The requirement for umpires wishing to officiate in the Tyne and Wear County League to pass a fitness test is part of the Tyne and Wear County League Rules set in September 2017 and applies to both the Winter and Spring Leagues. This requirement is local to the Tyne and Wear County Leagues and other leagues will have their own criteria around umpiring.
The requirement was introduced around 4 years ago, in part to address a number of complaints from players and clubs regarding the level of fitness of the umpires officiating their matches.
The recent change publicised by England Netball, relates to removing the requirement for unqualified umpires to do a fitness test as a pre requisite for their C Award Assessment and replace it with a "new section of assessment criteria which will be used to assess a learner’s fitness and concentration". This section is currently under development by Netball Europe.
Further info regarding the changes can be found at the England Netball Officiating Facebook page.
England Netball Officiating
If anyone needs further clarification please contact the Officiating Secretary directly on Officiating@tyneandwearnetball.net