Umpire Development

Welcome to this section of the website which is not only dedicated to recruiting, training and developing our Club umpires, but also to providing playing members with the latest rules, the opportunity to understand them and, more importantly, to be aware of their current interpretation.

The whole object of the exercise is to make every match played, no matter what the level, as safe and enjoyable as possible for everyone involved. If you think about it, getting the best out of playing hockey is not just about learning, practising and using your physical skills to the peak of your abilities but as much about understanding how and why the game is regulated, and then officiated the way it is. 

Additionally, the simple fact is that, without umpires, there would be no games. So, it is in the interests of every single member of Chelmsford Hockey Club to ensure that we have as many skilled and competent umpires (turning out on Saturdays, Sundays and, occasionally, mid-week) as possible.

First, the Rules……..a good place for everyone to start!

This is the full set of the latest rules, as published by FIH in 2019 and updated in 2021…

They are available via the Hockey Hub, using this link. England Hockey’s Online Training Hub

You’ll need to register and then take the Level 1 online test before getting your accreditation certificate (there’s always a catch!)

You can also download the app “FIH Rules of Hockey” to your smartphone from the usual places but please note that they are an abbreviated version. The full version provides important interpretations of the formal rules, particularly around safety and playing advantage. Everyone should read them (and more than once!).

Second, why become an Umpire?

The short answer is that, in terms of membership, Chelmsford is a very large and successful club, with 27 teams of all ages and capabilities, but does not have sufficient umpires to cover them all. 

Assuming half the teams play at home each week, that is still is a large number of umpires required to ensure that games go ahead. As an aside (and another incentive), if the home fixtures don’t have qualified umpires appointed, you should be aware that the Club can be fined and teams can be docked points.

Another incentive is more about personal ambition. As a player, you may find that you reach a certain level and struggle to progress any further. However, as an umpire, you could reach much higher levels of the game and find greater enjoyment in that achievement. We have an excellent example in Andrew Kennedy (known to older members ‘Spesh’) who retired as 1st XI Captain when Chelmsford Men reached the National League for the first time, to go on to becoming a talented and well-travelled international umpire.

Third, what now?

The Club is now taking significant steps to create a sustainable umpire development programme. Traditionally, clubs have concentrated on player development, with umpiring almost as an afterthought. Umpires themselves can be considered as peripheral to a club, rather than as important a component as any other in making it a success. The plan is to change this, with a goal of having 50 -100 Level 1 Assessed umpires within the next two years – we now have the ‘in-house’ capability and organisation to coach and assess, but it relies on you to make it happen.

To get in touch, please email CHCUmpires@outlook.com.