The Role of Cricket Umpire:
It comes as no surprise that the Cricket Umpire has the responsibility to approach the game in a number of ways. As with a good League Referee – a job well done is when he is not the talking point following the game. Likewise this is also true in my opinion of the Cricket Umpire. If the Cricket Umpire has prepared for the match, exercised sound people management principles and made decisions to the best of his ability, then he has made a significant contribution to ensure the players have had a great game, being able to then focus only on their individual performances.
It is imperative that the Umpires (effectively the 3rd Team with the Scorers) display together a solid working knowledge of the Laws and the relative playing conditions applicable to the particular match they are standing in. It should be noted that Playing Conditions will vary from match to match and players will be looking to the Umpires in this regard for guidance and confidence – in fact players expect Umpires to be completely up to date with each of the matches playing conditions.
On match day the Cricket Umpire needs to apply the laws and particular interpretations with fairness and a sound degree of Common Sense and within the Spirit and Traditions of this great game.
There are also a number of necessary Administrative responsibilities to undertake e.g. Match reports – Signing off the Record Sheets for the match – Post Match Conference etc.
During the match the Umpires need to undertake their role in such a way that earns the respect of players and enhances a positive and healthy attitude amongst all participants.
There are additional management responsibilities placed on the Cricket Umpire during the match pertaining to the safety and welfare of the players. These relate to Pitch and Ground conditions and extend to overall Weather conditions e.g. Bad Light or even Lightening.
There are 6 characteristics generally considered attributes of being a good role model which a Cricket Umpire needs to have. These are:
Overall the above is irrelevant if the Cricket Umpire is unable to display a high standard of Personal Presentation and Communication Skills. How you display and handle yourself from when you arrive at the ground is paramount. There is an old saying “You do not get a 2nd chance to make a 1st impression”.
This is absolutely true to the Cricket Umpire.
The way you carry yourself on and off the field is viewed by everyone and sets the tone for the day before the first ball is even bowled. The display of being a Friendly and a Confident Umpire all goes well for the day ahead. There is a ‘thin line’ however between establishing good rapport with players and the carrying out of your expected Umpire Duties.
On saying this though, there are times before and during the match that the Cricket Umpires are empowered to intervene – The Laws clearly set out these circumstances.
It must be remembered – an important part of the Laws of Cricket says – “The Umpires are the sole judges of Fair and Unfair Play”. So in effect if the Laws don’t cover a situation and the Umpires are of the opinion that the act / action is unfair – then it is deemed to be unfair.
It is stressed – the Umpires are a Team and as such must be seen as working as a Team – Together is the key word. On match day everything that is done on and off the field e.g. discussing an incident, speaking with Captains, Evaluating weather conditions or Ground/Pitch conditions need to be done as a Team i.e. Together.
As an Umpire, respect for the role although being part of the Spirit of Cricket cannot just be expected – It will come from players where an Umpire shows himself worthy of it – i.e. the Characteristics mentioned above.
The Cricket Umpire needs to possess at least 3 key Qualifications – Namely:-
- Physical – Good stamina to stand for long periods
- Good eyesight and Hearing
- Good ability to move around to be in the best position for making decisions
- Good ability to Focus and Concentrate for long Periods
- Personal – Be able to remain calm under pressure
- Be approachable
- Have sound capability to work numbers to calculate for reduced overs and Target Scores etc
- Capable of Managing players in aggressive moods
- Regain confidence after dealing with difficult situations
- Technical – Thorough knowledge of the Laws of Cricket
- Be prepared for Ongoing Study of the Laws of Cricket
- Attend Training Classes
- Always be prepared for Opportunities when they come.
- Stand in as many games as you can to gain as much match experience as possible.
- Work with Mentor – Be open to feedback to improve Umpiring Skills
To make an enquiry about becoming an umpire with the NDCUA, please complete the form below.