Be consistent in your calls during a game – keep your 5 seconds and 1m the same. Treat both teams fairly and be fair to players of all heights – 1m is the same for short players and tall players!
Blow your whistle clearly. At this age players will not be listening for an expected whistle like more experienced players do as they are still learning the rules.
Get the players to look at you and listen to your call. Use your arms to signal where they should stand for a penalty or free pass.
Be friendly and smile! Explain why you have made calls to help players learn.
Concentrate on the most important rules – like contact, obstruction and stepping. As you grow in confidence and the players develop you can expand your focus.
When dealing with new players, for some more minor rules it can be helpful to give a warning/explanation the first time you notice an infringement – such as the A catching a missed attempt at goal that did not hit the post. Explain that this is called replayed ball, and next time you will blow your whistle and give a free pass to the other team.
Work as a team with the other umpire. Never blow your whistle to make calls in their half of the court even if you can clearly see something. Have a chat before the game and during the breaks, get on the same page!
If you have any trouble with sideline behaviour, you can stop the game and address the issue or get help. Send someone to get help from the office if you need to. Try and ignore comments about your umpiring from the sideline.
Thanks for umpiring – the kids can’t play without your involvement!