The purpose of the Sport New Zealand Officials site is to provide the resources and information for national sport organisations (NSO’s) and officials to upskill and in the process, develop sustainable levels of officials from the grass roots to elite level.
Along with the Club Kit and Coaching Resources, Sport NZ has identified 12 key learning areas for sports officials in New Zealand.
This site will provide a sports official not only with the technical and behavioural knowledge required to referee or umpire their chosen sport, but also provide comprehensive development pathways from grass roots to elite level, reflecting the requirements needed to identify, recruit, train, develop, support, and reward emerging high performance officials.
The authors acknowledge that a wide range of resources were consulted whilst developing this resource. Specific acknowledgement is made to the Australian Sports Commission.
Sports Officiating - why get involved?
Without volunteers sport at a local level wouldn’t exist - and that includes officials.
An official is any person who controls the actual play of a competition by using the rules and laws of the sport to make judgments on rule infringement, performance, time, and score. Officials play a key role in ensuring the spirit of the game and/or event is observed by all. Officials also ensure that all athletes develop through their chosen sport and guarantee the game is played within the spirit of the rules.
Officials are needed to make matches and events run smoothly. There is a high demand for more officials in every sport from grass roots level through to the elite. All you need is an interest in sport and a willingness to be involved.
It is essential that officials provide people of all ages with the best possible sporting experience, which will ensure their continued participation and development in sport.
Sports Officiating - How to Get Involved?
So you’ve decided that you would like to become an official, that’s fantastic!
Once you’ve decided what sport you want to officiate in, you’ll need to contact the NSO (National sports organisation) for that sport to find out what your next steps are.
You can find a list of all the recognised NSOs in New Zealand on the Sport NZ website under the Our Partners link on the home page.
Once you’ve contacted the NSO and got the ball rolling, use this website to develop the skills you need in order to officiate to the best of your ability.
Embarking on training as an official is an important first step to ensuring that you are on the right track with your involvement.
There are national accreditation schemes that provide training for coaches and officials at all levels across a range of sports. Find out more from your NSO.
A Couple of Questions
If you’re serious about becoming an official, then consider these important questions before you begin your career.
- Are you physically fit? Officiating most sports requires some running and endurance. Active sports such as rugby, rugby league, soccer, hockey or netball require the officials to be in constant motion.
- Are you emotionally prepared? Sports officials are placed in highly charged situations that can be stressful. Are you calm under pressure? Can you take verbal criticism without becoming defensive? Can you stay calm when confronted by others who are not in control of themselves?
- Do you have the time to commit to becoming a qualified and competent official? Reading a rulebook isn't all it takes. A good official truly understands the nuances of the game. While you may never have played the game competitively yourself, you should have a 'feel' for the flow and spirit of the game. Are you able to manage a game or event when the opportunity arrives? Are you committed to attending association meetings and training workshops designed to help you improve?
- Are you intellectually fit? Knowing the rules is a small part of the overall responsibilities of an official. Do you understand the rules and how to apply them fairly?
- Do you have the right perspective to do the job? If you think officiating can be fun, you're right! Sports officials get so much more from officiating than a bit of exercise. If your perspective is right, you'll find officiating to be a great way to make new friends, learn important people skills and much more.Back to top