remember- simply by adding one word to the call we aren't going against the rules, it's stating the offence, not coaching. You won't fail a test by doing it; I have passed people that have, and have never had it mentioned when being assessed.
Why make things more difficult- we have a hard enough job as it is!

 
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Gordon
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Re: UMPIRING TOPICS

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November 4 2002, 4:21 PM 

Thanks Kirsten and Steve.

As I said, it was a Division 1 match in a major league where all the teams are coached/train regularly. Had it been a lower division or a junior league match I'd have made a point of explaining to both the GD and GK why I was calling them up (But I take the point "Obstruction - Intimidation" may well help)

Possibly letting the players go back to take a centre pass and then awarding the penalty, would have taken some of the heat out of the situation. Everyone would have at least understood instantly what and why a penalty had been given. Again at this level I don't think I should need to have a quite word with any player - lower divsions and juniors most certainly.

I just feel that at times we are expected to pander an awful lot towards players who should know better

Thanks again

 
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