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Meet Netball South Africa umpire, Leonard Masao from Klipgat in North West. He has been umpiring for 15 years and currently holds a Netball South Africa A grading.

Leonard was recently invited to umpire at the upcoming European Netball World Cup Qualifiers in Glasgow from 12-16 October 2022.

How did your netball journey begin?
I started playing netball in Primary School and from there joined a club.

How did you get into umpiring?
Through school, when there was a need for an umpire I would jump in and assist.

Which tournaments have you umpired at so far and which ones are your favourite and memorable moments?
I’ve umpired at many tournaments over the years, most recently at the Telkom Netball League and the Africa Netball World Cup Qualifiers. My favourite has to be the TNL 2022 semi-final between the Jaguars and the Southern Stings that went into double extra time.

The most difficult part about being an umpire?
Nothing, it’s all challenges that we come across which makes us better and stronger.

Your favourite part about being an umpire?
Everything, from friendships to travel, it makes it all worthwhile.

What advice can you share as an umpire?
Be the best you can be and when opportunity presents itself, run with it!

Congratulations on your inclusion to umpire at the upcoming European Netball World Cup Qualifiers in Glasgow – how does this make you feel?
Excited and grateful. I’m looking forward to the experience on and off court.

The Netball World Cup is coming to South Africa, how does that make you feel or what about it excites you?
Very happy, to see all top nations, umpires, TO’s and UAP’s courtside will be an experience one will not want to miss.