LAHARUM’S Daniel Smith has continued to rise through the netball umpiring ranks after receiving his B Grade umpiring badge in the final round of the home and away season.
Smith became the first male umpire in the Horsham District Netball Association – now part of Horsham District Football Netball League – in July last year when he was awarded his C Grade badge in Warrnambool.
Smith is now a certified B Grade umpire after only a year in the league.
He said he was excited to receive his new grading and wanted to keep improving as an umpire.
“It’s just a higher standard of umpiring going from C Grade to B Grade,” he said.
“The next step for me is to become a B Grade badge tester.”
Smith became the third umpire from Laharum to earn a B Grade badge.
He said no other team in the Wimmera had three B Grade umpires.
Smith said he had been interested in netball since he was young and watched his family play.
His B Grade badge testing involved umpiring an A Grade game, while three testers evaluated and critiqued his performance.
Laharum chairwoman Nadine Miller said Smith’s quick rise as a netball umpire showed how engaged he was.
“Being a male in a female-dominated area, he’s done very well for himself at such a young age,” she said.
“The club is very proud of Daniel and he really does enjoy it.
“He’s never been too interested in footy, he’s just always been around netball and cottoned on.”
Smith thanked his family and Laharum for supporting his umpiring ambitions.