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Netball is a sport, similar to basketball, in which competing teams attempt to score points by putting a ball through a goal extended in the air. The game of netball is officiated by two umpires. The umpires have several roles, including inspections, ensuring safety, giving decisions and communicating.
Player and Equipment Inspections
Before the game begins, umpires inspect the court, goalposts and the ball to ensure that they conform with the rules of the game. They must also ensure the safety of the players by inspecting each player before the game to ensure that no player poses a danger to the others. Umpires look for sharp adornments, jewelry and fingernail length to make sure there is nothing that can cut or scratch a player.
Ensuring Safety During the Game
Umpires make sure that the players are safe throughout the game itself. In the case of injury or illness by a player on the court, a player can request a time out and the umpire can allow it at his discretion. An umpire must immediately stop the play if a player is bleeding. An umpire may also stop play for any emergencies relating to the equipment, court, weather or outside interference, players or the officials officiating the match.
Umpires control the game and are responsible for giving decisions. These decisions are final and cannot be contested by players or coaches. There are two umpires in netball and each is responsible for one end of the court only. An umpire may seek the input of the other umpire if he is uncertain about a call. The umpires signal the start and stop of the game with a whistle and use signals to communicate infractions.
Netball umpires must establish a rapport with the players to ensure equity and security. The umpires must allow the captains to approach hem during a break from play or after the game to seek clarification on a rule. The umpires must also inform the team captain if a player has been suspended or ordered off the court. Netball umpires must communicate with other officials as well. In addition to communicating with each other, they must communicate with the scorers and timekeepers. They may defer certain decisions to the scorer if they are uncertain of the proper call.