LHUA roll out two major initiatives

In an incredibly busy summer of international hockey, Irish umpires yet again picked up top appointments across the board, culminating in Carol Metchette (left) and Colin Hutchinson taking charge of semi-finals and bronze medal matches at last week’s Europeans.

The Leinster Hockey Umpires Association has been working equally hard in the summer months to ensure this level of appointments continues and this week announced a series of initiatives to encourage a new generation of whistle-blowers.

To this end, the LHUA will launch their search for new umpires with a seminar welcoming two of the world’s best umpires, Peter von Reth and Henrik Ehlers (right), to the Montrose Hotel on September 19 and 20.

Between them, they have officiated at over ten Olympic Games and World Cups and are seen as two of the foremost authorities on the art in the world.

They will explain over a series of seminars on the weekend how the world of umpiring works as well as the pathway from club umpiring through to getting appointed to an Olympics.

To register your interest in attending, contact your Club Secretary for inclusion on your club’s list. Places are strictly limited and are offered on a first come first served basis.

The second major initiative being put in place has seen the association set up a Leinster Umpire Development Programme in a bid to help train and mentor young male and female umpires aged between 16 and 30.

Training will commence in mid-October and will run once a fortnight for 10 to 12 weeks. Umpires packs including a whistle, cards and a set of cards will be provided and it is anticipated participants will be umpiring at junior level within the first year.

* Apply, in the first instance, to Crozier Deane at deniseandcrozier@hotmail.com or 086 828 1393

* On a related note, Ray O’Connor will be back in the next week or two with a column on the rule changes being introduced this year. If you have questions on what’s being introduced, what interpretation is being used and so on, leave a comment or email stevie_findlats@yahoo.com to help us get a flavour of what issues you feel are important.

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