Si­mon’s ‘bad’ um­pires are just help­ing their clubs

The Hockey Paper - - FEATURE OPINION -

SIMONOr­chard needs to get some facts right with re­gard to his ar­ti­cle on um­pires.

1. He talks of lack of ac­count­abil­ity. All um­pires above lower club level are con­sis­tently mon­i­tored by their county, re­gional, na­tional and in­ter­na­tional as­so­ci­a­tions. Coach­ing and as­sess­ment is a reg­u­lar part of their ca­reer struc­ture.

At and above con­fer­ence level, clubs also mark the um­pires and this helps de­ter­mine their fu­ture.

2. Poor com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills. The higher the level the more im­por­tant the need for good com­mu­ni­ca­tion and this is a ma­jor fac­tor when mov­ing um­pires up the lad­der.

3. Re­move the emo­tion. Si­mon be­lieves the best play­ers make the best um­pires. Yes, we can all point to the odd top player who moves into um­pir­ing when they are still of an age when they are able to move quickly up the ranks. Craig Mad­den, Chris Todd and An­drew Kennedy come to mind, but other in­ter­na­tional greats like Gra­ham Nash, San­ti­ago Deo and Ed­uardo Ruiz played lit­tle or no hockey.

We would all like to see more top play­ers take up um­pir­ing, but I have heard all the ex­cuses why they don’t.

Si­mon is full of good ideas, but he for­gets one ma­jor point: the very poor um­pires he de­rides so much are ac­tu­ally the ones who least de­serve his de­ri­sion. They do not um­pire out of ego, they do it be­cause they want to put some­thing back into the game they love, to sup­port their club .

Put your whis­tle where your mouth is Si­mon. But I’ll not hold my breath.

JACK WARNER Level 3 um­pire coach, ex-county and re­gional um­pire as­ses­sor

Do­ing a fine job: Um­pire Rob Jenk­ins gives Read­ing’s Re­becca Odlin a green card PIC­TURE: PA

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