August 2006 - Midland Region Hockey Umpiring Association

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August 2006 - Midland Region Hockey Umpiring Association Powered By Docstoc

         President                       Jon Collis

     .   Immediate Past President        Colin Jones

 .       Officers
         Secretary                       Geoff Gowers
         Assistant Secretary             John Childs
         Treasurer                       Saul Shohet
         Appointments Secretary          Peter Byng
         Asst Appointments Secy          John Childs
         Coaching Coordinator            Robert Pearce
         Level One Coordinator           Pat Merry
         Development Officer             Jon Collis
         Chief Coach                     Bill Holdforth
         Indoor Secretary                Trevor Taylor

 Committee Members           John Pell-Reynolds, J. Bassan & A Taylor.

 Honorary Scrutineer                                             Robin Stait
 Representatives to :-   Mens Midland League Committee           Peter Byng
                         MRHUA Council [2]                       Jon Collis (President)
                                                                 Bill Holdforth (Chief Coach)
 Non - Committee posts
 Assistant Appointments Secretary - Summer League [Prem]          not appointed
 Assistant Appointments Secretary - BUSA Midweek League           John Childs
 BCHUA rep on Birmingham Sports Advisory Council                 Alick Taylor
 Editor of ‘The Bugle’                                           John Scallan
 Captains Cards coordinator                                       Peter Bell
 Fair Play coordinator                                            Nick Horton

 The comments made in this edition do not necessarily reflect the policies and actions of the
    Committee and Officers of the BCHUA

 Useful address (perhaps?)

 John Scallan
 Le Bourg,
 Sens sur Seille
 Tel/Fax 0033 385 747 525
 All contributions for publication by 2nd November 2006 please
 For all your holiday needs try
(sorry people, that's the advertising bit!)

PRESIDENTIAL PONDERINGS (Computer problems dogging our esteemed
leader mean that this has been an absolute b****r to do. Ed.)
         Greetings one and all.
         Many thanks to Ed. without whose constant jostlings I suspect I would never have got
around to putting finger to keyboard. I trust you are all enjoying this fantastic summer
weather we are having. Villa and England (cricket) both won on Saturday so all is well in the
Collis household.
         Congratulations to Mel who is getting married or has already (in which case my
invitation to both stag do & ceremony were lost in the post).
         I am pleased to say that a BCHUA select pairing of Collis & Griffiths gave Old Sils
select pairing of Max & Malcolm a sound thrashing on the Copt Heath links (I thought links
courses were by the sea. Ed) by a magnificent margin of one hole. Bearing in mind that we
were two down with five to play I think we showed some of the stamina required to umpire
those tense last 10 minutes (You still have to do the Cooper test. Ed). Malcolm showed the
cunning we are more used to from Max on the hockey pitch by picking up his ball when three
feet from the hole on the 17th, which was for a half and claiming that he thought he'd lost the
hole. No doubt we would have given him the putt anyway.
         i was lucky enough to be asked to help out at the Under 13 Boys UK regionals last
month when Mike graham went down with cruciate trouble. It was a great weekend with
players and coaches having absolute respect for the umpires, and some excellent hockey
played in great spirit. Perhaps a glimpse back to how it was in yesteryear, and hopefully how
we can get league hockey back too.
         We have interest from several clubs to hold Club Umpire Development Sessions
(CUDS) and dates will be circulated shortly - all are welcome. Hopefully we can attract
players there as well and get some good interaction. Steve Floyd, in his new role as Regional
Development Manager, is very interested in moving forward the Umpiring side of things and
a meeting is arranged early in September to get the playing side and Umpiring side working
         So I think we are moving in the right direction to attract more umpires and improve
everyone's enjoyment of the game.
         Have a good season


         Huzzah, he's back! With the approach of a new eagerly awaited season our favourite
bit of night-time reading makes a welcome re-appearance on the top shelf of a Hockey based
newsagent near you. Fresh from not winning the Hockey Association newsletter of the year
award (either insufficient influence in high places or not good enough, you take your pick)
another season of the senile burblings of a wine sodden editor is to be set before you.
(Remember all you need do is volunteer for the post to stop this assault on your senses)
         New season, new look committee. Well fairly new look anyway. Our new Chief
Coach has already passed out, woken up and threatened to resign over my proposed new
feature, "Umpiring the Scallan Way". I feel it a tad un-necessary for him to have contacted a
lawyer to get a restraining order on the article though. There was nothing in this issues article
that couldn't be undone with several years of coaching. (Just as a hint the article was entitled
"A survey of Caps, and the best ones to hit players with")
         This issues guest writer from outside the field of local hockey is David Collier,
former international umpire, National League icon, current Chief Executive of the ECB and
all round good egg. Most of you would recognise him from the telly at last years Ashes. This
just goes to show you that having an Editor who keeps the negatives of lots of embarrassing
photos can be a help. Seriously, a large thank you to David for finding time to answer a
former colleagues threats with his article.
         Sadly youth has raised it's worrying head in the form of an article contributed by
James Carter. I tried, many years ago, to nip this career in the bud but despite looking on at
how not to do it young Carter carried on. National League, International Youth tournaments,
           swanning around all over the place. I taught him all he knows. (OK perhaps not)
                    Foul rumour has it that there are Rule Changes afoot. Looking at the enclosed piccies
           regarding the only permissable mask for field players at short corners I was wondering
           whether Hannibal Lecter has been spotted alive and well and feasting in Atherstone.
                    Dear members, potential new members, do you have anything you would like to say
           about umpiring or umpiring issues or anything to do with hockey in general that might well
           be of interest to our members. Now is your chance this is your newsletter, use it otherwise
           producing it in its current format gets harder and harder due to lack of new and interesting
           content. Please please please use it. This is a direct lift from the East Mids Magazine EMU. It
           just goes to show that you lot are not alone in being slow ( or almost non-existent) in coming
           forward. However don't take this as permission or approval. Donate an article. It's not a
                    Oh My God. The Technical Age is upon us. With luck and a following wind this
           edition may just reach you via the wonders of the MRHUA website. I haven't a clue how,
           you'll have to ask that nice Mr Grocock, he of the Webmaster" status. What ever happened to
           quills & carrier pigeons?
                    Congrats Mel!

    First of all can I thank on your behalf my predecessors Alan Grocock and Colin Jones for the hard work that
 was done when they were in post. Like all sports and sporting bodies Hockey continues to move on at a pace.
 Having had reasonable stability with the rules and got used to them changing half way through the season in the
 northern hemisphere it looks as if there will be rule changes that will make umpiring the crucial area of the D that
 little bit more challenging. January could be interesting.
    Having spent time umpiring in BCHUA whilst regaining my fitness levels last season and watching both the
 World cup and the start of the football league season , the relationship between the decision making of officials
 and the players response on and off the pitch has been to the fore front of my thoughts.
    The games that have been the most entertaining to watch and portrayed the good aspects of sport have been ones
 in which the umpire/referee has quickly established what is expected of the players.
    Then he has quickly blended in with the background and let the players express their skill. The most appalling
 game was under the domination of an over fussy football referee who wanted free kicks taken from a specific blade
 of grass yet overlooked the more important aspects of controlling illegal challenges. His presence and lack of
 consistency was noted more than the skills of the players which his high profile approach had in fact stopped from
 being expressed. Decisions that the players and coaching staff did not see coming served to wind up the temperature
 on the pitch as the frustrations of the players grew.
    In hockey we have what should be an advantage with two umpires who have discussed before hand how they are
 going to enable the game to develop by protecting skill. It is the balance necessary in good team work for applying
 the rules with exactly equal balance at both ends of the pitch that we should be achieving.
    Consistent umpiring shows EQUALITY in the application of the Rules.
    We are there to apply the rules in a way that allows skill to flourish and the game to be entertaining.
    We have to read the game so that we can be in the right position to make the right decision. This involves
 EMPATHY with what the players are trying to achieve. Both skilful play in trying to produce openings and the so
 called “professional foul” when players break down flow or stop skilful play to protect their defence need to be
 quickly recognised. The first deserves trying to give advantage and coming back to if it does not accrue .The second
 needs sorting out positively and constructively the first time it occurs so that the players know what will occur if it
 is repeated.
    This is EDUCATION of the players by directing them by the use of our whistle, facial expressions and closed
 comments on how we are all interpreting the rules and applying them. Thus eliminating the surprise Yellow card
 and player frustration.
    EQUALITY , EMPATHY AND EDUCATION . This is what I would like us to work on this season.

IT IS YOUR ASSOCIATION WHAT DO YOU NEED? (More from the Chief Coach with thanks)
    When I first joined the association many moons ago I benefited from the tutelage of Pat Merry and Rowley
Jenkins at club Tournaments such as Warwick festival and the Old Birmingham Municipal tournament. Then there
was the words of wisdom from experienced national league umpires like Neil Gardner , Bawa Singh and the late
Charan Grewal, people whose advice I owe a lot do in my umpire development.
    We had a very close group of umpires who met regularly with certain coaches socially over a pub meal to share
their experiences , discuss game situations and advice each other on what had appeared to work.
    The game moves on, the social side of hockey seems have decreased as the pressure of achieving promotion
appears to impact upon the majority of clubs . Hockey reflects the cycle in life with new clubs develop moving to the
fore front and some old prestigious clubs once at the top falling down through the leagues.
    So it is with umpiring as the rules of the game and hence its speed and tactics change we as umpires need to keep
fine tuning and developing our skills. How are we going to achieve that? The “Residents of Milton Keynes” have
introduced a new package in supporting umpires in moving on from Level one to Level two. Through the MRYUAG
there is a drive as in other regions to bring young umpires through to start replacing the elderly statesmen that make
up Midlands Region. (Before any one else gets upset I count myself as one of those elderly statesmen about to be
    To enable us to support grass root club umpires and develop the level of umpiring within our region we need to
work closely with the clubs in developing umpiring skills. This will require more people who have enjoyed the game
putting their experience back into the game to help new umpires at the different levels.
    Those of you that have had experience umpiring at the top levels BCHUA can offer could nurture and support
those new to neutral umpiring.
    Are you a people person who can empathise and communicate with a new umpire experiencing the difficulties
and challenges that you once experienced?
    Perhaps you need to think about doing the Level One Coaching Award and helping BCHUA keep umpiring in our
region developing as positively as it has over recent years.

If you feel that you could please contact me by e-mail or phone.

            2006/7 Coaching Strategies. A way forward in line with Presidential
            Encourage those with suitable experience to take Level One Coaching Qualifications.
            Recruit enough coaches and experienced umpires to
                 a) Run coaching sessions/rule discussions within groups of clubs
                 b) Use festival/tournaments days to coach and develop club and BCHUA umpires
                 c) Generate a list of suitably experienced mentors to support young umpires
                 d) Consider using umpires in pairs to receive Coaching in league games.
            Increase the availability of watchers and provide coaching to develop a consistent approach
            among the team of people used.
            Write to members encouraging links to clubs in their locality so that they can support grass
            root umpiring.
            Look at the geographical distribution of membership and suggest forming groups that can
            work together and support each other in discussing how their umpiring of games is
            Look at the distribution of Coaches geographically and allocate to supporting specific groups.
            Look at how we can work proactively with the MRYUG
            Through work in groups of clubs, help build up links with Women's County system.

            MEETING DATES
            05/09/06                MRHUA                    Exec
            19/09/06                BCHUA                    Exec
            24/10/06                BCHUA                    Exec
            16/11/06                 MRHUA                    Exec
            21/11/06                 BCHUA                    C&G
            28/11/06                 BCHUA                    Exec
            16/01/07                 BCHUA                    Exec
            23/10/07                 BCHUA                    C&G
            06/02/07                 MRHUA                    Exec
            13/03/07                 BCHUA                    Exec
            20/03/07                 MRHUA                    Exec
            27/03/07                 BCHUA                    C&G
            24/04/07                 BCHUA                    AGM
            08/05/07                 MRHUA                    AGM

            NOTES FROM THE AGM
             Jon Collis reviewed his Presidents Action plan.
                      Regarding sociability and responsibility of clubs, especially post match. Umpires please let
             committee know if you experience any problems.
                      Jon requests volunteers to help on sub committees, particularly regional co-ordinators linking
             with county and clubs.
                      Our biggest target is to improve links with clubs and umpires, and with club umpires.
                      3 special commendations received over the year - for 1000L1 umpires qualified so far - for our
             outstanding contribution to year of the umpire - for the Bugle nominated in county magazine of the year
             (we didn’t win).
             -        Every umpire is encouraged to consider going through Level 1 umpire coach course.
Treasurer report and accounts tabled
      Match Fees and mileage rates for next season recommended.
    Zero membership fee recommended
             Alan White advised that proposal to award £3 bonus on top of mileage should actually be adopted as 15
            ppm increase for first 20 miles only each match day.
             Query from floor regarding difficulty of getting receipts when paying cash for public transport fares. It
            was confirmed by Hon Sec that from executive meeting, it was affirmed that non-mileage expense claims
            must be accompanied with receipts.
             Clubs Match fees as tabled: £30 per league game; Cup matches £35 per match as per EH guide; Friendlies
            £15 ; Indoors £36 per night per venue; S&Y £300 per season.
             Mileage rate with amendment from floor, match day rate is 32 ppm for first 20 miles and 17 ppm
            thereafter. All other claims at 17 ppm.
            Level One News
             Pat stated that clubs should take more interest in ‘club umpiring’ in that once put through L1 tests, clubs
           have a responsibility to raise the 42% assessment and qualification rate.
                      Note there is a lack of umpire coaches to help L1 coaches - do we encourage non-
             midlands umpires to become umpire coaches.
             P Byng notes Mens’ league will award £50 to clubs that run L1 courses.
                      Bill Holdforth notes is reviewing possibility for refresher courses for newly qualified
             umpires, and will push RDOs for more support for young umpires.
    Awards (presented by Roly Jenkins)
10 Year Badge         M.Hives (from 2005) & N Berry
             10 year badges also due to I Griffiths and J Bassan
Roly award for Services to BCHUA awarded to Colin Jones
Whistle Award awarded to Alick Taylor
30 year service award awarded to Roger Flood
Alan Grocock was elected as new Vice President
Name Change
Following EH recommendation and discussion within the committee, it is proposed that our name be changed from
Birmingham Counties Hockey Umpires Association to Birmingham Counties Hockey Umpiring Association. The
proposal was accepted with a majority vote with 2 against. Colin Jones noted that following name change the
BCHUA constitution requires change. Committee will follow up for proposal at next AGM.

           COMMITTEE MEETING (11/07/06) (Edited highlights)
                   Discussion on make up of C&G committee - last season comprised: Pres., Ch Coach,
          Coaching co-ord, Appt Sec, L1 Co-ord, plus Messrs Grocock, Booth, Holdforth, Luft, Pope,
          Taylor, Anderson, Flood.
                   Proposal for this seasons C&G committee is that it should be comprised of the
          following: President, Chief Coach, Immediate Past President, Appointments Secretary,
          Coaching Coordinator, L1 Coordinator, plus Messrs Grocock, Booth, Luft, Pope, Taylor,
                   There will be 4 rule changes effective January 07 A members meeting is requested in
          September and December to announce changes and to encourage man management and
          control. It was agreed that this would be a general meeting in Sept, and one in December
          once rulebooks were available.
   Rule books to be made available at earliest opportunity
                    Bill Holdforth report on Young Umpire Groups. Warwickshire group meeting
          cancelled through lack of support. We need to support young umpire development - pass to
          C&G committee
                    Geoff noted that 4 new umpires have joined association over the summer - Roger
          Ceccarelli, Kevin Freeman, Dom Oliver, and Gurdev Kundi.

           BREAKING DOWN PLAY (Printed with thanks to John Litchfield East Mids Head
           Coach for the direct lift from the East Mids Assocn and your esteemed Head Coach for
           agreeing to it's use)
                     Over the last two or three seasons, Breaking Down of Play has played a greater part
           in League matches at all levels. It can take a variety of forms but seeks either to delay the
           opposition playing or to prevent them from taking advantage of a good territorial position or
           goal scoring opportunity. In most cases it is done deliberately even if it appears accidental. It
           is often coached and considered good tactics if it is not dealt with by the umpires.
                     As umpires, we must learn to look out for it and identify it for what it is. If allowed to
           continue without check by the umpires it can lead to retaliation by the side subjected to it. It is
           responsible for destroying the enjoyment of a game by both sides and often for an escalation
           of loss of Control during a game.
           How do we identify it?
                     We must be able to read the game we are umpiring and correctly identify the
           intention of any action a player might take. In lower leagues, ignorance of the rules, lack of
           skill, and clumsy physical play can lead to BDP. Some of this may be unintentional but
           umpires must not ignore it. If something happens once it may be accidental, if it happens
           twice it may be a coincidence but if it happens three times it is deliberate.
           The first form of Breaking Down Play is time wasting.
                     A side seeks to delay their opposition playing to enable more of their players to re-
           position themselves to defend. If winning by a narrow margin, a team may be trying to
           shorten the time left in the game for their opposition to score.
           Examples of this are: -
             1 Knocking the ball away or carrying the ball away from a free hit awarded to the
             2 Standing over the ball after a free hit has been awarded to delay the taking of the hit.
             3 Not retreating 5 metres or backing away slowly with the stick on the ground. Attempting
                 to play the ball while backing away before the 5 metres has been reached.
             4 Remonstrating with the umpire in an attempt to delay the hit.
             5 Deliberately breaking early at Penalty Corners to delay and put off the striking team.
             6 Feigning injury.
The second form of Breaking Down Play is by attempting to tackle without a realistic
chance of winning the ball fairly.
Examples of this are:-
  7 By illegally attempting to close down quick breaks by the use of the body or stick.
  8 A tackle from behind that is made with no realistic chance of playing the ball cleanly.
     Typically the tackler’s stick or body interferes with the run or balance of the player in
  9 Tackle from the side in which the tackler attempts to block the line of the ball with the
     stick but if the ball is missed, the tackler makes sure that the line of run of the player
     with the ball is impeded by the body. The tackler runs across the line of run of the player
     with the ball.
  10 The tackling player, having physically impeded the player with the ball, then goes to
     ground with a feigned injury in a claim to be considered as the player fouled.
  11 A diving tackle in which the ball is not taken cleanly. The tackler’s stick makes contact
     either with the body of the player in possession or with the stick before the ball.
  12 A diving tackle that takes the ball but in which the tackler’s slide goes on to knock over
     the player with the ball.
The third form of Breaking Down Play is to illegally deny the side in possession the
space into which to play the ball by the use of the body or stick.
Examples of these are:-
  13 Going to ground with the intent to stop the ball with the body if the stick misses the ball.
     Very often used near the circle or to prevent the ball going in to the circle.
  14 Playing the ball above the head with the stick to cut off an aerial pass.
Managing this tactic out of the game, what action can the umpire take?
The first action should be to let the players know that you are aware of what they are trying to
         In cases involving players not retreating 5 metres, verbal advice and a 5-metre hand
signal can correct the matter before the hit is taken. If the advice is not heeded or players
repeatedly do not retreat, then further action should follow.
         For knocking the ball away and minor tackles from behind that do not take the ball
cleanly, a longer whistle accompanied by some form of explanation to accompany the
decision can be used. By using the voice or a secondary signal you communicate the non-
acceptance of the practice to more of the players.
         If players do not respond to your early warnings you should move on to use higher
steps on the control ladder. For example, up 10 metres or turning a free hit in the 23-metre
area into a penalty corner.
         For more serious cases, particularly those that seek to prevent a goal scoring
opportunity you should move immediately to personal penalties.
         You must act to remove Breaking Down Play from the game earlier rather than later.
Some umpires say at the end of a game that they recognized that some Breaking Down Play
occurred but that no one incident was bad enough to merit a card. If players do not heed your
warnings then you could speak to the captain to ask him to eliminate Breaking Down Play
from the game. However, bear in mind that it might be a team tactic and they will go on using
it until you use a severe penalty to disadvantage the team. If you only get round to a yellow
card for Breaking DownPlay in the last 10 minutes of the game when it has been going on all
game, you have not managed it effectively. Good umpires can improve the quality of the
game for the players by taking effective action early in the match.

Rule Clarification.
        Field Players Wearing Protective Headgear (Borrowed from EMU, a thoroughly
good read)
  Please note that with effect from the 24th April 2006 England Hockey has withdrawn its
temporary ruling on the wearing of helmets and has issued the following news release:
“Following clarification from the FIH, England Hockey has confirmed that with effect from
24.04.06, it is to immediately withdraw the temporary ruling that permitted field players from
wearing protective goalkeeper style helmets while standing on the goal-line defending penalty
The only protective headgear permitted shall be the fitted face mask as endorsed by the FIH.
‘To date there is nothing available on the FIH website regarding the regulations/
specifications of the FIH endorsed fitted face masks’ (Ed, the above are examples)
On 01.09.06 (commencement of new hockey season) the England Hockey Tournament
Regulations will be amended so as to bring them into line with the FIH equipment regulations
and there is to be an amendment to the equipment rule in the indoor and outdoor hockey rules
scheduled to be introduced on 1st January 2007.”

         It is the responsibility of the clubs to ensure that good manners and courtesy prevail
towards the opposition, umpires and other officials before, during and after the game.
         Once the pitch is available, the Match Delegate (if appointed) or home Captain shall
assume authority for the pitch and its surrounding area.
         Clubs are advised to ensure that they have adequate insurance cover and that they are
aware of local health and safety legislation regarding the pitch and their facilities.
Captains Umpires and Match Delegate (if appointed) should:
a. Agree the location of managers, coaches, substitutes and suspended players during their
    suspension and from where substitutions will take place.
b. Satisfy themselves as to the quality and safety of the pitch and its facilities and ensure that
    other pitch side furniture is removed to the safest location.
c. Check the availability and location of an emergency telephone and first aid.
d. Agree with home team officials the location and allowed proximity of spectators.
e.       Substitutes should warm up in clothing in a colour other than the participating teams
in the agreed area of the pitch side.
f. Coaches and managers must remain in their designated area.
g. Vocal communications by team officials and players on the bench must not, in any way,
    be directed at the umpires or players of the opposing team.
h. Players not taking part in the game, or those in subsequent or previous matches, must not
    knock up or cool down on or near the pitch whilst the match is in progress,
i. Post match inquests should be held away from the pitch.
j. Spectators should be advised, if necessary, of matters relating to their conduct and
    particularly in so far as this affects the game in hand.
. Small children should not be allowed to wander freely around the perimeter of the pitch
    whilst games are in progress. Children should remain under the control of the
    parent/guardian at all times.
. Babies in push chairs should not be left parked on the side of the pitch.
m. Captains coaches and managers should be responsible for their own conduct and the
    conduct of their players at all times.
Contravention of the Guidance Notes of Pitch Side Conduct should be included in any
Umpires should advise County/league Tournament Officials Of any abuse of these Guidance

FAIR PLAY & SOCIABILITY 2005 - 2006 (With great thanks to Nick

         For next season perhaps we should consider changing the report form format as
preparation and pitch is not used. Can I also suggest we try and get a few more members
interested in it, this year only 15 umpires replied including myself. Also only one committee
member bothered.
         There have been a number of incidents this year with different teams causing
problems, should we also be using this as a report for the league with a half year feedback to
them on teams who are misbehaving? This may be more of a selling point to our members.
We could circulate to our members the half way report as feedback may well get to the clubs.
Alternatively we could always post on league website (that would attract some interest from
the clubs) if clubs see what the umpires think perhaps some may change for the better (well
         If we went down the league website road perhaps consider including East Midlands
umpires as well (I know they have their own) and make it a more formal procedure like they
do in league cricket. An umpire equivalent of a captains card.
         If you needed a volunteer for this I would be happy to help. It is sad when I see in the
Bugle that yet another umpire has packed in due to abuse, perhaps with a more formal report
procedure we could hit problems early rather than letting them fester We should be helping
the league to crack down on bad behaviour.
         A few thoughts from myself for what they are worth.
(Ed's Note. Many years ago I had the task of collating these reports. Then they were always
regarded as a bit of fun and rarely looked at too seriously. I feel Nick's comments are very
valid especially with the loss of umpires for these reasons. A) Does the committee think that?
& B) What do YOU think. Is it so much of a chore to write in a few numbers on a form each
week? The response last season would appear to be yes. Would the knowledge that the form
would be used as a tool to help umpires persuade you? I hope so. The "Letters to the Editor"
page is empty this issue, have a think & let me know.

FAIR PLAY                                         SOCIABILITY

CLUB            MATCHES          AVE              CLUB             POINTS           AVE

Ashby                    5       1.20             W. Bridgford             7        1.29
Olton                    6       1.67             Shrewsbury               6        1.50
Berkswell                5       1.80             Olton                    5        1.60
Newtown                  5       1.80             Finchfield               13       1.69
Harborne                 12      1.83             N,Staffs                 11       1.73
Jaguar                   6       1.83             Stratford                13       1.77
Warwick                  9       1.89             Bridgnorth               9        1.78
Kettering                10      1.90             Leamington               8        1.88
Bromsgrove               10      2.00             Evesham                  9        1.89
Corby                    10      2.00             Harborne                 12       2.00
Droitwich                14      2.00             Rugby                    9        2.00
Finchfield               15      2.00             West Brom                9        2.00
GEC Rugby                11      2.00             Worcester                13       2.08
Hampton                  11      2.00             Old Sils                 12       2.08
North. Lions             5       2.00             GEC Rugby                9        2.11
Old Wulfs                10      2.00             Khalsa                   7        2.14
W. Bridgford             7       2.00             Jaguar                   6        2.17
Stratford                16      2.06             Old Wulfs                9        2.22
Old Sils                 14      2.07             Sol Bloss                6        2.33
Evesham                  13      2.08             Wolverhampton            9        2.33
Leamington               10      2.10             S.U. Coventry            11       2.36
Bridgnorth               9       2.11             Aldridge                 13       2.38
Rugby                    9       2.11             Corby                    10       2.40
West Brom                9       2.11             Newtown                  5        2.40
Warwick Uni              7       2.14             Wednesbury               7        2.43
Aldridge                 13      2.15             Mansfield                9        2.44
Worcester                13      2.15             Stone                    11       2.45
Yardley                  11      2.18             Redditch                 13       2.54
Kingswinf'd               5       2.20              Cov & NW                  7       2.57
Melton                    5       2.20              Old Hales                 10      2.60
Redditch                  13      2.23              Bromsgrove                10      2.70
Bloxwich                  12      2.25              Yardley                   10      2.70
Tamworth                  10      2.30              Warwick                   7       2.71
Edgbaston                 9       2.33              Bloxwich                  12      2.75
Mansfield                 9       2.33              Edgbaston                 8       2.75
Shrewsbury                6       2.33              Hampton                   10      2.80
Sol Bloss                 9       2.33              Streetly                  5       2.80
Whitchurch                15      2.33              Telford                   6       2.83
North Staffs              11      2.36              Kings Heath               13      3.00
Stone                     11      2.36              Droitwich                 11      3.09
Kings Heath               15      2,40              Kettering                 10      3.10
Cov & NW                  7       2.43              Rugeley                   9       3.11
Stafford                  7       2.43              Whitchurch                15      3.13
Streetly                  6       2.50              Stafford                  6       3.17
Wednesbury                8       2.50              Nuneaton                  5       3.20
Wolverhampton             9       2.56              Tamworth                  8       3.25
S.U. Cov                  14      2.57              Market D.                 10      3.40
Old Hales                 12      2.58              Warwick Uni               7       3.43
Market D.                 11      2.64              Leicester Thurs           9       3.56
Rugeley                   9       2.67              Ashby                     5       3.60
Khalsa                    8       2.75              Kidderminster             16      3.81
Nuneaton                  5       2.80
Kidderminster             16      3.00
Telford                   6       3.00
Walsall                   5       3.00
Leicester Thurs           10      3.70

Collier, Ch. Exec ECB) (and all round good egg!)

          In order to further promote the sales of Burgundy John Scallan invited me ( under
penalty of a Cooper Test ) to pen a few words about the Ashes relived . Apparently he claims
it all stemmed from seeing a few pictures of a former colleague walking on to a red London
bus one sunny September morning – but more of that later .
          The final day of the Ashes Series at the Oval was the day when any remaining nerve
ends were torn to shreds – yes it was worse than umpiring a Midlands Prem Match . What if
Shane Warne had caught Pietersen ? How many more overs do we need to bat ? At lunch the
call was for nobody to leave the table as the vital partnership between Pietersen and
Collingwood was going well – and in only a few hours Ashley Giles registered a Test match
50 and made the Test and Series safe . Let the celebrations begin !!!!
          The atmosphere was electric – clouds of red , white and blue confetti poured out over
the Oval and the Ashes were finally back in England hands . Presentations were made – bad
luck Shane – great series -- as I had the honour of handing over the Australian Man of the
Series award to one of the world’s greatest ever cricketers – and then on to the urn and
mayhem inside and outside the ground . That evening there would appear to have been a few
celebrations but behind the scenes the street party of all street parties was in the final stages of
completion – so back to the office !!!! No rest for the workers – although the atmosphere was
more of celebration than organization .
          Two buses decked out in England colours were brought to the team hotel – crash
barriers went up through central London and stages were erected in Trafalgar Square . Players
wondered if anyone was really interested in coming out to celebrate with them the next
morning – well by 5 am more than a thousand had already turned up to see the start of the
parade and the long night of planning rolled into action .
        And all too soon it was off to Mansion House for the first stage of the morning after –
the Ashes before . A very young Flintoff , carried by father collided with the first chandelier ,
but no-one noticed !! And so on to Trafalgar Square and the most amazing scenes with
crowds 20 and 30 deep for more than 2 miles . The role of a former MCHUA member was
limited to ensuring that refreshment was provided on the lower deck of the bus to those
celebrating on the top deck – and after an hour it was clear that new provisions were urgently
required . However more importantly the refreshment had reached the parts other champagnes
could not reach . The impact of gravity combining with buses stopping and restarting at
regular intervals to make way for the crowds had the predictable result - a pit stop was
required .
        Pit stops in central London can be tricky at the best of times but when the crowd is
blocking the pavement and four or five well known faces need to get off the bus the skills of
several Easter Hockey Festivals are required . However for the Local Police nothing was too
much trouble and the crowd were parted to reveal the front door of Starbucks and more
importantly a clear path to the emergency pit stop room . Players dashed on and off the bus
and police officers held back the crowds and took the opportunity to drain helmets and hats of
excess champagne which had been spilt in a number of sprays from the upper deck .
        The buses turned the final corner and there was Nelson - Trafalgar Square - and those
who wondered whether anyone would turn up suddenly realized how Ashes fever had
captured the nation . A few choruses of Jerusalem later and it was back on the big red bus and
on to Downing Street . Panic – whose got the Ashes – Captain thinks he passed them on the
Freddie – Freddie cannot remember – has Duncan got them – KP any idea – there they are ,
the bus driver has them for safe keeping !! Panic over .
        And all too soon the day was over – back to Lords to hand the Ashes back to MCC
for safekeeping – oh well another quiet day – now where am I umpiring at the weekend?

THIS YEAR IN YOUTH INTERNATIONALS                                        (With thanks to the
disgracefully young James Carter)

        I must be one of the youngest members of BCHUA - but I’m still old enough to
remember Scallan umpiring!! I had the pleasure of one of my first league games with him and
it was certainly an experience. John had to help me out with when an attacking free from
outside the circle was fired in, deflected and ended in a goal! I don’t think either of us were
sure what happened but we awarded a corner (the safe bet!). At the end of the game one of the
attacking players approached us and asked which player had touched it! John gave a number
of a defending player; the answer didn’t satisfy him so Scallan told him he had the eyes of a
RAF spotter pilot - which seemed to shut him up!!!
        Anyway he has asked if I could do I short article on the Youth International
tournaments I have been lucky enough to umpire at this season - so here goes!

Easter - Holland U18 Girls 4 Nations
         Over Easter I was appointed to umpire at the 4 Nations U18 Girls tournament.
Holland, Germany, England and Spain were participating and each country sent an umpire.
Running at the same time was the U16 tournament in the same format; so in total there were 8
umpires. We were all fairly young (under 28) with myself and my English colleague Emma
Davey (17) being the youngest by a couple of years! Every day we had to umpire one
35minute game which didn’t include our own country as well as every other day a reserve
umpire appointment. Unfortunately the tournament was not that well organized from a
technical point of view. There was no umpire’s manager which on previous occasion there
has been (although there is no official requirement). This meant that we didn’t receive any
feed-back regarding our umpiring over the four days which wasn’t that helpful! However that
aside it was a great tournament. Language was a bit of a problem when trying to have a pre
match chat with the Spanish umpire who spoke no English!! It’s amazing what you can do
with diagrams!! Further, it also amazes me at these international tournaments, even if you
have a language barrier, how consistent you both are once you start the game!! And even if
you do have to consult you always both seem to be on the same wavelength which helps!!!
         England didn’t perform too well, which as an umpire is what you want!! So I was
able to umpire the final between Holland and Germany. As you would expect, and I certainly
did, I thought it would be a forgone conclusion - the Dutch would win comfortably. This
seemed true at half time, with Holland in the lead 3-0; Germany having missed a stroke. But
things are never as they seem! The second half was a complete change. Germany scored two
early field goals but the scored remained 3-2 into the last 5 minutes when a German shot into
an open goal caught the defender attempting to clear it on the foot. Germany managed to
score the resulting stroke and so the game went down to penalty strokes for a winner. Again
you would expect Holland to win. They didn’t. They lost 3-2 which made a change and gave
the tournament an exciting finish.
         Aside from the tournament our Dutch colleagues were really helpful. They took is
into Amsterdam one evening as well as into the nearest town on Easter Saturday where we
were able to do some Easter shopping. In all it was a great experience and helped me gain
further recognition on the international scene.

July - Dublin U16 European Championship
         A few weeks ago I was appointed to the European Youth Championships taking place
at University College Dublin over 6 days with a rest day. Each of the 8 countries participating
in the A division had to send an umpire. I met umpires from Russia, Austria, Poland,
Belgium, Spain, Ireland and Holland. Again all of us were fairly young (mid twenties); I was
the second youngest umpire there, however we all bonded really well and had a really fun
week. The hockey was of a very, very high standard for U16s hockey. Each of us had to
umpire one game a day with reserve appointments every other day, however after the first
three games the Russian umpire was injured and two umpires had two games on the last two
days, which made it harder for them.
         The majority of the games were fairly close, Ireland surprised everyone on the first
day beating Spain 3-1 and Russia were a very strange team. They beat England and were
leading against Holland 2-1 until the last five minutes when the Dutch scored two. However
they were a very dirty team; in one game that had four players off on yellow cards at one
time! One of the Polish players was shown a red card too, for to similar yellow card offences.
         The European Hockey Federation had appointed us a very senior and experienced
umpire managed from Wales, Don Adams. He was great and really helped all of us raise our
games and improve throughout the tournament.
         On the rest day we went out into Dublin City Centre and visited the Guinness Factory
(how old??? Ed.) which was really interesting and a great day out. It was great and important
for our concentration, to be able to have a complete break from hockey too and able us to re
focus for the most important games in the last two days.
         On the last day I was appointed to umpire the Gold medal match between Holland
and Belgium with the Irish umpire. It was a brilliant appointment and the one that I had been
hoping for all tournament. It was also a really good game with the Dutch winning in the end;
although the Belgians had been the better team throughout the week. England ended up in
third place after comfortably beating the Irish.
         In all it was a great experience to umpire with young people from around Europe; and
to make some great friends in hockey that I will hopefully be able to meet up with and umpire
again with some where in the future. More importantly the tournament has given me a big
confidence boost and as my report showed I have the potential to become an FIH
International umpire very soon. Hopefully this season I will be able to umpire in the EHL
Premier Division and start making my way closer towards that level.
         Good luck for the coming season and enjoy your umpiring!

There are no special offers available this year from BCHUA to date
Our 'official colours' remain Cerise or Turquoise
Sources are as follows:
1) our sponsors - difficult to spot umpire stuff - you'd have
to ring. 01743 440077
2) Whistles' excellent site - lots of good stuff here (hmm note is altogether different !!!)
3) via umpires and kit to Barrington Sports
4) If you are not networked , then good old Cotton Traders catalogue !

KRUPNIK: A simple Polish soup made from grain, usually barley or buckwheat, with
vegetables, such as carrots, leeks, celeriac & cabbage.
        There is also a potent drink of the same name, made from caramel with spices,
including cinnamon, allspice, peppercorns and aniseed. The cooked spiced caramel is
reheated with honey and then Polish spirit is added. The drink is served warm or cold.

AIRLINE PILOTS (With thanks to Colin Jones)

From an unknown aircraft waiting in a very long takeoff queue: "I'm f***ing bored!"
Ground Traffic Control: "Last aircraft transmitting, identify yourself immediately!"
Unknown aircraft: "I said I was f***ing bored, not f***ing stupid!"

O'Hare Approach Control to a 747: "United 329 heavy, your traffic is a Fokker, one o'clock,
three miles, Eastbound."
United 239: "Approach, I've always wanted to say this... I've got the little Fokker in sight."

SEE IF YOU RECOGNISE YOURSELF AS ANY OF THESE!                                            (With
thanks to Peter Byng)

BURP                     Bankrupt Unemployed Rejected Person
HOPEFUL                  Hard-up Old Person Expecting Full Useful Life
KIPPERS                  Kids in Parents' Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings
ORCHID                   One Recent Child, Heavily In Debt
RABADAD                  Running a Business And Doing A Degree
SITCOM                   Single Income Two Children Oppressive Mortgage
WOTCHA                   Wonderful Old Thing considering His (or Her) Age

I BET YOU NEVER KNEW THAT! (A new feature)
Andreas Sigismund MARGRAAF was a German scientist (born 1709 died 1782) who, in
1747 discovered that the root of the sugar beet contained a white crystalline substance with a
sweet taste. He envisaged that it could be used in the same way as cane sugar but was unable
to find a practical application for his discovery. It fell to other researchers (Achard &
Delessert) to perfect its manufacture.

YOU'VE ASKED FOR THIS (Well as not enough people have contributed you'll
have to have some inane drunken ramblings from foreign parts)

       Lovely evening July 18th, a Tuesday as I recall. Actually I know. Every Tuesday
from 18th July to 29th August the winemakers association of the "Haute Coteaux de Seille"
stage a presentation in their meeting room in the amazing village of Chateau Chalon, deep in
the heart of the Jura Wine region.
          You file into the meeting room, pay your €5 and are given a handful of brochures, a
little slip of paper and an engraved glass. Find a seat and wait for the fun to begin. As with
most French things that are supposed to start at 2030 you really get going at about 2100 but
that's what living in the country does for you.
          The evening starts with a slide presentation on the history of the local winemaking
area, it's peculiarities (lots), specialities (lots), and character (unusual). (The patron Saint of
winemakers is Saint Vincent except in the Jura where it is Saint Vernais. Please don't ask, I
haven't a clue why). Next came a small talk on how to taste wine. This may be considered
easy to most of you lot:- Open bottle, swig it back, wipe lips on sleeve (some of you may opt
for a glass but only a very few as I recall). Not so!
          Step One. Look at it (this is where the engraved glass comes in), check the colour and
swirl it around a bit. This will give you an idea if the wine has a lot of alcohol or less. If the
wine sticks to the side of the glass and only returns to the bottom slowly it's a strong one!
          Step Two. Stick you nose in the glass. Fear not, you only get a small bit of wine so
even those with excessively large hooters will stay dry. Have a good sniff and see what
aromas you come up with. (Jilly Goolden's famous "Bucketloads of wet dog" is, fortunately
difficult to translate into French)
          Step Three. Taste it. Don't knock it all back in one but small sips. This way when
people start talking about what they can taste you can think "I can't taste that" or "Yes, I think
that's about right" or "Totally Barking."
          Now we get to the serious bit, and you get to taste the stuff. There are six different
wines each from a different producer and they are served in the strict Jurascian order. First
you get a glass of "Cremant". This is a term used for all sparkling wines made outside
Champagne. Some can be wonderful (Denis & Marie Chevassu's for instance, unsubtle plug),
others can be ordinary (this one for instance) and some are just appalling (Henri Maire's Vin
Fou for instance). A quick discussion with the wine-maker about the size of the bubbles (very
important), how best to serve it and how much per bottle and you're off to the Red wine for
the day. This one was a mix of Pinot Noir and Trousseau, a grape variety grown only in the
Jura. There is very little truly Red wine made in the Jura, the Poulsard grape (another unique
variety) giving wines of Ros to Red colours depending on the year. The Pinot Noir grape is
used to "beef up" the local grapes. Sadly I wasn't too impressed with this one either so I paid
no attention to the technical details. Next was the first of the whites. See I told you the Jura
was different. This was a Chardonnay, and fortunately I was unable to translate my first
reaction, Jilly Goolden style of Dog food aroma. Possibly a good thing. Let's just say I won't
be rushing out to buy this one either. Three down, three to go & my decision not to drive was
looking a bit dodgy.
          Now for another white. Whilst Jura Reds are pale and very light the whites aren't! A
typical Jura Chardonnay can keep very easily for 10 years and has a lot of taste (thankfully
not all are dog food based!). The wine is as far removed from a Chablis or Californian
Chardonnay as you can get. When the Chardonnay is mixed with the local Savagnin grape
(another unique grape variety) the effect is stunning. This particular mix was 80%
Chardonnay & 20% Savagnin and was superb. About 9 Euros per bottle and I can supply you
the makers details should you need them. It will keep for up to 20 years. The Savagnin grape
is the pride of the Jura and is used to make the most famous wine that the region produces,
Vin Jaune. Hands up those who've heard of it. OK Andy Martin, you always were a smart
arse. This is a wine that has aged for a minimum of six years in oak barrels that are never
topped up to compensate for evaporation. This means that the wine develops a film of yeast
on the surface in the same way as sherry. It is full of flavours that positively mug the unwary.
Once opened the wine should keep, on the sideboard for up to three months (never put Vin
Jaune in the fridge). Before opening it can keep for up to 100 years! (not in this house). We
are confirmed Vin Jaune drinkers and we knew to keep some back as the people running the
show would bring round some local Comt cheese to show how the taste of the wines
changes with food. At 25 Euros per 62cl bottle it is not cheap, but.....
          Finally on to MacVin (no, young Carter, not a wine you get at MacDonalds). This is a
mix of Marc du Jura (home distilled hooch is perhaps one way to describe this) and Grape
juice. It is rich and sweet. Usually served as an aperitif, chilled and is very good with melon.
The over-riding flavour we found with this one was Christmas Cake! Carolyn has got herself
a job now to produce several small Christmas Cakes for our friends!
          As you can see, sometimes research on behalf of our guests is arduous. It is all part of
the job we do. next week we're off to Beaune to a wine-maker whose website we're
translating into English ( Payment in wine! Oh dear. Then it's off to
IKEA in Dijon to get a new wine rack! Enjoy life around the M6 guys and gals.

         The Netherlands claimed a record equalling eighth title with a deserved win over
Germany in the final to complete a highly successful men´s Sahara Hockey Champions
Trophy in Terrassa. The Dutch were the most consistent team all tournament and were
rewarded with the gold medal to gain an important advantage ahead of the BDO Hockey
World Cup that starts in Germany in early September.
         In the final, the Dutch led by two goal at half time thanks to a Taeke Taekema bullet
and Teun de Nooijer´s exquisite burst of speed and sense of timing just before half time.
While Germany persevered and reduced the margin in the second half, the Netherlands
always looked as though they had the match in hand.
         The margin of victory was a fair indication of the match, with the Dutch completing
an unbeaten tournament to join Australia and their opponents today at the top of the list of
total Champions Trophy titles.
Earlier, Spain won the bronze medal with a high pressure penalty stroke shoot out win over
Australia. The match unfortunately was often marked with disappointing behaviour, with
Spain not wasting any chances to question the umpires´ decisions in a display that took some
of the gloss of their victory. The second half of the match certainly didn´t do justice to the
desire and physical exertion that both teams showed throughout the contest.
         Spain trailed twice in the second half and then survived a penalty stroke during extra
time (that would have won the bronze medal for Australia) to win the shootout 5-4.
With these teams scheduled to play each other in the first round of the men´s BDO Hockey
World Cup in Monchendgladbach in just 38 days, Spain has taken psychological advantage
with two victories this week in Terrassa.
         World number one Australia returns home without a medal and their reputation of
invincibility, which had been steadily growing over the past two years, gone. They were
without two of their first-choice defenders at the end of the tournament and while Mark
Knowles will return in time for the World Cup, some defensive realignment will needed
before they reach Germany.
         In the playoff to avoid last place, Pakistan struck twice before half time and then
added another soon after the break to claim fifth position ahead of Argentina. The turning
point in the match came with Pakistan’s first goal. A terrible defensive error by Argentina in
deep defence allowed Pakistan to take the lead after the world number five looked the team
most likely to concede the goal at that stage. It is the second year in a row that Pakistan has
finished fifth and despite the return of penalty corner talker Sohail Abbas, they have a lot of
work to do before the World Cup to produce the form that will worry the top four teams.
         One thing that this tournament has shown is that Australia, Netherlands, Germany
and Spain are clearly the best teams in the world. As yesterday’s matches indicated, very little
separates this quartet to make the prospect of the BDO Hockey World Cup, which starts in 38
days, an inviting proposition. The other eight competing teams in Mönchengladbach face a
very tough assignment to knock any of these nations out of the semi finals.

HMMM (With thanks to name withheld at their request)
        On a practical front, I was advised by my optician to change from specs to contact
lenses for sport (she hasn't even seen me umpire) I've tried umpiring a couple of times since,
and whilst it hasn't made much difference to the quality of my umpiring, I think I am seeing
what I am missing a bit better. !

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        BCHUA Committee would like to confirm that their solicitors have prevented the
publication of this article on the grounds of not wishing to undermine Hockey in the
Midlands. (Harrumph. Ed)

WEBSITE. (For the Luddites amongst us)
         This is to inform you that the new Midlands Umpiring Web System, covering
MRHUA, BCHUA and EMHUA is now live. WWW.MRHUA.ORG.UK It is important to
realise that this is a complete web system, not just a web site. The system will handle a lot of
things including ...
         Collection of availability from umpires and watchers, making appointments,
publishing appointments, automatic notification of appointments to umpires, watchers and
clubs involved, recording of expenses, claiming and paying of expenses, full accounting
system, news, complete web handbook (everything that would be in a printed handbook, but,
up to date!), contact details for all clubs and teams, a club administration area where clubs
keep their own information up to date, automatic subscriptions management, maintenance of
memberships, umpire grades, umpire panels, watcher types, coaching awards, England
Hockey registers for Level 1 Umpires, Level 2 Umpires, Level 1 Coaches, Level 2 Coaches,
automatic email distribution lists, automatic email chasers and reminders, fixture lists,
appointment lists, Committees, Minutes; all split by each Association where applicable ... and
probably a few more things. (Including The Bugle, heaven spare us)
         You should be aware that EMHUA are not yet moving to the new electronic methods
of notifying, claiming and paying expenses, nor for other financial transactions (including
subscriptions). As I understand it, they will be using the system for availability, appointments
and notifications etc. and maintaining manual records and processes for everything else. Also,
MRHUA are not yet moving to the new system for appointments to women's matches.

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