IT’S not unusual for Michael Rudd to be on the Orange PCYC netball courts.
The difference this weekend is he will be playing instead of umpiring.
Rudd is part of the NSW 23 and Under men’s netball team which will be contesting the HeartKids Cup this weekend.
The charity tournament will be played at the Orange PCYC today and tomorrow and has attracted five teams including the men’s side.
Rudd was selected in the NSW under 19s team four years ago but didn’t get to compete at the national championships due to a knee injury.
“This is my first year back,” Rudd smiled.
“It’s good fun. I really enjoy it.”
Rudd is a B badged umpire and is on the sideline every week during the Orange Netball Association season.
He also umpires the Central West State League games.
This weekend he’ll be playing against Orange’s champion State League side instead of umpiring it.
“I think it’ll be challenging (playing Orange),” he said.
“I know I’m more than likely going to play against Tegan (Dray). I umpire her so I’ll see what she can do. Tegan is such a highly-rated player in Orange, it will be a good challenge for me.”
Rudd is confident the men’s team will be competitive this weekend and they are using the tournament as a training run in the lead up to April’s national championships.
In the past Rudd said men’s teams often showed glimpses of rugby league, rugby union and basketball skills, but that has changed.
“I find it much like the women play now,” he explained.
“This is actual netball and I think that makes us more competitive with the women.”
The men’s team has a few injuries so Orange’s Adam Slattery and Will Kloosterman will line up to help them out.
The HeartKids Cup will start at 3.30pm today at the Orange PCYC.
Games will be played at 4.20pm and 5.40pm today as well as 9am, 10.40am and 12.20pm tomorrow.
Entry is $5 and there are lucky door prizes up for grabs as well as plenty of entertainment, raffles and a barbecue during the two days.
A presentation will be held following the final games at 12.20pm tomorrow.