Umpire Mentors

Building Confidence and Skills

Mentoring is a great way to help other umpires. There are a few ways you can get involved. Each year we enrol new umpires in the Umpire Development Program. This is a great program for aspiring umpires to gain some on court experience and confidence. As part of the program, participants have an experienced umpire mentor assist them each week. As a mentor you are there to help them make the right decisions and to build their confidence in making those calls.

General comments for umpire mentors

While the rules are the same for all umpires, the interpretation and decision making will differ, depending on experience. As an umpire gains more knowledge and experience, they will become more competent in seeing infringements and penalizing them effectively, and decision making will become easier. Umpire mentors are required to provide positive feedback and encouragement. It is important that a trainee umpire is given time and a sufficient workload from which to learn. Working on one thing at a time can assist on establishing a solid knowledge base, and therefore reducing the risk of confusion and feelings of becoming overwhelmed.

Trainee umpires cannot be expected to be perfect, as can anyone else! A good umpire mentor should develop a rapport with the trainee umpires, speak to them in an appropriate and constructive manner. It is important that they understand what the mentor is saying. Keep assistance simple and be realistic with expectations. Every umpire’s needs are different and umpire mentors need to be aware and supportive of these. The aim is create a confident and happy umpire “team”.

Guidelines for Umpire Mentors

  • Umpire Mentors will be allocated trainees with court allocations and are expected to be courtside during the game.
  • Umpire Mentors should Position themselves on the sidelines and communicate to the junior umpire in a manner that does not interfere with the junior umpire’s ability to focus on the play. 
  • If the mentor wishes to communicate with the junior umpire, this would be appropriate when the play is in their other umpires’ control.
  • Refrain from using their whistle (commonly known as the ‘second whistle’) unless they believe the junior umpire has been unable to maintain control of the game, resulting in potential danger to players. In this instance, once the mentor has blown their whistle, they shall maintain control of the game until the end of the quarter.
  • Half Time: Provide feedback for 1-2 things to work on
  • End of Game de-brief: achievements made; or advice on things that may need more attention.
  • Advise both the umpire and the Umpire Coordinator when the trainee is considered ready to progress to next stage. Before moving on, ensure that the umpire understands and applies rules with confidence.