Activity profiles of elite netball umpires: A review


  • Kirsten Spencer Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
  • Stuart A. McErlain-Naylor University of Suffolk, United Kingdom
  • Natasha Paget Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
  • Andrew Kilding Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand



Officiating, Referee, Movement, Global positioning system, Heart rate


This review has outlined the existing literature relating to activity profiles in elite netball umpires. In particular, the physical (distance travelled), physiological (heart rate), and technical (movement classifications) characteristics have been described. The limited available literature report that on average elite netball umpires travel approximately 3850 m during a 60 min match. Up to approximately 50% of the match is spent standing, with only around 25% of the match in higher intensity movements such as jogging, sprinting, side stepping, or changing direction. Work: rest ratios are typically approximately 1:3 during match play, with additional recovery in the intervals between quarters. This includes an average of 140 sprints for a duration of 2.8 s. Elite umpires spend around 10% of the match at greater than 92% peak heart rate, with the majority (approximately 55%) between 75 and 92% peak heart rate. These characteristics may benefit umpires and strength and conditioning practitioners when designing training programmes. The literature also reports a reduction in distance travelled by elite umpires as the match progresses. An accompanying decrease in heart rate suggests that this is not caused by physiological fatigue mechanisms but is a result of technical adjustments in the movement patterns utilised. Indeed, elite umpires tend to sidestep less and walk or stand more as the match progresses. Additionally, gaps in the existing literature have been highlighted, including the relationship between perceptual-cognitive processes and movement, and the application of fitness testing requirements to umpire activity profiles.


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How to Cite

Spencer, K., McErlain-Naylor, S. A., Paget, N., & Kilding, A. (2020). Activity profiles of elite netball umpires: A review. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 15(4), 816–825.



Review Paper