Thursday 19 November 2015

Before the Match

  • Read the Laws the night before and familiarize yourself with Playing Conditions. Most umpires will be officiating under different playing conditions, sometimes on consecutive days.
  • Check and pack gear and have an early night. This is a personal choice always remembering that optimum performance can only be achieved if you arrive at the ground refreshed, prepared and able to give yourself the best chance of umpiring a full day.
  • Leave in plenty of time to allow for contingencies (traffic etc) and arrive at least one hour prior to scheduled start time.
  • Meet partner, establish rapport and together check pitch area and seek out the groundsman. It is unlikely the ground staff will be in attendance all day so ask questions about the prevailing weather conditions and as to whether the ground absorbs water quickly.
  • Ascertain if there are any other characteristics of the ground that would be helpful later in the day. Is sawdust available for bowler’s run-ups and batsmen’s stance position? What options are available for using the covers effectively and who will be responsible for laying them? How can the ground best be dried out after a sudden storm? This information could prove vital.
  • Make sure the stump holes are moistened to allow easy re-making of the wickets during the day. This may sound a minor matter but a great deal of time can be saved if the wickets can be quickly and easily remade.
  • Check all other markings, set up wickets and choose or decide on ends.
  • Check outfield for any obstructions or hazards, boundaries and local customs.
  • If your partner arrives late, it is O.K. to check out the ground alone but never make any comment to players about your opinion on the condition of the ground – remember this is a decision for the umpires to “agree together”. Generally it is best to wait until your colleague arrives. Umpires being seen working together before play begins is a positive sign to all concerned.
  • Together meet and speak to Captains before toss, make sure team lists are exchanged and collected. Discuss any matters arising from ground inspection.
  • Establish signals to be used with your partner, their timing and the co-ordination of your work together – two to go, catch carrying, leg byes, issue of warnings, fast short pitched bowling, high full pitches etc.
  • Meet with scorers, note their position, check on established signals to be used and check timepiece and backup clock.
  • Obtain match ball and inform teams you are going onto the field 5 minutes prior to start, wish them well and tell them to enjoy the game. Walk out together.

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