Umpiring is not as easy as it looks.
Date of Event North Metro Cricket Association: Thu Feb 25, 2021 11:08PM


> After a playing career of some 450 matches ,I’ve taken up umpiring and have officiated in around 40 matches over the years . Umpiring in front of the TV appeared to be fairly easy and correct lbw decisions were usually achieved .In practice its not so easy.

> I have collated some statistics from the first three tests of the Australia vs India series .
> Theses are matches umpired by very well paid full time umpires.
>  Challenges by batsmen upheld.         8
>  Challenges by batsmen struck down 17
>  Challengers by bowlers upheld.          3
>  Challengers by bowlers struck down 16
>  Decisions by umpires call.                   14

> What does this show ?


  In 33 of 44 challenges the umpires got it right = 75%

> That might be considered to be a good result  but the fact is that they got it wrong 1 in every 4 . It might even be worse than that as a significant number of decisions came under “umpires call “ which mainly covers lbw appeals where the ball marginally hit the stumps.

> Compare that to our comp. We have minimal training and accreditation , usually (and every match  this season ) umpire without the support of a partner and of course do not have the benefit of video evidence for run outs and no balls  etc.

> At our local level bowlers think every appeal is out and some clubs are very good at orchestrating big appeals sometimes when they probably know not out is the appropriate decision . Conversely batsmen never think they are out lbw or caught behind.

> Take lbw appeals : in the space of a few seconds the umpire has to think about the following : was it a legal ball , was it pitched outside leg , how was the height , was the there contact with the bat ( however minor and almost inaudible ),did it strike the batsman in line ,was it going to hit the stumps . A not out call is not well received by the bowler whilst an out decision is the end of the batsman’s participation in the game .

> No challenges here ! No umpires call on review —he has already made it !

> My thoughts this season are that clubs have been very accepting of umpires and it’s only the odd individual that whinges about decisions. Clubs recognise that it’s a privilege to be playing cricket in these unprecedented circumstances and are generally treating umpires and opponents in a a more conciliatory way.

> In my matches I have noted friendly banter between players and umpire and some good examples of sportsmanship and honest umpiring from club supplied square leg umpires.


Last updated: Thursday February 25, 2021 11:13PM
Author: Neil Riley