Campbell questions Ja umpire shun for C'wealth Games

August 29, 2017
Campbell (right) working with a group of netball players at the Leila Robinson Courts

Sylvester 'Chris' Campbell, an international umpires testing panel member, has described as "appalling" that no Jamaican is among the 13 officials named for the netball competition at next year's Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

Gold Coast 2018 last week issued its official invite to Netball Technical Officials for the April 4-15 Games. Of 13 umpires named, Jamaica is the only country ranked in the top five in the world not represented in the pool of officials.

Trinidad and Tobago had the lone representative from the region. Australia topped the list with four officials named. New Zealand and England have three apiece and South Africa two.

Campbell explained that Jamaica falls in the Americas region from which Joel Young Strong of Trinidad was selected. He said it was unfortunate because, in his view as a tester, Jamaica has the best umpires in the region.

"For some reason, there was only one from the region. I just can't answer in terms of why, but it is hard. For the Commonwealth Games and World Championships, it is the best who go forward and, in terms of the region, we have the best," he said.

 

Highest level

 

Jamaica has three umpires with International Umpires Awards (IUA), which allows them to officiate at the highest level - Campbell, Dave Brown, and Terrence Peart. There are three other IUA umpires in the region, one from Trinidad and two from Barbados.

Peart officiated at the last Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. Brown worked in Singapore. Campbell and former international umpire Dalton Hinds officiated in the final of the World Championships in Auckland, New Zealand, 2007.

Campbell said he had not made himself available for the Games but said he knew Brown, who had never worked at the Commonwealth Games, was disappointed not to have been chosen.

"It's quite unfortunate. We have the better umpires in the region so why would we not be in the pool?"

"If we were looking at standard we would have been included from this region," he said.

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