It's Your Call - Umpire Education

The North West Umpires & Scorers Association will be holding an umpires training course at Glendermott Cricket Club for three consecutive Sundays starting on 27 January. The sessions take place from 1.00pm 5.00pm with the aim being to address the current critical shortage.

This course is designed to give candidates an overview of the basic Laws of the game as well as the principles of field craft and match management. It will also give trainees the tools to enable them to umpire matches at all levels. It explores the concept of working as part of a team both with umpiring colleagues and match scorers.

The training is intended to introduce new umpires to the skills and knowledge required to be a member of a league panel. The association would welcome new members and are very keen to encourage both men and women to take up umpiring.

Over the last number of years there has been an ever-increasing shortage of officials in the North West and it is something the Union is keen to resolve.

An Umpires Association spokesperson said: "This year our appointments secretary, Alfie Dunn started with a list of 50 names for the summer, however that figure quickly reduced by more than half as people dropped out for various reasons. On occasions during the last couple of summers we found it difficult to appoint umpires to the top two divisions in the North West.

"If that trend continues we will,as a Union, be faced with real problems. We need people from our clubs to get involved because clubs are where those extra umpires will come from." "We want to appeal to all our clubs to look around and encourage as many of their former players and supporters to get involved if at all possible. If someone new can volunteer to umpire 6 or 7 games in a season then it will make a real difference.

"We would ask all those who regularly go and watch whether they were former players or not to think about getting involved and taking charge of a few matches. Those who do it usually find it a very rewarding experience and at the umpires association we will give them all the help we possibly can to get going.

"There are far more positives to umpiring than negatives and we desperately need people to give it a go and get involved. Everyone at our clubs will have a friend, associate or former teammate who could take charge of a few matches, and we just need those people to be given a nudge in the right direction."

For further information about registering for the course, or getting involved please contact Dermot Ward mobile - 07871533449 Davy Caldwell mobile -07708253884 Roland Black mobile - 07518779991