Tips for Umpires


  • Keep up to date with rules and rule interpretations. Have you read / understood the Rule Book?

  •  Request an “umpire trainer” to watch you every few weeks for tips and advice.

  • Maintain accreditation / attend umpiring courses.

  • Watch NNL umpires on TV for attitude, positioning etc.


  • Be as fit as the players / warm up

  • Wear appropriate uniform – WHITE – as this gives a sense of authority and pride.

  • Do not be lazy. This can be interpreted as disinterest.

  • Do not be late for the start of your match – may be interpreted as disinterest.

  • Do not talk on your mobile phone or to other people during a match.


  • Blow your whistle LOUDLY and assertively.

  • Ensure that you are always in a position to SEE.

  • CONCENTRATE for the entire quarter.

  • Do not alter your initial umpiring decision – even if you realise it was wrong.

  • Do not “make up” for an incorrect decision.

  • You will make mistakes – so do AA umpires. Accept it and move on.


  • Be CONFIDENT – even if you aren’t

  • But do not be ARROGANT – this is not a POWER TRIP.

  • If you are umpiring purely for money, do not umpire at all. Do not have the attitude that you are doing everyone a favour by umpiring. You must WANT to be umpiring because you enjoy the challenge.

  • Be prepared to have players, coaches and spectators disagree with some of your decisions. If you are unable to accept criticism, maybe you should reconsider your choice to umpire. There is no umpire who pleases every player, coach & supporter for the entire game at any level or in any sport.

  • Be prepared to accept that you will be wrong some of the time. You will have good games and bad games just like players and coaches.

  • Always SMILE – you are not the enemy; you are working WITH the players to create a fair and competitive game. Do not make it a negative experience for yourself. Focus on the positives.

  • Put it all into PERSPECTIVE – this is sport / fun.


  • Advise parents / coaches / players of correct grievance procedures = Grievance Report

  • Ask for the Umpire Supervisors if you are having difficulties.

  • Never mediate arguments without the umpire supervisor being present – simply walk away.

  • Be aware of your rights with players and parents as per the Codes of Conduct.

  • Do not be afraid to warn players & spectators / follow up with advanced penalty / ask to leave the court.


Recognise what makes “ugly parents” abuse you:    

  • Their own lack of knowledge of the rules
  • Their frustration at losing a match
  • Their daughter is performing poorly and the blame must lie elsewhere
  • They have other issues and stressors
  • They are bullies who sense an opportunity, especially when you seem unsure of yourself
  • You are actually not umpiring well and need assistance.

Remember that “ugly parents” are everywhere and it is they who look stupid and are an embarrassment to their kids, not you. You must learn to ignore them and have confidence in yourself. These people are unpleasant for all of us but are fortunately in the MINORITY. The Association will ALWAY support you (unless of course you have shown an obvious disregard for procedure). 

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