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2012 Umpiring Changes- IMPORTANT INFORMATION
Captains- as you know, the 2012 season is upon us. I want to discuss a few initiatives that will hopefully improve the standard of umpiring, and by extension the standard of cricket, in the league this year. Let me preface all of this by saying that the umpire who officiates on behalf of your team is a representative of you on the field; please ensure that you make every effort necessary to only send qualified (i.e. certified) umpires to officiate matches.
Most of the information covered here was discussed in the umpiring clinics; we are currently in the process of developing a system where this information will be available online for the purpose of certifying umpires who were not able to attend the clinics. More information will be discussed on that issue soon.
1. Umpiring Dress Code: Red shirt, black pants. Black and black is also acceptable; there is zero tolerance for an umpire not being in dress code.
2. Tools: Ensure that the umpire has the proper tools to do the job- ball counter to count balls/overs, clicker to keep up with the total score, a watch for monitoring the over rate and breaks, and a nail-clip or other such implement to be able to trim the ball when necessary.
3. Over rate: the target over rate is 13 overs per hour; there will be disciplinary action taken against teams who consistently fall short of the minimum acceptable rate of 10 OPH. Note that the first 2 matches of the season will be a “holiday” of sorts, where no penalties will apply for the 10 OPH rate not being achieved; make sure that your team does what it needs to in order to work out the kinks and be compliant on this issue. After the 2nd game, any instances of a team not achieving the target over rate will be referred to the Disciplinary Committee.
4. Both ends: in Group A for this year, we will be alternating ends after every over, similar to the way that it is done in most other leagues. Ensure that your field changes are crisp, and that the game moves along. Group B- this is not mandatory for you, but if the field allows it (meaning any field except for TCCG), and each captain is in agreement about those conditions, feel free to do the same- it will be good practice for you.
5. Power play: We will be implementing the 2nd bowling and batting powerplays this year. For Group A teams (35 over matches), the first 8 overs are a mandatory PP (only 2 allowed outside the circle, assuming 11 players on the team); following this will be a 2nd bowling PP of 3 overs, and a batting PP of 3 overs (3 fielders allowed outside for each). The bowling team and batting pair will indicate to the umpire when they want to take the PPs, which will be signaled appropriately by the umpire. For Group B teams, the PPs are 6/3/3 respectively.
6. Free hit- we are implementing a free hit for all foot-fault no-balls- front foot overstepping the popping crease, or back foot not coming down entirely inside the return crease. Note that the field cannot be changed on a free hit if the same batsman is on strike; if the other batsman is on strike, the field can be changed, assuming you remain in compliance with all other field-setting requirements (i.e., number inside the circle, etc).
7. The square-leg umpire: he is a member of the umpiring team, NOT the batting team, when he is on the field.
We now have the mechanism to grade the umpires after each match. Thanks to Thiru Kumaran, and our webmaster Praveen Nuthulapati, we have created a web-based system that allows the captain to give a report on each umpire after the match has been completed. We require a lot from the captains; we are now requiring a lot from the umpires, and this is the system by which we will monitor their performance.
The process is simple- after the match has been completed (by the following Monday at the latest), each captain should go to the following link: http://centraltxcricket.org/umpire/. There, you will find a simple survey, which should take you no more than 2 or so minutes to complete (unless you really need to utilize the “additional comments” field, where you can write a novel if you so choose).
After the survey has been completed, it will automatically be routed to me; it is private, and so no-one else will know about your assessment unless you happen to mention it. We hope to use this system to 1) identify the best umpires in the league, forming an “elite panel” within the league who will no doubt be called upon for important matches (playoffs, Central West, etc); we will also use it to identify umpires who will need retraining and recertification as necessary, and in the worst cases, identify individuals who will not be allowed to officiate.
I would request that each of you go to the link and try it out; let me know of any issues, and we’ll move forward from there. Again- please note that this is not optional- every captain, whether on the winning team or the losing team, will complete this after each match that is officiated by a neutral umpire.
Thanks in advance for all your cooperation; have a great season, and see you on the field.
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