Wed | Nov 25, 2020

AFNA looks to improve regional umpires

Published:Thursday | October 15, 2020 | 12:13 AMRobert Bailey/Gleaner Writer

In an effort to increase the numbers and increase the quality of umpires in the Americas region, president of the Americas Federation of Netball Associations (AFNA), Marva Bernard, said her administration is currently embarking on a virtual umpire training course.

Bernard told The Gleaner that 154 persons from nine countries across the region, including Argentina, are currently taking part in the course, which is being administered by Jamaican Yvette Smith.

“It is very important because this is where it starts,” said Bernard. “We have to create a pathway in this region to not only replace, but to have a cadre of umpires who will one-day, if they so desire, become an international umpire.”

“This is why we are doing this because when we look around, based on the response that we have received, there is a great need and the Americas region has to satisfy this need for all its members,” Bernard said.

The six weeks course, which also involves 14 young aspiring Jamaican umpires, is also being conducted under the guidance of former Jamaican international umpire Christopher Campbell.

He described the course is a major boost for the improvement of the sport in the region and assessed that it will also help to produce a lot of top international umpires in the world.

“There is always a need for umpires in every sport across the world and netball is no different and so we in this region are in a very bad situation in terms of numbers,” said Campbell.

“Hence we have partnered with Netball Europe to have an online course for them to do the theory and these are young and new umpires,” he said. “We really need umpires and so it is a good thing to have this in place now so that we can at least start the cycle.”