With an umpire training session and a tense match in the coming days, netball in the Cayman Islands will have some extra intrigue.
The lone match of the week featuring Roma B and All Stars A is on Thursday 20 January. As usual, the netball courts of the Truman Bodden Sports Complex will be the site of the action from 6.30pm. Roma recently had an impressive victory over the All Stars’ B side. Among the integral players for Roma are attacking player Jahzenia Thomas, defender Anissa Owen and Centre Samantha Dennis.
All should be pushed on Thursday as they go against the likes of Lyneth Monteith, Pauline Bodden and Cynthia Collington.
From there comes the annual umpire course put on by the Cayman Islands Netball Association. The Cayman Prep auditorium will host the sessions free of charge on Friday 21 January 4.30-7pm and Saturday 22 January 10-7pm (with a break midway through). Leading the course will be international tester Yvette Smith, who hails from Jamaica and is a member of the Jamaica Netball Association.
This week will mark Smith’s fourth time in Cayman to lead the clinics. She has been coming the last three years, with the most recent edition last March attracting roughly 10 Cayman residents. The umpire course is broken down into two segments, theory and practical. A written exam focusing on the theoretical aspects of the sport is included as well as a practical refresher.
According to netball association secretary and treasurer Norma Ferryman, the umpire training is a necessary constant for netball to operate in Cayman.
“The Friday session is geared primarily towards teachers and those who are currently umpiring,” Ferryman said. “The Saturday session is open to anyone interested in netball. Though these free clinics are geared primarily at teachers of the sport everyone is invited.
“(The reasoning for the seminar is) the rules have changed over the years. We want to get people updated on the rules. It’s not the same as three or four years ago. We want our umpires teaching the younger ones the right thing and blowing the whistle for the right thing. Mrs. Yvette (Smith) is an International Federation of Netball Associations trainer and she sits on the present umpire board. She has trained many people in Jamaica and elsewhere.
“I urge people to come out if they want to teach netball or would like to learn the technical parts of the game.”