Focus on Umpiring at Introductory and Advanced Courses
The second half of the season is the busiest time of the year for umpires on the ice but there still has been time to fit in two umpiring courses.
The first, an Introductory Course for those wishing to start umpiring or just to gain an increased knowledge of this aspect of the sport was attended by seventeen curlers at Perth on 24th January from as far afield as Ayr to Aberdeen and Inverness.
A full day’s programme was held at the Dewars Centre when after covering some of the theory of running a time clock it was followed up by timing a few ends of a videoed game. It gave everyone a good knowledge of how to work with Curltime as well as appreciate the concentration required over the time a full game would take (pictured top right)
A session on measuring and the correct procedures to follow was again a good learning experience as they realised the way measuring was done in umpired games was quite different to what happens in many Club , Province or Super League games.
Time was made to discuss a number of rules scenarios in small groups based on actual situations with some being quite straightforward and others more challenging. Some video clips on monitoring the hogline were shown before a self-assessment test on the rules provided another opportunity to learn about what umpires have to know (left).
The following weekend nine Level 2 umpires attended an Advanced Umpiring Course at Lanarkshire Ice Rink which was designed to prepare them for working as a Chief Umpire at RCCC competitions. Working in groups they were asked to decide what preparation, starting in the weeks before the event, was required to run a competition through to what they would be responsible for during the competition itself and after it was finished.
An exercise in applying the rule on scoring an incomplete end through the use of video and diagrams was done before an on-ice measuring refresher with a few challenges included tested everyone (right)
Back in teams again acting as the Chief Umpire and Deputy Chief Umpire ‘the little grey cells’ were stretched to work out some interesting tie-break situations (left) which the Chief Umpire of the O.V.D. Scottish Curling Senior Championships, who was one of the course instructors, hoped was not a premonition of things to come for her next week!
The day concluded with a self-assessment test that was found to be challenging but informative.
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Article and photos: Alan Stanfield