How are Norfolk growing their club umpires?

Young Umpire
David Elworthy, England Hockey's Officiating Relationship Manager, has been touring the country visiting many Hockey Umpiring Associations (HUAs) to help them develop. He shares Norfolk’s experience on developing their club umpires thanks to support from England Hockey and the local HUA. 

Over the past 12 months we have seen a huge growth in clubs recruiting and supporting umpires in their ranks. Many clubs across the country have been engaging with their local HUA to help support the clubs’ Club Umpire Developers and umpires. 

England Hockey has been working hard to foster these relationships in the last year and support both sets of organisations in the growth in umpiring numbers to support the growth in number of players. 

In Norfolk we have held club forums with England Hockey and representatives from the club as we all recognised the need to support and grow the number of Club Umpire Developers within our clubs. 

We have held an Umpire Developer course and then progressed this with a workshop to help people move up the umpire coaching ladder to enable them to assess Level 1 umpires in their club. We have had an excellent response from those that attended - one member, Denise, has said she would like to come out of retirement and help coach up-and-coming umpires. 

"It is so good for us to get some help from England Hockey and we all enjoyed the way the workshop was delivered, the content and how much fun it was to be a part of the process," Phil Skinner, President of Norfolk Hockey Umpiring Association, said. 

Other areas of the country, such as Cornwall, Cumbria, Northumberland and Durham, Cheshire and Hampshire have all held the same club forums with their local HUAs and plans are in place within these areas to support clubs to grow their own umpires and offer them a pathway to develop outside of just playing. There are over 50 club Umpire Developers now across the county working hard to help develop more umpires at their clubs. 

If you would like more information on how England Hockey or your local Hockey Umpiring Association can help you to grow your umpires within your club, please contact your local Relationship Manager or umpiring@englandhockey.co.uk.

Check out the Hockey Hub for all you umpiring support and the England Hockey rules test.