Help:Umpiring and the Critical Role it plays

Umpiring is most-often looked upon as a chore and it accompanies a lot of excuses (my dog is not well, I have to be at work and so on). While we would all rather be playing, than umpiring a game, it is clearly one of the critical activities that make our league and the games we play on week to week a fun thing. It maintains the integrity of the game and it also ensures the game is played fair and the best team on the ground on that day won.

So you are asked to umpire a game? What you are signing up for ?

First of, all the other teams and your own team appreciates your taking the time to prepare for umpiring a Cricbay game. All Teams are required to umpire their fair share of umpiring. As a member of the team I am sure your team does a fair allocation of umpiring to all its members too. At Legends, we have a policy of rotation to share the load. We think that umpiring is also a great opportunity to brush up on the rules & laws of Cricket.

As a policy, you all know that there are strict penalties (money and points) for missing to umpire and getting late to the ground. CricBay has a $50 penalty on each umpire who is late after 8:30am. In most teams the team requires those individuals that miss their assignment to bear this cost so please be on time.

Now that I have hopefully convinced you of the real value of doing umpiring here is a small clinic that I want to share. We designed this for our team Legends to get our team familiar with the subtle issues of umpiring. I hope that you will like it and hopefully adopt some of these things.

PREPARING FOR A UMPIRING ASSIGNMENT

  • As part of the IEmail your team captain/vice-captain/manager would have added you to the IEmail thread and indicated that you would be the umpire. 
  • Keep a note of the ground, date/day of the weekend the game is on.
  • If you are not familiar with the ground location, call the Home team captain (their number should be in IEmail) on Friday to make sure you know where you are going. More importantly also make sure you know where the parking and bathrooms are for the ground.
  • Printed 2 sheets of Umpiring Scorecard(http://www.cricbay.com/docs/UmpireScoreSheet.pdf), a couple of pens and a ball counting devices (stones, grains, etc) & familiarize yourself with scoring on the ‘Umpire Score sheet.’ If you are not sure ask one of your teammates who have done the umpiring before.
  • Carry a coin (just in case the captains don't have one on them). Every minute saved is a minute the game gets over early and one minute you can get home early.
  • Carry a list of contact numbers of CoRA volunteers (http://www.cricbay.com/cora.asp), just in case you might have call them to clarify a contentious issue.

BEFORE START OF THE GAME

  • Please be on the ground on time. Umpires are required to be at the ground well before 8:30am start time. Strive to be there at 8:00 so that you can do the suggested activities before the game.  
  • Introduce yourself to the Captains of the teams and the other umpire
  • Visually check if the ground is prepared properly. The boundary is 185 feet from the batting wicket. Ensure enough boundary cones, creases drawn properly, you can see the wide line markers. Understand and agree upon the obstacles in the ground, runs declared, etc
  • Make sure Powerplay cones are marked clearly.
  • Supervise the toss. The home team captain tosses the coin and the visiting team captain calls the toss.
  • CricBay no  longer allows hammer-in stumps, so make sure both teams have spring stumps. Hammer-in stumps damage the ground and risk CricBay losing the ground.
  • Umpires are required to switch between being main umpire and leg umpire every 2 overs. Also the leg umpire does the ‘umpire scoring.’
  • Review with the other umpire & both Captains the following
    • Rules of “No Balls” and “Wide Balls.” Call regarding the ‘popping crease’ (or the crease where the batsman usually bats).
    • Boundary rules in case of a baseball field, pre-defined declare rules for runs in certain places,
    • Also discuss with the captains how you will be resolving decisions that might not be clear. When in doubt discuss with the other umpire.
    • Tell both the captains, that you only need the two captains in the field to discuss, should there be a issue in-doubt and needs to be discussed. You don't need the crowd.
    • Remind both the captains to keep a tab on their teams and make sure nobody smokes or urinates on the ground. There are serious repurcussions of doing either one of those things. The team, captain and the offending person(s) risk heavy monetary penalties and ban from multiple games.
  • Remember, We are all humans we make decisions based on the best knowledge we have of a particular event. 
  • Review the ball that both teams have to make sure they are the same brand and the ones CricBay has approved. (Nivia + CricBay)

DURING THE GAME

  • As the leg umpire, you keep the score on the ‘Umpire Score sheet.’
  • As a matter of practice, check the score with the Scorer at the end of each over. If there is a discrepancy, make sure you resolve it before the next over is bowled. In case of a dispute, the umpire’s scoring prevails unless the mistake is quite evident.
  • Make sure to use proper hand signals towards the scorer and also be very loud and clear verbally in making the calls (No Ball, Wide, Not Out, Out, Four, Six, and Dead Ball). Wait till you see an acknowledgement from the main scorer of your call for boundaries, byes, no balls and wide balls before letting the bowler proceed to bowl the next ball.
  • Keep cool in case of disputes, over appealing, questioning or any other distractions. Call upon the Captains to discuss the matters. If a question is asked, answer politely and in a pleasing manner. Remember the umpire’s word or call is final.
  • Don't hesitate to call CoRA contacts in case you are not clear on a particular rule. While talking to CoRA you and the fellow umpire need to be talking to them.

AFTER THE GAME

  • Review the Score sheets of both teams. Request the Scorers & Captains of both teams to complete the Score sheets.
  • Discuss individual performances of players with both Captains and other umpire and decide the ‘Man of the Match.’ In general, the winning side team’s player gets the ‘Man of the Match’ but this is not set in stone. If the losing team’s player had an extraordinary game way above the rest, feel free to suggest the name. The final decision is based on agreement between both the Captains and both the umpires.
  • After ‘Man of the Match’ is announced, sign both the Score sheets and hand it over to the winning team Manager, Captain or their representative.

RATINGS

Please note that after the game both the teams get to rate your quality of umpiring. So it is a good idea to maintain a good relationship with the players and the Captains. I am not advocating giving favorable decisions but maintaing common courtesy and mutual respect.

Here are the guidelines used by Captains for rating the umpires:

Please rate the teams based o­n the following points:

 1. Overall o­n-field Team Behavior  2 pts(max)
 2. Captains control over team during disputes  2 pts(max)
 3. Sledging  2 pts(max)
 4. Dispute resolution  2 pts(max)
 5. Cribbing o­n No-balls, Wides & Run-outs  2 pts(max)
   Total:  10 pts(max)

GENERAL TIPS

  • For the balls hit on the leg side, request the leg umpire to look for and assist you in declaring fours and sixes. If you both the umpires are not sure, you can ask the fielder. If you still have doubt ask the leg umpire keep an eye where the ball was picked up and after the throw is made ask him to go to the boundary and verify. Generally ask for more cones (or other objects) for more boundary markers.
  • AS THE MAIN UMPIRE: When the ball is hit for a run, make sure you move to a position so that you can clearly see the attempt of run-out, the grounding of the bat and the stumps being broken without the ball being popped off. It is difficult to decide if your view has been blocked by a player attempting to run-out. So if the ball is hit on the OFF-SIDE, you can move on the OFF-SIDE in line of the stumps to see the attempt of the run-out. If the ball is hit on the ON-SIDE, you can move on the ON-SIDE in line of the stumps to see the attempt. Just make sure you NOT directly in line of the throw.
  • AS THE LEG UMPIRE: If the ball was hit on the OFF-SIDE, some times the keeper may block your view of the stumps being broken. In such instances, feel free to ask the MAIN UMPIRE if the ball was collected properly. You don't have to decide the run-out immediately. Take your time if there is doubt.

Finally, enjoy the game from the best view in the house. 

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