The EHF’s Umpire Development Programme held a seminar at the Rabobank Hockey World Cup. Here we have a report on their activities and impressions during the seminar.

UDP Group 6, 7 and 8 Seminar: The Hague

Day 1
After breakfast we were lucky enough to read the umpires agreement from the umpire managers. We discussed it at great length and were intrigued to find out more from Carole when we met her at the pitch. We spoke about video umpiring and the role of the video umpire in a tournament like this whilst we watched Australia v Malaysia.

UDP

After the game we went to meet with Henrik and Craig (the male UM’s of the tournament) to discuss their expectations from umpires at this prestigious tournament. We learned that their preparation began back in December 2013. It was interesting to talk about the way they see umpiring as a product and how they help their team prepare for World events. They want their umpires to be at their best and accelerate during the World Cup.

We then watched some more hockey, with some very high quality games and umpiring to match it. We discussed video referrals in depth and how the initial decision must still come from the field umpire with help from the on-pitch colleague before going to referral.

When the afternoon matches had finished we met with Marelize and Sarah, the UM’s for the women who spoke about their 3 main focus points for us- communication, be yourself and most importantly have fun! To celebrate success is encouraged and we should all be proud of where we are now with the UDP. They said it is a privilege that the EHF provides us with this experience.

UDP 2

We watched the final game of the first day under the floodlit glow of the electric orange stadium. The Netherlands took on Japan and we admired the work of Elena and Amy umpiring- there was a buzz in the atmosphere and it was clear that they both really enjoyed their game. After a day full of watching hockey and talking about it we went back excited to the hotel and had a nice evening to finish off this fantastic first day.

Day 2
After again an early breakfast we spent some time discussing the day before and situations we saw; how the umpires dealt with them and how the players reacted to the way the umpires chose to handle it. We ended the meeting with an assignment: look for positive points we want to take home to improve our own umpiring.

The German and South African men’s showed us some great hockey in the morning. In the afternoon the moment we have all been waiting for and especially Laurine (member of UDP group 7); her first match at the World Cup. Very proud we watched her game and saw her doing a very good job! Well done Laurine!

UDP 1

We were lucky to also see the Dutch men’s team in action. Another crazy moment in a full stadium of 15,000 people! It was then time to say goodbye to everyone and take home a lot of fun times (yes, umpires have fun!) and memorable moments.

Thank you to everyone who made this possible. It was a brilliant learning experience at an amazing event.

UDP groups 6, 7 & 8