How do I start umpiring?
The first step is the Level 1 umpiring course which is aimed at those looking to umpire lower level games for their clubs. This is an online course provided by England Hockey and is delivered in a virtual 2 hour session but prior to doing this you will need to do an online rules test.
All this information can be found on the Hockey HUB on the EH website, which is free to join and has a lot of information and is to be found at this link.
Once you have registered you can do the online rules test.
You can then book an online Level 1 umpiring course.
Having successfully completed these courses you will be “Level 1 Unassessed” qualified and receive notification from England Hockey of your unique umpire number.
I’ve done the Level 1 course, what’s next?
Hopefully you will now be doing games for your club and getting experience with support from more experienced colleagues and your Club Development Officer (CUD). When you feel ready your CUD will help to arrange an assessment game where you will be watched by as Assessor and if successful you will move to Level 1 assessed.
Your CUD should continue to support you as your skills and confidence grow and may be able to arrange coaching for you and some colleagues if required.
How can I progress beyond just umpiring for my club?
Contact your club’s Sector Lead Development Officer:
North part of the Area: Vacant
South part of the Area : Pete Hammond
They will arrange for you to be watched umpiring an appropriate level game and assessed as to whether you are able to take the next step and provide you with an action plan if you are not quite ready.
When you are considered to be ready you will join the neutral panel of umpires in the North or South sector, depending on where you live, and will be appointed to games that fit with any travelling restrictions and playing or umpiring commitments with your club that you may have. You could also get involved in umpiring BUCS games (university games, usually on a Wednesday) and/or some school’s competitions and junior hockey.
Please be aware that other commitments and travelling restrictions, especially club commitments, may impact on appointments available to you.
While undertaking neutral games you should receive coaching and advice enabling you to further develop your umpiring skills.
As neutral appointments you should not initially be appointed to any club where you have any existing affiliations.
What if I want to go further?
To progress to Level 2 you will need to be nominated by your Sector Development Lead to the West Development Lead to go forward as a Level 2 candidate.
If you are umpiring on the Men’s side of the game you will be appointed to a small number of North or South Division 1 matches and be coached at least once before being assessed for your Level 2 award. Assuming you are successful in attaining your Level 2 you will then join the West B Panel and continue to receive coaching and assessments on North or South Division 1 matches with a view to progressing to the West A Panel to be eligible to take appointments in the Premier Division.
If you are umpiring on the Women’s side of the game it is slightly different in that we currently do not have sufficient resources to appoint to Division 1 matches so you would move straight onto Premier Division appointments.
And after that?
Once you have reached the standard required to take appointments in the West Premier Divisions, the next step would be progression to umpire in the National League. Not everyone that reaches Premier Division standard wants to progress, and sadly not everyone has the ability to go that step further. However, if you want to progress you will be given every opportunity to prove yourself able to umpire at National League Level with continued coaching and assessment.
It should be noted that all progression; from Level 1 to Level 2, through the West Panels and from Level 2 to Level 3 is based solely on your ability, you are also required to pass an age related fitness test . Umpires are not promoted as a reward for long service or being available every week (although regular availability will obviously help your development).