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Recruiting, Training and Retaining Umpires.

Posted by Melvyn Bond on 24/12/2016 10:00

Message from the Chairman

ECB ACO are running three following  courses this winter.  In South Yorkshire we have the best training and support system in the country. At a recent national meeting of officials this was pointed out by the CEO of ACO when local boyJonathan Crabtree, 

Sheffield based, won the Junior official of the Year and the ACO Chairman of South Yorkshire, Terry Bentham receiveda Life Time Achiever award partly due to his work in supporting young umpires.

Last year a 16 year old qualified at Level 1 and went on an intensive all expenses paid  weeks training course to Oundle Public School. He was the most improved umpire of the 12 in attendance.

We are looking to add to our list with a special emphasis on young umpires especially ladies. We currently have threelady umpires in SY, all doing very well indeed.

The courses are:-

Doncaster Cricket club, 7 weeks duration commencing on Sunday, January 8th 7pm Sheffield Transport Club, Meadowhead, 7 week duration commencing Thursday, January 19th 7-15pm Rotherham Phoenix, a full weekend 
course Sat and Sun 14th and 15th of January .

At the end of all courses there is a multi-choice test. The success rate on the last three courses has been 100% pass proving we have some of the best tutors in the country.

For further details please contact Alan Farnell on 07932 621893 or Terry Bentham on 07761622263 Below is an article from one of our umpires, Jonathan crabtree

In October, it came as a great shock and honour to be presented with the national accolade of ‘Young Official of the Year’ at Lords. This was stated to be for, “dedication to umpiring and drive to continually improve, heavy involvement with the ECB ACO young officials scheme, giving up holidays to help out at festivals and to mentor fellow young umpires part of which included two overseas ventures to Dubai’. It concluded that, “his attitude on and off the field makes him a valuable asset not only to the Yorkshire ACO but ECB ACO as a whole”. It is for others to decide if the above is true; I can only say I have enjoyed every minute of it.

When I first umpired (cajoled into standing at junior league matches) it was never my intention to become an umpire - I was going to be the next Michael Vaughan. Now, I have just finished my 7th season umpiring during which time I have officiated in over 200 matches, including national junior county finals, 2 prestigious league finals and the renowned Bunbury Festival. Furthermore, I have been promoted to the full list of Yorkshire Premier League umpires, I am currently the youngest official in Yorkshire to be on the panel.

How did this happen? Well firstly, reality dictated that I was never going to captain Yorkshire, but also I found that umpiring was absorbing and challenging; I enjoyed it because I love cricket. I get to watch my favourite sport from the best seat in the house!

Throughout my short umpiring career, I have been fantastically supported by my local Association of Cricket Officials. For all new umpires, there is a strong mentor and support system in place. I have been 
fortunate to be a beneficiary of this. The strength of the system in South Yorkshire is widely recognised and other areas of the country are following our lead. I can assure anybody considering going into umpiring that they will be 
given the same opportunities and support which I have been afforded. 

I still play club cricket and yet I frequently umpire at a higher level than I could ever hope to play. As a dogged yet unspectacular opening batsman who also bowls gentle outswing, I know I have reached my limit as a player. However I am still motivated and excited to see how far I can progress in the challenging role as an official.

I am sure that there are many players out there, of my age and younger who as umpires could progress as far,further and more quickly than I.

If you up early this coming Tuesday,27th, Jonathan 
Crabtree and I will be doing a 15 minute live interview on Radio Sheffield 
at 8-05 am.

Subject is recruiting, training and retaining umpires.


Terry Bentham