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Umpiring in the Caribbean
13 Sep 2007 14:58

An Umpires Workshop was held at the recent Banks Hockey Festival in Bridgetown, Barbados which took place over the period 19-26 August 2007.

The Workshop, hosted by the Barbados Hockey Federation and assisted by the Pan American Hockey Federation Umpiring Committee, was geared towards Umpires approaching International standard, with all of the participants coming from the Caribbean area:

Trinidad: Nku Davis
Guyana: Damon Woodroffe, Devin Hooper & Amalya Clarke
Barbados: Rhea Burrowes, Kim Hoyte, Jamar Springer & Brian Burrowes
Netherlands Antilles: Geert Huisman & Alain Voigt

The Conductor was Roger St. Rose from Trinidad and Tobago, who also acted as Umpires Manager/Umpires Coach at the Tournament.

The Workshop, which was a follow up to WorldHockey Umpiring Boost (WHUB) Grant assisted Umpiring Courses held in Barbados and the Netherlands Antilles earlier this year and in Guyana and Jamaica the year before, consisted of some classroom sessions but in the main focused upon the practical aspects of Tournament umpiring at the Festival.

The classroom sessions consisted of an Umpires Briefing, in line with the current FIH Briefing, but also incorporating parts of the Briefing used at the recently held Pan Am Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. DVD footage was also shown to demonstrate positioning, game management and various aspects of decision making. The usual match reviews took place with the Umpires following each and every game. Discussion sessions, based upon the use of video clips from the games that they officiated at the Festival, were used to encourage the Umpires to analyse their own performances in order to assist with areas for improvement as well as building upon their identified strengths.

Each Umpire received a feed back form with suggestions on what they should be concentrating on over the coming months. This will be followed up by Roger St. Rose with the Umpires through their respective National Associations to see how their individual action plans are progressing.

St. Rose commented ‘The Banks Festival was an ideal tool to help develop these Umpires. This type for programme in my opinion is an excellent way of developing young inexperienced umpires in the Pan Am region. There is no better way to learn than through the appropriate hands on experience, especially when this is backed up by the use of video analysis. I would unreservedly recommend a continuation of this type of Workshop within the region. It gives the prospective Umpires something to relate to, where they are able to vividly see for themselves what areas they will have to work on and what they will have to do to improve on their performances.  It will also be a benefit to the PAHF because there is then a means of keeping track of the Umpires’ progress, which can only benefit the region’.

Within each of the Caribbean countries each of the respective National Associations have assigned a person to be in charge of Umpire development with the aim of keeping the Umpires active within their domestic competitions. There is also an agreement between countries that there will be an exchange of Umpires during their respective domestic leagues, with travel costs being paid for by the country sending an Umpire, while the host country covers accommodation costs during their stay.  

Progress on the Outdoor scene is monitored through visits and meetings with the Umpire development officers, as well as informal chats with the Umpires themselves, during the countries respective seasons. The Indoor game is not forgotten either, with a Workshop planned during the Guyana annual Invitation Indoor Tournament.

The intention is that, despite the limited resources at the disposal of the various Boards and with assistance from PAHF Umpiring Committee and WHUB, the positive effect from the Umpiring Courses and Workshop in the region will not be lost. Slowly, but surely, momentum is being built up with the ultimate aim being to have a plan in place which will enable a constant exchange of Umpires, to the benefit of not only the Caribbean but also PAHF.

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