Wednesday 25 November 2015

Positioning - Bowler's End Umpire

Bowler's end umpire
  • Stand in line with middle stump so that you have a clear view of the popping crease. Work with the bowler on where to stand if he requests you to be further back or closer than you normally feel comfortable. When standing back, if you have to look through the stumps at the crease, adjust your position slightly so that you see the bowler’s heel between the stumps. You will always be able to find an acceptable position and learn to feel comfortable in it.
  • Always approach the bowler to take his cap or sweater. This saves time and helps with your relationship with the bowler.
  • Watch the bowler return to his mark and as he turns, face the striker and switch on to full concentration. Take up your preferred position and do not leave it until the ball has been delivered and played into the field.
  • Be ready and willing to work with the bowler if he wishes to know where his front foot is landing. Establish a consistent approach to advising bowlers in this way and do it for both teams. Be proactive if he is gradually creeping on the line. Rapport with the bowlers is a vital ingredient in an umpire’s ability to handle a match effectively.
  • Never move your head. Initially you should focus on the base of the stumps at the batsman’s end and as the bowler runs past you, move your eyes only down to the bowling crease. As soon as the foot lands move your eyes up to pick up the flight of the ball.
  • An alternative technique is to “let the ball come into view”. Whilst it is important to judge any movement of the ball through the air, this will only be when the ball is fairly new or later in the innings it may begin to “reverse swing”. You will be able to see whether the ball does swing by using your peripheral vision. Letting the ball “come into view” will allow you to judge where the ball pitches and any movement off the pitch will be clear and evident. This method is often a better option and can reduce fatigue as the day goes on.
  • Give guard to a new batsman by moving up over the stumps. This gives the batsman the impression you are giving him your full attention and concentration. Should the batsman ask for confirmation of his guard at any later time, it is OK to confirm that guard from your normal position.
  • Know the terminology, one leg (leg stump), two legs (middle and leg – half way between middle and leg). If the batsman shows you the full face of the bat and asks for “two please” he effectively wants two legs and the bat should cover both the middle and leg stump. You will rarely be asked for “middle to leg” (covering leg stump from the top to middle) or “leg to leg” (covering leg stump from the top of leg stump at your end). Always repeat back to the batsman what guard he asked you for – e.g. “that’s middle stump there”.
  • After the ball is struck into the field, most umpires move to the same side as the ball. A clear view of the stumps being broken is the major consideration here. This aspect of technique is a personal thing and you should always feel comfortable about where you place yourself. You may decide you will always go to the opposite side the ball is played. Once the decision has been made on each ball and you are committed, never change and try to get to the other side. In any situation, always be aware of the fielders in “the arc” between extra cover and mid-wicket. If you place yourself between the ball and the stumps, you may possibly obstruct or impede a fielder in his attempt to field the ball or have a clear throw at the wicket. On these occasions you must train yourself to move to the opposite side. Anticipation is the key as is the constant noting of where the fielders in the arc are placing themselves. Remember these fielders will usually be the quickest getting to the ball so your positioning time will diminish considerably. On all occasions, keep the ball in view – never turn your back on the play. Should there be a problem seeing if the wicket has fairly broken at any time you must always consult with your colleague. 
  • When a batsman with a runner is on strike, always move to the same side as your partner. It is a good idea for the umpires to confer as soon as the runner enters the field to confirm your intentions. Remember the golden rule – look for your partner and head for him.
  • When the batsmen are running, stand side on with quick glances back and forth to detect short runs or a boundary. Never turn your back on the play when moving into position.

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