Wednesday 6 March 2019

Umpiring Hints and Tips

Remember there is no such thing as a senior umpire in a match. You are both equal and must make all important decisions in consultation. Obviously, some umpires are more experienced than others and if you are an experienced umpire standing with a brand new umpire we would expect you to advise and discuss with him/her, not take charge. Especially we would encourage you to advise them of the little things that can’t be taught at the training sessions. The things that you may take for granted however, remember these are new members and will not know a lot of the conventions. A good rule of thumb would be what did you find difficult when you first started umpiring? Conversely, if you are a brand new umpire we would expect and encourage you to listen and take in what your more experienced partner is saying, do not think you know everything, ask questions and do be not be intimidated. Insist that you be included in all decisions. Remember there are many people in your Association that you call talk to if you are having problems, take advantage of their experience. If you have a problem ring someone, anybody on the Management Committee for example would be more than happy to talk to you.
It would be impossible to list everything that an umpire should be aware of here, but we have listed a few of the things that members have told us that need to be highlighted.

  • Arrive at the ground at least 45 minutes before the scheduled start of the game.
  • It is just plain good manners to ring your partner or the State Umpiring Manager if you are going to be late or indeed need to pull out of the game for an emergency. There is nothing worse then waiting at the ground not knowing if your partner is going to turn up, so if you are late tell somebody. This is the number one complaint from our members.
  • Be neatly attired, your clothes must be clean don’t forget your hat and shoes.
  • First appearances are everything, arrive in plenty of time looking professional and the players will have more respect for you. Don’t ever think they don’t pass judgement on you when you arrive, they do.
  • If the players and captain’s respect you they are more likely to listen to you and accept you, making the game more enjoyable for all.
Team work
This is a big subject. We consider it a very important aspect of umpiring. Too big to cover fully here but a few points to consider are:
  • Wait for you partner at arrive, then from then on do everything as a team. Especially if you have to inspect a damp pitch and have to make a decision on whether it is playable.
  • Always put the stumps in together, like we keep saying appearance is everything if the players notice that both umpires are putting the stumps in together and that they are dressed and ready it makes them think that you know what you are doing and are professional. If your partner is going to be late, it is acceptable to put the stumps in by yourself. When you are supervising the toss would be a good time.
  • At the start of the game walk out together do not amble out, walk with purpose like you really enjoy being there, again appearance. From the time that you are allocated you are part of a team. You, your partner and when you get to the ground, the scorers and the captains. You are all responsible for getting the game started and for running it smoothly.
Communication is the big word
  • When you get your allocation check who your partner is, what competition is it? Where is the ground? What time does the game start? How long will it take me to get there? What time do I need to leave home?
  • Read the regulations so that you know them, when are the lunch and drinks breaks? are there any unique regulations? (max 8 ball overs or stationary catchers etc.) In other words know what you are doing and be prepared.
  • If you have to withdraw from a match, the more notice that you can give the Selection Panel the better. We have all had last minute emergencies that have made us pull out of matches at the last minute and that is understandable, but if you know that you can’t fulfill your allocation the more notice that you can give the better. Remember if you withdraw it could affect a lot of people. 
  • When you arrive at the ground do not be overly familiar with the players and do not join in with their warm ups etc even if you know them very well. Remember that you must appear impartial and it is not a good look for the other team to see the umpires being too friendly with one side.
  • Communicate with the captains during an enforced break in play. Depending on how long the interruption has been, be aware that the teams may need a warm up period before the start of play. Discuss this with the captains.
  • Drinks breaks, how long will it take them to get the drinks ready? etc. so that you know how much warning to give them. If a wicket falls within 5 minutes of a scheduled drinks break, have drinks while the new batsman is coming in.
  • Changing rooms. Most of the district clubs at their home grounds, have a room for the umpires to use to put their gear and get changed. Outer grounds, Sub Districts and Churches grounds will probably not have somewhere for you to put your gear or get changed, so be aware of that and especially be aware of security. Probably the safest place to put your belongings is in your car. Thieves target sports fields and cricket fields as they are easy pickings for them.
  • Food and Drink. Main grounds at the district clubs will have plenty of food and water available. Outer grounds, Sub Districts and Churches grounds will not have food or drinks available, with a few exceptions. So take some food and water with you.
  • Car parking. This applies to all grounds. It is not a good idea to park too close to the field. Several umpires have had their cars damaged by the ball hitting windscreens etc.
  • When calling for drinks a simple hand gesture is sufficient, do not yell out and make a spectacle of yourself.
  • When the covers need to be put on or taken off, supervise only do not physically help.
  • The regulation covering the fixture that you are standing in takes precedence over the Laws of Cricket.
  • It is quite acceptable to remove your hats on a windy day. Providing that you both do so and wear an association cap instead.
  • In extreme occasions it is acceptable to remove the bails (from both ends) on windy days. 

Article courtesy of Queensland Cricket Association