RESPECT THE WHISTLE: Without umpires, referees, stewards or judges, sport could not be played, so respect from players, coaches, supporters and clubs to these officials is essential.
RESPECT THE WHISTLE: Without umpires, referees, stewards or judges, sport could not be played, so respect from players, coaches, supporters and clubs to these officials is essential.

Do you have what it takes to do sport’s toughest job?

UMPIRE, referee, steward, commissaire, judge or official.

Whatever term you use, these are the people without whom our sports could not be played.

No matter if you play Aussie rules, soccer, cycling, basketball, martial arts or tennis, the people with the whistle are essential to keeping the players and the game on track, making it safe, fair and fun for everyone.

Match officials do specific training to understand how best to observe players and the game, interpret rules and to make those difficult, but necessary, decisions.

So how do the different sports compare when it comes to keeping order?

According to AFL Queensland’s Northern Rivers co-ordinator, Trent Ryan, said there were new rules for the 2020 youth matches.

“We have 40 umpires across the junior and senior competitions,” he said.

”Coaches and umpires are two people hugely influential of the match day environment.”

Ryan said AFLQ used an umpire coach and plan real-time feedback on game day.

Netball may take place on a smaller playing area, but the high-octane sport demands intense concentration and robust levels of confidence, as feelings can run as hot as the play.

Lismore District Netball League umpire co-ordinator, Deidre Coe, said they currently had 20 to 30 juniors coming through the umpiring ranks with 15 holding badge accreditation.

“Around 95 per cent of our umpires are current players and trainee umpires wear vests indicating their status,” she said.

“Confidence is a big thing about being an umpire.

“If anyone is interested in learning more about netball umpiring they can contact LDNA Facebook page and message there umpiring.lismorenetball@bigpond.com.”

Football Far North Coast referee manager Luke Mackney said in 2019 they had 140 referees officiating.

“About 10 per cent of our referees are female and we’d love to see more.”

Mackney said FFNC wanted senior players to referee.

“They come with a level of authority and life experience which helps," he said.



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