Umpire Refresher Day


The 3rd Annual Umpiring Refresher Day was held at Lanarkshire Ice Rink with 37 umpires gathering to not just review the season past but to update their skills and knowledge as well as look to the season ahead.

The closer links with coaching developed in the past two years was again to the fore with Nancy Smith, one of the Royal Club’s High Performance Coaches joining the morning session.  Nancy apart from giving some insight into some aspects of a coach’s role behind the scenes spoke from the coach’s perspective on what qualities a coach would hope to see in an umpire!  A combination of humour with a positive message made everyone appreciate even more what it takes to be a good umpire.  Nancy finished by posing the same question in reverse about what an umpire should be able to expect of a coach and the answer was identical: the same qualities!

Time looking at the application of rules through scenarios provoked a lot of healthy discussion and everyone rose to the challenge of trying to come up with the right approach to a difficult potential measuring situation as well as an exercise in allocating sheets of ice for the post-round robin phase of a competition.

The umpires also took time to look at ways the standard of measuring could be improved at all levels of the game.  A list of “measuring sins” was compiled which will hopefully appear in one of the editions of this season’s Your Curler magazine

A break for lunch then a report from the meeting held over the summer with the national and high performance coaches to look at how we continued to work together for the benefit of athletes and the competitions both at home and abroad.

The future of the sport through the present WCF questionnaire was considered before an update on timing issues with the latest Curltime software changes.  Harold Forrester then got everyone’s attention in explaining the new procedure for umpires to use when teams were low on time with the aid of a garden cane, balloon and curling brush handle!!  The benefit of this procedure which will be used by WCF umpires also this season will ensure even more accurate decision making if teams reach the dreaded 0:00 on their clock before they throw their last stone.

Some more rules scenarios to discuss and a session on guidelines for working with the media rounded off the programme.

Many summed up the day as great to get together again and share views and ideas with the laughter and camaraderie being very much an important part of the day.

Pat Edington closed by thanking everyone for their support and wishing them well in the season about to start with the first of the 30+ Royal events that umpires would be working just over a month away.


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