Strathclyde Sirens Vs Severn Stars

Jemma Carlton

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Jemma Carlton

Occupation: HR Manager

Current award and date achieved: IUA, January 2013

Year started umpiring Superleague: 2015 when I moved to the UK from Australia

Career highlights:

ANZ Championship Umpire 2011-2014

Appointed to the England vs. Jamaica Test Series December 2016

Appointed to the Quad Series in January/February 2017

INF World Youth Cup (Glasgow) in 2013

Obtaining IUA in January 2013 and re-endorsement in February 2017

Obtaining the “All Australia” Badge in 2010

How and when did you get involved in umpiring?

After playing netball since I was 8 years old, I began umpiring for my local club at Manly Warringah Netball Association in Sydney, Australia when I was 12 (all players who were 12 years and above at my association were encouraged to umpire). My younger sister’s team always needed an umpire in one of the social competitions they played in, so I got some pocket money for being her team’s umpire, before being exposed to umpiring at the representative levels in NSW and Australia.

What has been your favourite memory on or off court?

Gosh…there are a lot! I have to say that making so many memories with my “netball family” whether that be on a tour, or traveling for a weekly game, at an awards dinner or out socially. I’ve definitely made lifelong friends cross the world through netball.

Do you have any pre-match rituals before a game?

Yes…I have a few! One that any of my co-umpires will mention is that I do, and re-do my ponytail about 5 times before I am about go out on court – it needs to be perfect!

What are your aspirations for the future?

I’d like to continue umpiring at the IUA level (for as long as my body can take it!) and be selected for future Commonwealth Games and World Cups.

Who has had the biggest influence on your umpiring so far?

I can’t narrow it down to one person, so I will go with three:

1. Maureen Boyle. I’m fortunate that Maureen has been my mentor/coach since I was 13 years old and I have benefited from her wisdom, guidance and experience throughout my whole umpiring career.

2. Chris Burton. Previously a player who represented Australia, and then an international umpire, Chris’ knowledge of the game is second-to-none.

3. Sharon Kelly. Sharon’s high-level consistency throughout her long career in umpiring both at an international and national level is something I hope I can do.

What is your favourite song to train/work-out too?

My playlist changes daily…at the moment I’m listening to “Shut Up and Dance with Me” by Walk the Moon (which was also our reception entrance song at our wedding a few weeks ago!)

Do you have any embarrassing netball moments?

Oh there are lots! But probably my most embarrassing was running into the post when I was umpiring at my local association a few years ago (thankfully there was thick post-padding!) After falling to the ground, I got up and kept on umpiring – the players didn’t even realise!

What is the best part about being a Superleague umpire?

Umpiring with some of the best players in the world.

Finally, what advice would you have for anyone who wants to Umpire in the Superleague in the future?

It’s a bit clichéd, but don’t give up! There have been times throughout my career where I have thought it was just all too hard and was on the verge of wanting to throw the towel in. Luckily I had a strong support network, my mum, Maureen, and my (now) husband, who kept me motivated to keep going. And don’t forget the basics…I still practice my 3 feet and 3 seconds!