Former head chides local Netball umpires
February 19, 2010

Former head chides local Netball umpires

Local Netball umpires who are guilty of not upping the ante, as it relates to their certification, were given an oral caning by former long standing President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Netball Association(SVGNA), Gloria Ballantyne.{{more}}

In her capacity as Trainer Tester for local umpires, Ballantyne chided the offenders, while giving the SVGNA Umpires Sub Committee’s Report at last Monday’s Biennial General Meeting.

She admitted that umpiring has taken a significant downward turn, which is not in the best interest of the sport.

Ballantyne revealed that the local umpires are not taking the opportunities to attend training sessions, hence they are being denied the requisite qualification.

“Our umpires cannot say that their work plans have not been prepared, nor those who are in charge are never there for sessions,” Ballantyne lamented.

“By and large, our umpires consistently fail to present themselves when requested and, therefore, do not avail themselves of the opportunities on offer,” the former SVGNA President said.

Ballantyne, who is the Convenor of Umpires of the Americas Federation of Netball Associations (AFNA), recalled that during 2009, two regional umpires training sessions were conducted here, and while persons came from as far as Antigua and Barbuda, rather disappointingly, there were only four umpires from St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“Today’s reality is that only one or two umpires can be chosen to officiate at any game in the region, far less international tournaments,” Ballantyne stated bluntly.

Taking a few paces back in time, she reminisced: “There was a time when St. Vincent and the Grenadines boasted the most analytical umpires in the Caribbean…we were well respected and all teams looked forward to their presence at regional tournament.”

Bringing the issue closer on the local front, Ballantyne opined: “It is my belief that no one who has been unsuccessful at the Preliminary Examinations should be allowed to officiate at any game. It is not fair to the player, spectators or even the umpire.”

The need for proper training of local Netball umpires has been a sour point for several years and at times caused verbal conflicts among match officials, players and spectators and the national club tournament level as well as the various area tournaments staged on the island.

Ballantyne made a plea for umpires to “read the rule books and get ready to participate actively in the umpires sessions.” (RT)