Junior Umpire Development Programme 2023

LEVEL – Mini-Hockey (Ages 10 -12 – In2Hockey Rules)


The purpose of this development programme is to help parents and older junior players to become reasonably accomplished umpires for Mini-Hockey 7-a-side games and act as a stepping-stone to becoming an umpire for the senior game, if desired.  A set of IN2Hockey Rules can be found here.

Stage 1
Accreditation Deadline – 17th February, 2023

There is no specific qualification required for umpires to officiate mini-hockey but, ideally, it is best for umpires to have a good working knowledge of the rules of the adult game and then overlay those with the IN2Hockey Rules.

This is important for a couple of reasons, First and foremost, it is to help ensure that children are in a safe environment and that injuries are avoided as far as possible.  Secondly, umpires play a central role in promoting enjoyment of the game by all the participants.  A good knowledge and understanding of the rules are key components of that.  These are the opening paragraphs of the Rule Book:

Responsibility and Liability

Participants in hockey must be aware of the Rules of Hockey and of other information in this publication.  They are expected to perform according to the Rules.

Emphasis is placed on safety. Everyone involved in the game must act with consideration for the safety of others.  Relevant national legislation must be observed.

The FIH publishes the Rules of Hockey on its website and updates them as and when required.  You can download a set of rules for your Apple or Smartphone from the Apple or Google Play app stores.  They are useful to have to hand but please be aware that they are somewhat abbreviated.  The full set can be obtained from the FIH website here.

TIP – A growing feature of the Rules are the interpretations/ advice notes that are in italics.
For example, everyone knows that the ball must not hit the foot. Rule 9.11 is very explicit – “Field players must not stop, kick, propel, pick up, throw or carry the ball with any part of their body”.

However, not only does the interpretation soften that… “It is not always an offence if the ball hits the foot, hand or body of a field player”… but 12.1 goes on to state… “Advantage: a penalty is awarded only when a player or team has been disadvantaged by an opponent breaking the Rules”.

In some circumstances, many umpires, if a ball hits a foot but no opponent is within five metres, will look to play on as there was no disadvantage to the opposition (N.B. usually, the ball will not be travelling at speed and/or it deflects off the player’s stick first and/or the accidental foot does not prevent the ball travelling on to an opponent).  This has more relevance in mini-hockey where the ball hitting players’ feet is a more frequent occurrence.  For the enjoyment of the game, it is often better to keep playing on.

To complete this stage of the Development Programme, participants are required to read the Rules of Hockey thoroughly (a good umpire will read some parts or all of the Rules several times a season), then take the England Hockey Rules Test.

On completion, the downloaded certificate should be sent to CHCUmpires@outlook.com.  The test module can be found via this link: England Hockey’s Online Training Hub

Stage 2
Target Date – 5th March, 2023

This section of the Development Programme is planned to take place in the Meeting Room adjacent to the hallway in the new building at Chelmer Park.  Expected to be about 1 – 1 1⁄2 hours in length, it will be an informal mix of presentations, sample scenarios and discussion covering all aspects of what it takes to be an umpire.  This will be followed by a short session out on the pitch to help illustrate some of the topics raised in the ‘classroom’.

Please note that only those that have provided their Rules Test certificates will be able to participate.

Stage 3
Target Dates – 26th March, 2023

This Sunday, official matches are taking place which will provide participants with the opportunity not just to observe existing umpires in action, but perhaps also for some participants to umpire actual games, supported through pre-match mentoring and pitch side guidance (possibly through the use of radios).

Completion of Programme
Target Date – 23rd April

CHC is hosting a large Junior Hockey event on this date when there will be a significant number of games where all new umpires will be able to try out and hone their newly-acquired knowledge and skills.