Hi @dgmackay, officiating is a tough one.
Something I would do (as an example) is have a ‘get to know the ump’ for the T20 BBL as they do with the players! Humanising them and making them a part of the game, possibly with them being mic’d up with a bit of conversation with commentators on why the umpire called that last ball a ‘no ball’ etc. during the game as to educate the young spectators and back up their statements without ridicule or defiance. Also for a bit of ‘chat' 😉
We are already seeing messaging towards ‘let the kids play’ which is a massive step in right direction.
The amount of negative feedback from players, coaches, parents and commentators towards individuals during game play has made the field under resourced and difficult to recruit.
Higher penalties for breaching code-of-conduct by all participants should also be taken into consideration, with more protections for officials. Games that require 3+ officials on the field are only being manned by 1 which causes tension, lack of corroboration of incidents and ‘calls’ made, creating toxic and inhospitable environments. Adult men and women approaching young trainees, verbally & physically abusing them for what they believe to be ‘the wrong call’ is completely unacceptable however is considered the norm at your local court and oval.
Creating a coach, umpire/referee, and statistician athlete pathway program as a part of player development from the age of 12+ creates a culture of understanding and respect, with more opportunities for athletes to continue to be a part of the game after their ‘playing years’ are complete, teaching others – while being accredited to do so – passing on their skillset. This pathway program should be only made mandatory for those at an Association Representative level as part of player development and optional for others.
This would mean that players will know the rules and how to use them to their advantage, analyse team and personal performance from reading the scorebook, breaking down technique and work with teammates to develop skills, develop strategy, assess opponent movements and learn how to interact with all levels of hierarchy.
Offering officiating as a way to participate in sport can also be a way for those that are not as interested in the physical component of sport to be a part of a team and community. I understand that we need more coaches and that sporting organisations are really placing a focus on this, however there is not much of a focus on the umpire and statistician which we also need for sport to occur.
All technical development in my opinion should not be at a cost to the individual, especially when most volunteer their time. Making these training resources free, part of a participation packages and easily accessible; would be very attractive to volunteers and those seeking upskilling.
- How did you get into sports business
- What are the challenges you have faced over the years
- What are the challenges and opportunities for young athletes to become professional athletes in the future
- What are you doing at present
- What are your plans/hopes for the future in terms of your involvement in sport?
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