A rant about Umpiring

A growing number of comments are being submitted about umpiring and so on. I’ve written before that I will not allow comments on this topic and so I think I should outline my reasons for this decision.

Basically, as Leinster hockey as a whole, we are responsible for the vicious circle that exists around umpiring. Players, including many of our internationals, spend their time on the pitch being abusive toward umpires thus making the job more unattractive. As such, people who may be quite talented are less likely to take up the role. One top umpire in Leinster has given up in recent years due to the thankless nature of the job.

Furthermore, it is our responsibility as club members to help improve the game if we want it to flourish. This includes umpiring. The IHA is running a number of youth leaders workshops that include an umpiring module. The only male club to send a representative along? Glenanne…

The fact that they produce top umpires who regularly officiate at top international tournaments shows what can be done if a club takes responsibility.

Not only is there nothing more boring in the bar afterwards than a moan about a decision, complaining only accentuates the problem. If you feel passionately about it, do something positive. Buy a rulebook, learn the rules, volunteer down at your club or get in contact with Leinster Umpires Association.

The benefits can be seen in the fact that Ray O’Connor is one of Ireland’s most celebrated Olympians, Martin Caniffe is off to Europe at Easter with Glenanne as a judge while Tom Good regularly does top indoor hockey tournaments where they get to see top hockey from the closest possible vantage point.

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