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Becoming a League Umpire

What to expect

If you’re reading this, thank you for taking at least the first step towards supporting local league cricket and becoming an umpire.

Rene Grosvenor who is on 07733 221392 is your main education contact and there to help and guide you through training. There is no typical umpire, it could be anyone, male/female & any age from 16 upwards. All we ask is that you have an interest and enthusiasm for cricket and a great attitude towards learning a new skill and gaining experience.

Find a quick guide to becoming a league umpire below.

How does it work in real life?

As a new umpire, you’ll be invited to join one of three “tier 2” leagues in the region depending on where you live. Think of experience in terms of full seasons where you’d expect to do up to 20 main league games on a Saturday plus optional evening cup ties, T20 leagues and perhaps even Sunday 3rds. You always set your own availability so it’s no problem if you can only do every other week.

Your first season will consolidate your stage 1/2 qualifications with experience in lower division games with an experienced colleague. As the season progresses, you may be asked to do the odd 1st team game & maybe choose to do some cup matches with tight finishes on summer evenings.

Your second season should see you gain accreditation at stage 2 where you’ll be doing many more higher division games, plus you’ll enjoy officiating in the later stages of cups too. You will be used to being called “umps” by now!

A further season(s) should see you completing stage 3 qualification and accreditation and officiating in many key games. Stage 3 also means that if your ambition is to progress further as an umpire, you’re now on that right rung of the ladder to be considered for entry as an umpire at the higher level. Building on your experience will mean you can apply to join the Premier Division panels in NEPL and NYSD on a permanent basis.

As well as helping local cricket there are a lot of benefits for your own well-being:

  • You learn new skills and you get the best “seat” in the house and nothing beats the experience of standing behind a quick bowler following the track of the ball or signalling six!
  • You’re out in the fresh air and often sunshine, you’re treated well by players and clubs and you acquire the new name of “umps” and make friendships with all the other “umps” too!
  • You’ll receive match and travel expenses

Qualifications

You don’t need any to start. Those very new to cricket can do the introduction course, others may start with the stage 1 umpires course – these days both are on-line and free of charge although we hope to get back to face to face sessions one day!

At stage 1, you’ll learn the basics about the laws, how to manage a game, what to expect and how to signal and communicate with players and scorers. The course isn’t hard, it doesn’t set out to trick or trip-up, 99% of people find it rewarding, engaging and interesting. Getting stage 1 means you can join the ACO (Association of Cricket Officials) which is essential for league umpires and any of your local leagues will welcome you with open arms as a new umpire for the season.

Stage 2 can be done immediately or after a season’s experience. Your local umpires secretary (Neil, Jonathan, David) will help you with experience and appoint you to the right games in the lower divisions, with an experienced colleague to build your confidence and competence.

After completing stage 2 and a season of experience, you apply for stage 2 accreditation which basically means you get mentor support and advice to improve your umpiring. Stage 2 with accreditation umpires may progress to officiating in occasional tier 1 NEPL and NYSD premier division games, your umpires secretary will help you do this when you feel ready and willing.

Stage 3 is the level most experienced umpires aim to achieve and it qualifies you for all types of league games including tier 1 cricket in the NEPL/NYSD premier divisions. How far can you go – as far as your skills, development and experience take you – all the way to test level for some!