Bidding to attract more cricket referees to the game

Mary Smith and Keavey Horricks

The Cumbria Cricket League is looking to attract more referees to take part in matches next season.

A series of courses are being organized during the new year to encourage the recruitment of potential new civil servants.

Right now, the League needs 30 referees to cover all three divisions each week.

Arthur Lamb, the secretary of the North Lancashire and Cumbria Umpires Federation says they have more than that – but not all are available every week.

“Particularly in the second half of the season, the numbers are dropping, for a variety of reasons.

“We seem to be particularly short in the south of the county, which means the umpires in the north have to move to catch up with the numbers.

“In some matches, we only had one official referee.

“A year ago we had three new referees joining us, including two former players and it would be nice to have a similar number this time around.”

With the progress made on the world stage by women’s cricket, Cumbria has two regular female referees.

Mary Smith, in fact, entered the Guinness Book of Records this year for the duration of her tenure as an umpire.

Earlier in the season, Mary and Keavy Horricks made history at Cleator by becoming the first all-female referee team to officiate in the 130-year history of the Cumbria Cricket League.

The first step is a free online course that will teach you how to apply the laws of the game on the playing field. It is ideal for those who wish to get into arbitration.

The second step is a face-to-face session covering other laws and exploring the concept of working as a member of a team of fellow umpires and scorers. It aims to introduce newcomers to the skills and knowledge required to be a member of a league panel.

One session will be held at Cockermouth Cricket Club on January 9 (9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) and the second at Club Haverigg on January 15 (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

The third stop is a two-day workshop at Cockermouth Cricket Club (March 5 and 6 – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) that covers current regulations in Limit Cricket as well as the interpretation and application of the laws.

There is also advice on the physical and mental health aspects involved in officiating such as nutrition, focus and analysis.

It is designed both for those who are starting their refereeing journey and for those who have more experience.

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