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

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

  1. CH.ump

    CH.ump FHF Regular Player

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    Which convention?
    Shoes I don't care, sunglasses as long as not the reflective type I don't really mind. Trousers or shorts, well if I am umpiring with a female colleague and she is wearing a skirt and I have trousers then really what's the difference? Shirts - oh yes as similar as possible please. I make the distinction based on the idea that I want to appear as a member of a team with my colleague and the players recognize us as such. The idea of uniform is to present that conformity at first sight. Those who say it's down to decision making and not appearance are then correct because however you look if you have a bad day it's a bad day, but I just feel being properly turned out is part of the ritual of preparation which makes a good day a bit more likely.
     
  2. Bondy

    Bondy FHF Legend

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    Black shoes are no longer a requirement.

    And as for trousers vs shorts, there has to be a uniform. You say it should be shorts, fine, I loved wearing shorts at the Fiji tournament, but at the same time trousers are a lot more pleasant in the middle of winter. That's not the point - there is a uniform, and if you refuse to wear the uniform, then you don't look the part, and that CAN have an impact on your effectiveness as an umpire.

    As an aside - here in Germany, female umpires are allowed to wear trousers or a skirt - but both must wear the same. So if a male and female umpire together, it must be in trousers. I quite like that approach at a local/regional level - if both umpires want to wear shorts, fine. But if it's snowing, then trousers are there, too.
     
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  3. Krebsy

    Krebsy FHF All Time Great

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    Why?
     
  4. Diligent

    Diligent FHF All Time Great
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    I see there have been a dozen or more posts since I started composing this, so the quotes go back a page or 2. But still it needs to be said that...
    Except for...
    When a player mistakes an umpire for a player, it is always the umpire's fault.

    Maybe read a bit more carefully. Accepted the initial posts were "no sunglasses", "no shorts", "no hats" etc. But later posts have been much more conciliatory - accepting any of these, when the players would see fair reason in the umpire's choice. And I am saying that if the players, even just a few of the players, might not understand or agree with the umpire's choice, then the umpire should seriously consider sticking with convention, this time. It's the players' game. The umpires serve that game. And just because one cannot see any reason for following some tip or advice, does not mean the good reason does not exist. Most people are not idiots. If someone who is generally not an idiot offers advice, chances are they have thought it through themselves, and would not be passing it on unless it made good sense to them.

    As I see it, this increasingly strident argument is between: a) a narrow focus on umpiring as blowing the whistle and pointing the right way; versus b) the holistic view of umpiring as a two way relationship to deliver on players' expectations for fair, safe, and flowing hockey.

    Let's say someone on the pitch has been saving her horrible scything tackle for the right moment. If the umpire looks like that'll be yellow, probably 10, then the tackle will likely be saved for another game. If maybe the umpire'll give just a FH, then maybe the moment comes to chance that tackle. And maybe the umpire is made of the right stuff after all and it is a 10 minute yellow. In the narrow focus: good umpiring. From the holistic view: how could she think she could do that? was it me? could I have done something differently?
     
    #64 Diligent, Aug 1, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
  5. Mac

    Mac FHF Legend

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    @Diligent, for my own view, I'm pretty certain the distinction isn't quite as you make it out, although I accept that reading the whole thread en bloc may present it that way. I could be wrong, however.

    The question is are sunglasses (shorts, peaked caps, beards etc) suitable for umpiring in. If I may revert to the rules for a second, and I quoted these earlier:
    I'm sure most of us here accept that umpires should (ideally) be matching, and distinct from players. Umpires should not be being confused for players, peripheral vision or not. Umpires should be prepared for the conditions. That seems to include layering up (although I'm conscious that was a discussion a while back in another Fred) but (IMO) arbitrarily doesn't include sunglasses or shorts, even if the conditions may dictate they are preferable (or even necessary). The rationale for deciding that peaked caps are on one side of the acceptable line and sunglasses and shorts the other is (as with all lines of this nature) somewhat arbitrary*. Shorts appear to be a different case, which is why I initially tagged @Bondy in, because he did an FIH tournament where shorts were mandated.

    Sunglasses appear to be frowned upon due to a fear that an umpire can't engage in prudent and appropriate verbal communication with glasses on. I'd like to think that glasses or not doesn't determine that ability - some umpires can communicate, others can't (or won't). I just don't think that rationale holds water, whether thinking as a player or an umpire. Others may disagree (and I take the point, and agree, that conformity helps (again, everyone wore shorts when Bondy did); initial impressions do count but woe betide if you look the part but don't back it up with your ability).

    Why are appropriate sports sunglasses stigmatised vs peaked caps or shorts. That's the rationale I don't understand. Are they appropriate to the conditions? If so, it's something the umpire ought to use to improve their umpiring at the time, and therefore the game for the players.

    TL;DR - The Rules say use appropriate things as necessary; why don't sunglasses fall within that ambit?

    *For those not in the know, peaked caps are never acceptable in my view!
     
  6. Krebsy

    Krebsy FHF All Time Great

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    Consider yes. Blindly follow, no.

    I think there is also a wider aspect to this which is the conscious perpetuation of the destructive myth that what you wear (within the functional boundaries already discussed) has a bearing on your effectiveness in an otherwise unrelated set of actions.
    it is entirely analogous with forcing women on reception desks to wear high-heels. Yes, people expect it (convention breeds expectation) but no, it should not be expected. And no, it should not be enforced.
    In such a forum as this, I am willing to implore that we try to move away from restrictive conventions of that nature which in one context seem fine, but when the same convention is expanded even slightly we start to get into unacceptable expectations based on nothing sensible.

    I am really not sure that something that extreme will or will not be done based on how the umpire appears.
    Even if it were, I think a player is going to make their judgement based on the actions of an umpire rather than their dress-sense. If an umpire is on-top of a game, then you tend to behave better (or worse in some cases) and it is the action of the umpire which dictates this.

    I am not aware of any player who has or does take how an umpire dresses into consideration. Yes, how they hold themselves, how they talk, how they gesticulate, these are all subtle hints as to a person's character and some people can use them very accurately, but the clothes they are wearing (provided they carry out the basic function, different coloured top to the teams, similar to the other umpire, cover more or less all of the genital areas and don't contain any sharp parts or have profane words written across them)

    I think it is good umpiring to question if you could have umpired the game to prevent a piece of violence and any responsible person will always have a bit of a navel gaze to see what they could, if anything, have done differently.
    I suggest that if your only recourse for self-criticism is your dress sense, then you are probably open to accusations of trying to blame yourself when it was not you who caused this or failed to stop it. I see what you are saying @Diligent and it does justice to your nom-de-clavier that you take such care over post-match-analysis.
     
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  7. sanabas

    sanabas FHF All Time Great

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    Sure. But I can say I've never mistaken the umpire for a player due to them being in shorts & astros, provided they're not wearing long socks of a similar colour to one of the teams. I have mistaken an umpire for a player due to black pants looking like the black socks of a team. I have mistaken an umpire for a player due to their shirt colour being close to that of one of the teams.

    Nor does it mean the reason does exist. Making good sense to them does not mean it's guaranteed to be logical & sensible. I am arrogant enough to see myself as generally not an idiot, and I am offering the advice that umpires should wear what is comfortable, not worry about what people will think of their hair or their piercings or their shoes, and focus on umpiring well. I do this because I have thought it through and it does make sense to me. Conformity for the sake of conformity does not make sense to me. And again, the way you are framing it is that by not conforming, we obviously haven't thought about it enough. That if we put more thought in, we'll see the light and toe the line. If you prefer to always stick with convention, are unwilling to risk that someone will disagree with you if you choose the unconventional, there's nothing wrong with that. If looking conventional is how you're comfortable, if being potentially singled out as unconventional makes you uncomfortable, then again, that's a valid choice. It is your choice, you're welcome to make it.

    At the risk of adding more controversy, many people, many of them not idiots, are religious. They quite freely offer advice that others should be religious. They have thought this through, it makes good sense to them. In some cases, they neither understand nor agree with my choice. Should I assume their reasoning is sound, take up religion? Or is it ok for me to be unconventional? Or is being an atheist now conventional enough to be ok? If so, what about 60 years ago? Would it be ok to be unconventionally non-religious if I lived then?

    Again, no. I resent the implication that I don't view umpiring as a two way relationship, that my aim as an umpire isn't to promote fair, safe & free flowing hockey. I do view umpiring that way, and that is my aim as an umpire. I think I am good at it.

    I resent the implication that I only see umpiring as 'blowing the whistle and pointing the right way'. You seem to be dismissing those in disagreement with you by painting them as being very simplistic.

    Sure. And the things I could have done differently are likely talking more to the players earlier in the game, I should have got the GC out for that earlier tackle, I should have used an angry whistle at some point, I shouldn't have been lazy and got stuck out of position, etc. Players cynical & deliberate enough to think like you've described here push the envelope all the way to a horrible scything tackle only because their earlier pushing of the envelope went unpunished. In short, I should have controlled the game a bit better so it didn't deteriorate. I've never thought a game would have gone better/worse if I was dressed a bit differently.

    Fair enough. I think that's a good change.

    I find shorts more pleasant, even in the middle of winter. But that's me.

    I'm mostly ok with the idea it could be either but both should be the same. Though I think male & female together could equally be both skirts. Or skirt & shorts. So both full leg or both half leg + socks. Just got to work out what the default is when the two umpires disagree and are both stubborn. :D
     
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  8. CH.ump

    CH.ump FHF Regular Player

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    Would that be a uniform decision?
     
  9. Krebsy

    Krebsy FHF All Time Great

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    I agree that most people are not idiots all of the time. But we are all idiots occasionally and often more frequently than we let on.

    A good person can mistakenly follow idiotic dogma.
    To try not to expand too far on @sanabas' argument re. religion as we don't need to muddy these waters too far, but 2 of my best friends are ardent fans of the Christian version of God. They go to church 2-3 times on a Sunday and more than once in the week. To put it plainly, they like their version of God a lot and hold a lot of stock in what the bible tells them to think.
    This unfortunately and indefensibly means they are not great fans of people who love people whose genitals match. This, and I would hope in this forum we are agreed, is an unfortunate belief which people are entitled to hold, but they are not entitled to discriminate on that basis or treat those who differ in an unpleasant way.

    These people are also 2 of the kindest and most intelligent people I know. They are idiots because the believe some stupid stuff, but they are excellent human beings and despite their reservations, they do not act in an unpleasant way towards anyone. In short, they are top folks. One has a PhD and the other is a highly qualified person in their chosen academic field. Coupled with their genuine loveliness, they are good people. Who have a few stupid beliefs.


    So we need to be careful not to see these things as binary @Diligent, to call an idiotic dogma idiotic, is not to call a person a wholesale idiot if they follow that dogma.
    If they are to act idiotically (as I often do) then that action should be called out as idiotic and them for perpetrating that action. However that does not write that person off as an imbecile and to defend a stupid dogma on the basis that the people who hold it are not completely beyond help is not really helpful or effective.
     
  10. Diligent

    Diligent FHF All Time Great
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    @Krebsy you can wear shorts.

    I don't wear shorts to umpire. It's never that hot in England. I am fine in long trousers. I can run in long trousers. I wear black shoes. They look smart. It's part of my 'look' to wear the appropriate shirt (with underlayer to match, if worn), and black everything else. As well as black shoes, my socks are black,.. and my underwear. The players don't know that last bit, I don't want them to, but I do, and, for me, it's part of my diligent attitude to the job. If my colleague shows similar attention to detail, then that's reassuring. I like 'reassuring'. If they don't then I'm slightly concerned, but let's see... maybe I'll be reassured after all.

    You can wear shorts. They don't need to be black, and no one, certainly not me, will be at all concerned about your underwear.


    Meanwhile, back at the sunglasses and eye contact. To confirm everyone's pre-conceptions about pre-conceptions: a highly respected but now retired coach advised against peaked caps, let alone sunglasses: because the peak left the eyes in shadow, the cap was as bad as sunglasses in preventing eye contact. Out of respect, our umpires would listen politely. Then we'd make our own decision on how to cope with the light. On that, @Krebsy, I think we'd agree.
     
    #70 Diligent, Aug 1, 2017
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2017
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  11. Krebsy

    Krebsy FHF All Time Great

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    Our umpires association appears to instruct caps over sunglasses. I don't know where that leaves us. I ignore them.

    Horses for courses.
    I am from Aberdeenshire, I can tell you that it does get hot enough to require shorts! I also have good calves, people need to see them.

    We do agree, but that's a different discussion. One should generally listen respectfully to advice and form their own opinion later. However this forum is for discussion of the validity of opinions and looking to try to argue a resolution. Where opinions differ, we then put forward reasons in an attempt to convince the other party that ours should take precedence, or we are presented with a compelling argument which convinces us to change our opinion.

    Sadly in the internet age, the latter is basically a forlorn hope. Although I think this forum is better than most inasmuch as we have all seen discussions where people genuinely to learn and grow.

    There is hope yet.
     
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  12. Diligent

    Diligent FHF All Time Great
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    Now he tells us! Why didn't you say before? Get those shorts on. Post a picture, even!
    No. Don't agree. The most productive discussions are about causes and effects on things that actually happen, happened, or that we can see (a clip of some action, or a pic of those calves, for example).

    It's when a knot of posters take sides and argue the validity of opinion that we get pages of boredom - posting ever more bizarre attempts to convince the unconvinceable - never resolved, just fizzling out as protagonists lose the will to continue or the moderator locks it. I don't think that is what the forum is for. Of course, I remain to be convinced...
     
  13. redumpire

    redumpire FHF All Time Great
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    QED?
     
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  14. sanabas

    sanabas FHF All Time Great

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    Which is fine. And it's a right way to do it. I just don't think it's the right way to do it.

    If my colleague looks like they cross the line from attention to detail into pedantry and uptightness, then I am slightly concerned. I worry they'll struggle to enjoy themselves while we umpire. Next time it happens I'll ask if their grundies match. Which may not reassure them, but might be entertaining.

    I don't show my underwear off much when umpiring, unless I'm doing a quick change when umpiring straight after keeping. But I assume people are averting their eyes. Coaching's a different story, clean grundies are important if you split shorts completely while showing how to hit a tomahawk.

    If I was bored, I wouldn't keep posting. And I am genuinely not bored, I think it's been an interesting conversation, and it's good seeing where others are coming from. I think it's boring (or at least makes a boring discussion topic) when everyone agrees, I think authority has more authority when it's questioned and has good answers. If I was starting a religion, the 3 main commandments would be Think for Yourself, Question authority, and Pay attention to the golden rule, however you wish to word it.

    But it is what the internet is for. I'm sure I've posted this here before, I keep it on my desktop for just this sort of situation:

    duty_calls.png

    :D
     
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  15. careeman

    careeman FHF Legend

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    Could you all do me, and fellow wearers, the very great favour of leaving beards out of this debate please.

    I have heard most of the other items debated over the years and been guilty of wearing caps (regulalrly), shorts (occasionally) and sunglasses (once).

    But even on my worst day(s) my beard has never been queried or attributed to have anything to do with my ability.
     
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  16. SPetitt

    SPetitt FHF All Time Great

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    On a lighter note (in this 'increasingly strident' discussion;)) I did once get asked ... by a player of the opposite sex ...what colour pants I was wearing, :rolleyes:
    I had no idea why I was questioned, but assumed it was some kind of banter and just replied "The same as my whistle" and held up my pink Fox40 :p
    (The reply "You can find out later" did momentarily flash through my mind, but was firmly put aside ;))
     
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  17. MikeyBobs

    MikeyBobs FHF Top Player

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    Preparing for the new season ... I went jogging today. It was a nice sunny day and I wore ....... sunglasses!

    And I thought of you all !!! :cool:
     
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  18. MikeyBobs

    MikeyBobs FHF Top Player

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    Had something similar a few years ago. A new ULO confirms me and my colleague for Saturday's ladies match. We both say yes (all via email) and then confirm with each other our colours (on the same email). She is amazed umpires do this and inquires whether we match underwear as well !!!? Well what can you say apart from "yes"!!

    Nice idea - covers all emergencies!
     
  19. Mick Mason

    Mick Mason FHF Top Player

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    In the 2017 FIH World League Semi Final games this year (womens) the umpires wore black skirts and socks in all games. We watched the Kiwi ladies make many a pass to the umpire (and thus over the backline in the corner) during their games and thought it was pretty poor form to have umpires looking the same as one of the teams from the waist down.
     
  20. sanabas

    sanabas FHF All Time Great

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    That quote makes me notice I used the phrase 'wear a team wears'. :oops:

    This is what happens when I don't go to bed in order to post important stuff at 2.30am.
     
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