Netball Europe release a number of changes to the NE Officiating Pathway

Earlier on in the year many of the Counties and Regions in England contributed to the submission of a questionnaire to Netball Europe (NE). The purpose of this was to identify key successes and areas of improvement in the NE Officiating Pathway. This information was collated and analysed by the NE Awards Working Group (AWG) and a number of changes to the Pathway were recommended and subsequently ratified by the NE Board. These will be gradually introduced over the next 12 months but please note the following changes below are for immediate implementation.

Netball Europe C Award Pathway

Learners will no longer be required to complete a fitness test as part of the C Award Pathway. Netball Europe will be writing a new section of assessment criteria which will be used to assess a learner’s fitness and concentration. This will be made available in due course but in the meantime Assessors will conduct C Award Pre-Assessments and Final Practical Assessments using the same criteria they would have considered previously.

Please note that fitness tests will remain part of the B and A Award Pathways.

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Netball Europe B/A Written Assessment

Please note that the ratio of learners that can be invigilated by 1 individual has increased from 10 to 30.

The reason for this change is to enable Counties and Regions to save money on travelling expenses and venue hire associated with this written assessment.

Please note that the time allocated to sit the B/A Written Assessment will increase from 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours. If a learner is satisfied they have answered all questions on the paper they may leave after 1 hour 30 minutes but must do so in a quiet and respectful manner.

England Netball’s Head of Officiating Gary Burgess welcomed the changes: “any amendments to the Netball Europe Pathway that make it more accessible to grassroots umpires, including changes that reduce time to qualify and cost are welcomed. Many of these learners may not have experienced the bleep test since school and that may not have been a good experience. Many umpires find the mechanics and psychology of the test a barrier yet they can still umpire the match competently remaining in line or slightly ahead of the ball and a consistently arriving at the goal line at the same time as the ball is delivered. At this level we want to engage as many learners as possible and with changes coming to assess an umpire’s fitness relating to the effectiveness of their positioning and movement and how they sustain this for four quarters of the match will mean the need for a fitness test is unnecessary”.

It should be noted that despite the changes to the accreditation requirements of the C Award leagues, Counties and Regions may still use fitness tests and required levels to appoint umpires to their various levels of competition. Umpires at all levels are required to move effectively in response to play. It is generally accepted that umpires will move in line or slightly ahead of play, arrive at the goal line at the same time as the ball arrives and return to the centre third following a goal being scored as not to delay the restart of play. This should be sustained for four quarters of the match.

Should you require any further information on this please contact the Officiating Department on

Please follow this link to the updated C Award Pathway

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