Monday 30 November 2015

Answering Questions From Players About Decisions

  • Umpires should never offer explanations for decisions or enter into heated post mortems. It is acceptable however to answer a reasonably asked question at the end of the over provided you do not get into a protracted discussion. Indeed the Captain is within his rights to seek a clarification on some decisions or aspects of the Laws. The modern game is increasingly demanding on umpires and there is pressure to give some explanation on nearly every decision.
  • It is important that you be seen as a good listener and have a genuine concern for the Laws and their application. This type of interaction and communication between umpires and players can only be good in fostering acceptance and respect. Sometimes a query such as “What was wrong with that one?” could be answered with a simple “It cannot pitch outside leg stump” or “the ball must hit him in line with the stumps”. This type of answer can alleviate further animosity and indeed further futile appeals. A different degree of detail can be used as you build up a rapport with Captains and players. This takes time and experience to develop fully.
  • It is usually best to deal with all queries such as this at the end of the over. This has a twofold effect by allowing aggression to dissipate and not affecting your concentration. Always answer with an even voice, be unhurried and show complete confidence. Never volunteer information or try to justify a decision if you are not asked. Remember there is a huge difference between answering a simple query and justifying your every decision.
  • If the player becomes rude or abusive during any conversation, remind him of the reason for the discussion which is to clarify what in your opinion, you have seen and heard, not what he would have liked to happen. Be firm but relaxed.
  • Never admit to making a mistake or offer apologies for errors. If you do make a mistake, learn from it and move on. Do not compound a mistake with another one.
  • Never, ever contemplate “evening up” as two wrongs do not make a right and you will lose the respect of the players.

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