Tuesday, June 18, 2024

How do umpires keep the game safe, exactly?

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  • #13481
    Chris Horton

    Maybe a bit off-the-wall for first topic on the Umpiring board. But here goes…

    In defining umpire competence, the standard adult league regulations for England include “the ability to keep the game safe” as one of the indicators (11.10). This seems derived from the Level 1 Umpire assessment, which since 2015 has hinged on “did the umpire maintain a safe environment for the players?”.

    But what is umpiring for safety, in practice? Hockey has its dangers, and accidents happen in the best umpired games. So what is it that umpires do, or not do, to maintain safety; and what aspect would an assessor pick, to draw the line between just safe enough, and not safe enough?

    Over some scores of assessments over a decade or more, I have settled on my own personal yes/no. But I have never come across any official explanation of how to judge ‘keeps it safe’.

    Maybe it’s not important, but I sense that an answer leads to the core of what it is to umpire. What do others think?


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