Outdoor Hockey (11 a-side)
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Dear Umpire Managers
I hope that you are all preparing as best as possible for the very demanding upcoming tournaments? It is imperative that we try and prepare not only ourselves as umpire managers for the tasks ahead, but more importantly the umpires!! I understand that some of you have had difficulty in trying to contact your allocated umpires, with contact details being rather sketchy! Please try your utmost to make contact with all your allocated umpires. As I have mentioned above communication and pre-tournament contact is critical. Here are some indicators which we should have been addressed already:
1. Receive the appointed umpires list.
2. Communicate with the umpires via email is usually the easiest (please include the TD in the communication), ensure that deadline dates are adhered to.
3. Indicate to the umpires what is planned (both before the tournament and during the tournament). What specific objectives will be set out for the tournament? (eg. Consistency, team work – no personal interpretations, proper application of the rules & interpretations, good team environment, which teams/provinces are competing). Some of you have set up Facebook and Twitter communication. I applaud this thought process and initiative.
4. Please let’s set strict requirements with regards to fitness. Players and teams are paying large sums of money to attend tournaments. No one likes to come second! They should not be let down by sub-standard preparation of the umpires. Over and above this the umpires need to be in top physical condition to be able to handle the pressures of such a tournament.
5. Travel and accommodation, meeting arrangements. Please make contact with the hosts to ensure all is in order.
6. Umpire clothing – It’s important that if the umpires cannot umpire…. they at least look like umpires!! Everyone should have received order request forms from Kathleen Faling (GoSports)? Please follow up in this regard.
1. Make sure everyone arrives timeously, and gets settled in ASAP.
2. Umpire Briefing – Please go to the effort to ensure that an applicable umpire briefing is done (according to the level of hockey). An example of this is on the FIH website. But please adapt it to your tournament’s needs. Keep it simple and to the point. Eg. The FIH briefing would not be suitable for the u13 tournament!! Please use common sense!!
3. It may be advisable to also have a briefing with the coaches, to ensure that they too are on the same page. Teams and coaches don’t want to have surprises! Communicate and keep communicating with them.
4. Appointments – take time in doing the appointments, be open in your communication, I would encourage chatting to the coaches about their thoughts and input (one never knows what their thoughts are, don’t work in isolation), TD’s, fellow umpire managers. Ensure that the umpires appointed are suitable for the particular game. Try to rotate umpires (ie. Try to avoid umpires getting the same team 5 days in a row!!), look for combinations that work, look to “test” umpires. No matter what the level, we need to create trust amongst our umpiring teams (trust and confidence in one another goes both ways!)
5. Match feedback – keep it simple; keep the feedback appropriate for the level of umpire; lengthy feedback can be detrimental, pick a few pointers or comments and deal with them, ways of correcting mistakes. I’m not saying that one shouldn’t be negative….but too much negativity can be destructive. BE HONEST with the Umpires regarding their performance. Your comments to the umpires throughout the week should not differ in the umpire report back forms!!
6. Endeavour to create a good team ethos. One umpire’s failure is a failure to the group! Encourage the umpires to work for themselves, for their colleagues and most importantly for the tournament. Good umpire performances contribute immensely to the standard of the tournament. Our pre-tournament preparation will reflect this.
7. Please try and stick to the recommended umpire levels for the particular tournaments. See the attached documents. (New Umpire Grading Criteria & SA Hockey – Umpire Assessment Levels). No “cheap” awarding of umpire levels please!
8. Umpire Feedback Form – updates to this form have been made. The form is simple to use. Please ensure that ALL umpires receive feedback in the form of:
ü one on one with the Umpires manager/s and TD if possible,
ü copy of the feedback form.
9. Please ensure that a copy of the following are returned as soon as possible to me after the tournament.
ü Individual Umpires Feedback form,
ü Umpire Contact Details,
ü the Umpire Managers & Assistant Managers forms
I hope that this brief information will be of assistance?
Good luck with the tournaments, and thank you once again for your time and dedicated commitment to hockey umpiring, and helping our umpires to keep improving and in doing so creating a favourable environment for them to grow.
R&T Umpiring Committee