Sunday, July 21, 2024

Talking Umpiring: Hockey brains over brawn

If you are going through a match on ‘automatic pilot’ it is only a matter of time until things go very wrong, writes ANDY MAIR

Like many of you out there, my email inbox is regularly added to with notifications of opportunities to complete a fitness test for a variety of different umpiring associations. And that got me thinking, what truly is ‘umpiring fitness’ in age that doesn’t even require us to test our eyesight?

Currently we mainly use running tests such as; the ‘bleep’, ‘Cooper’, ’yoyo’ and others. These are designed to show whether we are sufficiently physically fit to run around a pitch during a match/tournament, and the levels vary according to age and standard of competition. There are also sprint times and some agility elements tested for some, along with weight and body shape measurements at the very top level.

Why is fitness the test that umpires are metered against? Do your legs blow the whistle when needed?

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