We’re excited to confirm that over 1,000 new umpires have qualified across England since September 2021 – our highest-ever figure at this point in a season.
After all the uncertainty and challenges experienced during the global pandemic, the 2021-22 season was our time to build back stronger, to grow our sport and to strive for more, powered by the collective efforts and dedication of our members.
Following feedback from the Netball Family, learning development opportunities have been transformed with a move to digital and blended learning experiences available, and the demand for places is higher than ever before with new-look courses flying off the shelves.
This significant milestone also comes in a year where we’ve taken our first steps on the Adventure Strategy, launched in November 2021, to take our sport to new heights for the decade ahead.
Discussing the number of newly qualified umpires, Head of Officiating Gary Burgess said: “Congratulations to everyone who has achieved their qualification this season and to all those who have supported and continue to support them.
“As an insight-led organisation, we listened to feedback from our learners and have revolutionised our offers to be more accessible and convenient than ever before and it’s been fantastic to see not only the uptake of, but successful completion rate of, our courses.
“Of the nearly 600 Into Officiating learners who have qualified, almost 300 have attended courses in the past 12 months. I was astonished to learn that a 14-year-old umpire attended the virtual sessions and successfully passed her practical assessment all within four weeks!
“We’re working hard with the Learning and Development department behind the scenes to prepare for a new release of courses over the coming months to allow more individuals to take the first or next step on their officiating journeys.”
Katy Ryan, Director of Development, added: “The brilliance of our members to protect, grow, nurture and champion our game today and for years to come continues to shine through.
“A huge thank you must go to all the volunteers, especially our wonderful County and Regional Officiating Leads and Officiating Assessors, for their support throughout the process. Without their energy and commitment, none of this would have been possible.
“We have a huge summer of netball ahead and the opportunity to welcome more people into our game than ever before, enabled by both our newly qualified umpires and the wider Netball Family.
“Congratulations to everyone who has achieved or empowered others to achieve their qualification this season and here’s to celebrating the next 1,000 new umpires!”