Sheena TyrrellIf you sit down next weekend, flick on the television to watch the Fast5 Netball World Series and think, “That is some top-drawer umpiring,” well you have one of Mid Canterbury’s own to thank for that.
Sheena Tyrrell will be a member of the Umpire Appointment Panel at the tournament, a role that will not only see her work with the umpires, but the teams as well.
“The tournament starts on the Saturday but we go in on the Wednesday, and there is quite a bit that happens, a lot of meetings and practice games,” she said.
“There are the practice games for everybody to get their eyes in to what they are looking for, and then there is the rehearsal for the opening ceremony.”
While currently working on the International Test Panel as well as helping to assess and coach umpires on the New Zealand Umpire Development Group, Tyrrell expects the Fast Fives to throw up their own different challenges.
“It is very different to the other types of umpiring, as it is a different game, the approach for umpires and our own techniques have to be different,” she said.
“Normally the defence would look to push the shoots further out more, but in Fast Fives the further you shoot from, the more points you get, so that affects how the umpire advantages as you don’t want to give someone the chance at two points, when it should only be one.”
While it is a major international event, Tyrrell said she is looking forward to the experience.
“It should all be great fun and very challenging.
“It is a festive occasion and should be interesting as something different to what we normally do,” she said.
The Ashburton College employee has plenty of experience around the netball courts, taking up umpiring when she was still playing late in the 1960s, and gave away playing after making her first national tournament as an umpire.
“I have been to 19 national tournaments and was top 10 on five of those, and I also spent five years umpiring in the national league,” she said.
“After I stopped that I moved in to solely the NZUDG work with the theoretical and physical assessment of umpires at local, regional and national level, as well as being heavily involved with the admin side of things.”
Tyrrell said she was very pleased with how the game has progressed, with umpires working as “a team” with the teams, as opposed to being there to pick on the teams.
“I have also had a bit of luck this year with going overseas with the ITP as well as doing work for the Constellation Cup, which is all great fun,” she said.
By Jaime Pitt-MacKay © The Ashburton Guardian - 20 October 2017