It’s Friday – that can only mean one thing! #FridayFocus and today we caught up with Jean Duncan, mentor UDP Group  12

“After we, group 12, already had two exciting weekends in Breda and London this summer we now got the chance to meet more people from the UDP family at the EHL Round 1 in Barcelona.

We started off on Friday, where we got picked up in minibuses from the airport. Rob ten Cate was so kind to take care of us as Hamish was busy being an Umpires Manager here and Louise was at a tournament in China as well. Depending on the time of arrival, we were able to see some of the games and to meet the members and mentors of group 10 and 11. In the evening all groups went to a small restaurant in Castelldefels for some traditional Spanish food and to get to know each other.

Next day we arrived at the pitch for the first game and tried to focus on the three keywords “Awareness- Recognition- Action” by identifying specific situations where the umpires were aware what was happening, recognized the impact and took the appropriate action. Afterwards, we got together in small groups and discussed our findings.

Carol Metchette (Mentor group 10) then talked to us about video umpiring and how it is possible to improve the positioning by analysing referrals. As our group already had the chance to see a video umpire box at Breda in June it was great to get even more information on that topic.

Our task for the next game was now to have a look at situations where the teams would ask for the video if it would be part of the tournament.

When this match finished, Margaret Hunnaball, the second UM apart from Hamish, was able to give us some of her narrow time and shared some interesting information on what umpire managers look for.

Continuing then with our timetable we focused on the topic “Communication and Management” in the next game. It was also great to see Laurine Delforge, one of the two women umpires in this tournament, perform and that there was absolutely no problem about the gender.

As umpiring needs a lot of preparation as well, we then had the chance to talk to Paco Vazquez who is going to umpire in the World Cup and had some interesting points on mental training.

After that long day and a crazy car ride, we were all looking forward to seeing Group 10 graduate. Their mentors prepared a lovely presentation and then we all went for dinner in a nice Tapas Restaurant.

After a long night of chatting all things umpiring,  we still had to get up early to be at the pitch on time to see the first game, where we had a look at the umpires’ body language. In the next game we were allowed to play UM and had to write a little report.

Afterwards, people started heading to the airport and an interesting weekend came to an end. Thanks to everyone.”