Management & Communication Policy over Function? For example: Umpiring in sunglasses

Discussion in 'Outdoor Umpiring Questions & General Chat' started by Christian, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. Christian

    Christian FHF Top Player

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    Moderator: discussion started in 'umpire striking a player', but deserves its own thread.
    hmm Sunglasses shouldn't be worn by umpires at all, this umpire was very unprofessional and it sounds like you are being treated completely unfairly unless you're leaving something out but even if you were(I'm not saying you are) then the umpire should still get punished more severely.
     
    #1 Christian, Jul 25, 2017
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 31, 2017
  2. UmpireHockey.com

    UmpireHockey.com FHF All Time Great

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    One can also get amber lenses which are far less off putting than dark lenses. In my training, NO mirrored lenses, only amber (or similar) lenses. I also tell umpires to take off sunglasses when talking to players but, they often simply forget to do so.
     
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  3. Gingerbread

    Gingerbread FHF All Time Great

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    I rather prefer sunglasses or even photochromic glasses but as I need glasses to see it's difficult to take them off and so we end up not wearing them to avoid coach hassle because players "can't see your eyes" /facepalm

    When I've done summer league I cycle down and wear Oakley that cost best part of £300 and are fine to umpire in (even properly tinted for better sight at speed on the road when cycling), then for a coached normal league game, wear normal glasses and squint, because reasons
     
    #3 Gingerbread, Jul 30, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2017
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  4. Nij

    Nij FHF All Time Great

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    They mess with depth perception, they make umpiring impersonal to the players, and they generally look like junk.

    Don't umpire in sunglasses, please, ever.
     
  5. Diligent

    Diligent FHF All Time Great
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    That's odd? Is 'tell' appropriate for coaching an umpire, whose job is to make decisions, their own decisions, for fair reasons, with a healthy scepticism towards what others might 'tell' them... Maybe those umpires forgot, or maybe something else?

    On the topic of sunglasses, I have had colleagues wear them, and coached umpires wearing them. Sometimes it's because they've left the plain ones at home and only have the photochromics. Other times there are medical reasons for the specific tint colour. Other times it seemed like a good idea, given the low sun or whatever.

    With my coaching hat on, I'll be alert for occasions when the sunglasses have made a difference, for worse or better, and bring it up in the debrief. Then it's up to the umpire how to use my observations - their decision. Most often their overall performance or specific body language is compensation enough for the altered eye contact, and in truth the sunglasses weren't an issue.

    Same with peaked caps, shorts, dull/dark/unofficial shirts, waterproof coats, dayglo shoes, limps, wild hair, and other offences against convention.
     
    #5 Diligent, Jul 31, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
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  6. Mac

    Mac FHF Legend

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    First off, I wear my Oakleys to umpire if the conditions dictate it. Same with a suitable coloured jacket if it's raining, or a suitable coloured baselayer if it's cold. I won't wear aviators or similar but sports glasses when partaking in sport? Yes.

    If it's sunny I'd genuinely like to think that if I'm umpiring, up with play, making rational decisions and can explain to a player why a decision has been made, as necessary, and am managing a game as best as possible then sunglasses don't matter a jot. They are a tool to help me umpire better - as opposed to say - squinting and/or not seeing things. If the sun moves appropriately then they can come off. Simple.

    From the other point of view, as a player I've never thought "Oh that a umpire is a [[n] expletive of choice] because he's wearing sunglasses." I'm interested in how we talk to one another, whether the decisions are correct (or at least consistent), and if the players are safe. That's how I'll judge an umpire. Maybe I'm a minority though...
     
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  7. MikeyBobs

    MikeyBobs FHF Top Player

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    You have to do what your comfortable with .... if it be sunglasses or baseball caps. BUT, you need to be aware of the "costs" of that decision - loss of eye contact chiefly (or looking like a d*ck!). Personally, I have never umpired in glasses and try avoid hats altogether, unless looking into a low sun (baseball cap) or it's freezing (beanie!).

    But that is personal choice and "what works for me" .... which is the whole point of Diligents post .....
     
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  8. Mac

    Mac FHF Legend

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    Agreed. You'd never catch me in a baseball cap or a beanie. I don't want to look like a, um, what was it you said...?
     
  9. MikeyBobs

    MikeyBobs FHF Top Player

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    Errr "D*ck" is the technical expression! :)
     
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  10. Mac

    Mac FHF Legend

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  11. sanabas

    sanabas FHF All Time Great

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    I have a fluoro yellow beanie somewhere. Never worn it to umpire.

    Virtually always wear a cap when umpiring though.

    Never umpired in sunnies, mostly because I wear prescription glasses. Don't have a problem with them being worn, never worried about an umpire wearing them. Got better things to worry about, like whether the umpire knows the rules/can see what happens on the field/can control the game. The one and only way an umpire can annoy me with their ensemble is if they look like one of my players or an opposition player when they're in my peripheral vision. Other than that, I get annoyed purely on their umpiring ability.


    Peaked caps: As mentioned, I almost always wear one. Don't know why anyone would think of objecting to this.

    Shorts: Always. I refuse to umpire in long pants. I wouldn't play in tracksuit pants, or black hospitality work pants, why would I run around in them to umpire? That is possibly the silliest 'rule' or guideline for higher levels. It's not just convention for the sake of it, it's convention that is counterproductive. If I ever umpire at a tournament or grade where an official-type objects to me wearing shorts, I will calmly agree not to wear shorts the next game, agree to follow the rules, and turn up to my next game in a black skirt.

    Waterproof coats: If water is falling out of the sky, this seems appropriate. I wouldn't wear one, as it's too hot to run around in.

    Unofficial shirts: Yeah, regularly. If rostered on by association, or doing a team's commitments at a tournament, then I'll have a fluoro yellow or orange shirt, or be willing to wear a supplied one if they're doing that and have my size. Dull/dark shirts only rarely, when I wasn't expecting to umpire but nobody showed up. Outside of those extremes, doing club commitments for lower grades or juniors, it'll sometimes be umpiring shirt, often be easy to see tshirt (such as http://d2ydh70d4b5xgv.cloudfront.ne...rt-sz-xl-de98bfb3a47209412fc80d1d37f24fd0.jpg ) that doesn't clash with either team.

    Dayglo shoes: Yep. I don't own black sneakers. Shoe colour of umpires is entirely irrelevant.

    Limps: Yep, done that too. Ball to kneecap playing first game, umpiring with a limp in second game.

    Wild hair: Bright orange, green, purple, yellow, a mohawk at various times. Again, hair colour & hairstyle of umpires is entirely irrelevant, unless they've got a fringe that covers their eyes.

    Other offences against convention: I've umpired with somewhat wild looking beard. I've regularly umpired barefoot. I did a game in the bottom half of my goalie kit. Have umpired with quite a few gatorade & vodkas on board, though that was at unigames so was pretty conventional.


    To summarise: Will the players recognise you as the umpire at a glance, not mistake you for a player? Do you have whistle, cards, and the ability to see the play & keep up with the play? If the answer to both of these is yes, then great, you're ready to umpire, and all that matters is getting the decisions right, and communicating them. Everything else is irrelevant.
     
  12. Gingerbread

    Gingerbread FHF All Time Great

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    Depth perception lol, cycling down a hill at 50mph = great
    Spotting a ball if it has moved 1m or .75m = impossible

    Because reasons
     
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  13. Krebsy

    Krebsy FHF All Time Great

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    No, good one's do not.
    take them off when addressing players and surely it makes the players less unhappy if you can actually see and make accurate calls?
    I don't see how that is relevant.
    Furthermore, if I have a bright pink polo-shirt on. Nothing can overshadow that.

    How else are we expected to see when there is a very low winter sun shining straight at us?
     
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  14. Mac

    Mac FHF Legend

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    THIS.
    I don't have enough likes.
     
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  15. Trig

    Trig FHF Legend

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    It does depend on the level you're umpiring, but I don't see how you can communicate with sun glasses. I wouldn't and if I ever saw someone doing so, I would advise against it.
     
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  16. Diligent

    Diligent FHF All Time Great
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    Seems my 'Same with...' list was about right, apart from missing beanies and beards...

    But what I really meant by "Same with..." was that, every step away from the conventional - dress, appearance, gesture, patter, whistle, and so on - leaks away credibility, with coaches, assessors, and yes players as well. If the choice is backed by fair reasons, then not much is lost, but the umpiring will need to be extra good to pass muster. "because this is me" or "because I'm telling you" is not a fair reason.

    In familiar surroundings, with a reputation as an 'ok' umpire, then conventions don't matter much: turn out in a frock coat, a peg leg, and a parrot on the shoulder to remind of rules, and still you'll have some credibility in the bank (please don't try this at home!). But if nobody knows you, in a new city, or at a new level, then your credibility is precious: best to learn the conventions, and stick as close as you can.
     
    #16 Diligent, Jul 31, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
  17. Mac

    Mac FHF Legend

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    Slightly off topic (and because a) sartorial elegance is important; and b) @Diligent has a wide array of rule books stretching back many years) I'm curious as to when umpires stopped wearing blazers and why. Was that a rules thing or an evolution over time?
     
  18. sanabas

    sanabas FHF All Time Great

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    I disagree entirely. I'm simply not that superficial as a coach or player. I've also seen too many umpires who think looking the part is the important bit, instead of actually umpiring well. Sure, I do still prejudge a bit, and often peg someone as a non-umpire forced to do their one game for the year. Occasionally I'm wrong and pleasantly surprised.

    You can say "because this is me" isn't a fair reason, but you're already framing it under the assumption that non-conformity is wrong. You need to give me a fair reason why I should be making the choice to turn up in black shoes and black pants. Why I need to have the sort of haircut you approve of. Do you have one? Do black shoes vs red, brown hair vs pink, pants vs shorts make me better equipped to watch & judge what happens on the field? Or is the reasoning the same as what cargo cults used, that all great umpires dress like this, therefore dressing like this makes umpiring skills more likely to appear in my head?

    And I think my strong disagreement with what you've put is a symptom of my thoughts on a wider issue, more so than not liking it when applied to umpiring. I really, really dislike the notion that we need to conform to what others are expecting, to be conventional simply because we're prejudging those others to be intolerant of our differences, to deny us credibility because of superficial stuff. F#$% that. Will some people have an issue with me because I've got no shoes on, or fluoro hair, or otherwise look weird? No doubt. Some people do. But that problem is on their end, not on mine. They need to be more tolerant, I don't need to conform to placate them.

    But I still don't like it when applied to umpiring. I want to be judged as an umpire for my umpiring, not for my image. No doubt there have been players or coaches who've seen me about to umpire and assumed I'll be crap because I was wearing the same bright green shoes I played in, or had bright green hair, or didn't have a bright green shirt on. And you know what? Takes them about 5 minutes to get over it. Same as someone who turns up looking as professional as possible, as conformist as possible, it doesn't take more than 5 minutes to realise they're an impostor. And that, umpiring badly, is what really loses credibility. Maybe players try a little bit more on because I've leaked credibility before I started. But maybe not, because those same players try it on with any umpire they don't know, to see what they can get away with. There's also the added benefit that the second time I umpire someone, they probably remember the first game, because I'm not in generic black shoes/black pants/bright polo. So even if I start a little bit behind in the credibility stakes the first time I umpire someone, by the start of game 2 I've already pulled ahead of where I'd be by making the effort to conform.

    Same goes for coaching. I know some parents' first impression has been on the negative side, wondering who this weirdo is that's going to be looking after their kids. But again, the first impression, whether good or bad, gets replaced pretty soon based on the actual coaching, on how you interact with their kids, on whether their kids are enjoying hockey.

    If someone prefers to look as neat as possible, to emulate the 'umpiring uniform' seen at international level, good luck to them. But conformity just for the sake of pandering to people's supposed expectations & prejudices, I don't think that's good advice.

    As I said, I think this debate can apply to far more than just umpiring. Can apply it to job interviews, to team stuff (and if I'm doing something where part of the deal is representing a bigger organisation than just me, e.g. coaching a rep team, then I do try and project the image they want, will wear the team tracksuit, won't look (much) like a homeless feral while being identified as part of that team, etc.) Can apply it to questioning authority in general, to questioning things in general, asking why stuff should be done a particular way.

    Might end up further derailing this thread, which was already the derailment of another thread. But doing that IS what convention says should happen in the umpiring corner, so that's ok. :D
     
    #18 sanabas, Jul 31, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2017
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  19. Krebsy

    Krebsy FHF All Time Great

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    The principle behind this is important and it is pleasing to see that in the UK and other similar countries it is becoming standard practice much to the chagrin od those who rely on checklists of appropriateness. It is not universally successful and it does allow pillocks to be really big pillocks, but the old way allowed pillocks to hide and disguise themselves. Now they are in plain sight. That has to be an improvement.
    Also those genuinely keen and capable souls who dont want to dress in black slacks and brogues are getting the opportunity to actually just be good at stuff and worry less about irrelevant nonsense which is only required because the list says so.
     
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  20. Gingerbread

    Gingerbread FHF All Time Great

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    I do have to say umpiring attire wise, if my colleague for a non-appointed game is a player in shorts or someone in jeans I do tend to think of them as being less interested and likely to doing it as a favour for the team rather than doing it because they want to. I think if you turn up for the game looking like you are interested it gives the players the right mind-set that you are serious and won't take any messing around. Not saying that is the case for all club umpires, just the way I view them
     

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