UDP Groups 9, 10 and 11 at the Rabo EuroHockey Championships

Report by Group 9 Umpire – Gavin Cruickshanks

The stands of the newly refurbished Wagener Stadion were bouncing when three UDP groups met at the EuroHockey Championships in Amsterdam. Joined by mentors Stella Bartlema (group 8) and Marc Knulle (group 11) in the stands, the groups were split up to make observations on the matches which were being umpired by some UDP alumni.

The groups were then treated to a luxury tour of the Video truck by Carol Metchette (group 7 & 10) and Andy Mair (group 3 & 9). The group all were intrigued by the new technology taking hold of the game and had plenty of questions to ask.

We were then thankful of Henrik Ehlers giving up his time to come and chat to us about the vision of the FIH Officials Committee and gave an opportunity for a Q + A session. An exciting outlook on future world hockey. Also giving up their time for UDP were Margaret Hunnaball, Philip Schellekens, Michael Eilmer and Xavier Adell to give us an insight as to how umpire managers and tournament umpires prepare. Seb Michielson from UDP 9 joined in with the group as a tournament umpire.

We observed more matches but the focus was starting to move to the Graduation dinner of Group 9 in the evening.

The FIH education committee had an abundance of umpire managers in the same place as the graduation, and the UDP groups made the most of having a wealth of experience to draw from and chatted all evening with umpire managers from across the globe about hockey experiences and the future of the game, which we are all excited and passionate about!

Group 9 would like to thank the EHF Executive Board and committee members not only for the experience of UDP but for attending the special event of our Graduation. We have learned so much in a short space of time and it hasn’t been without the incredible time and effort put in by all members and the group mum and dad (Karen Evans and Andy Mair). A wonderful dinner followed by some excellent speeches ensured that we will never forget our time in UDP and certainly won’t be forgetting the wider UDP family.

On Sunday we observed more umpiring and had discussions amongst the group. We were lucky enough to be able to spend some time with EHF Director General Angus Kirkland and EHF staff David Voskamp and Yamila Conill, as well well one of the Technical Delegates of the Tournament, David Collier. They all provided an overview on how competitions work and David Collier chatted about the rules/regulations. In the afternoon Helen Richardson – Walsh gave us an idea of what a top level player expects to see in an umpire. The whole group found these discussions very useful.

The journey is only beginning and no matter whether you are in group 9 or the newest group 11, UDP will help your umpiring skills as long as your willing to contribute at every opportunity. Make friends, build relationships and most importantly have fun!