Umpiring "Quiz"

Discussion in 'Resources, Equipment, Signals' started by Cascadia, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. Cascadia

    Cascadia FHF Legend

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    The junior season where I am will be starting next month, and that means lots of new junior umpires as well as players. Currently, the umpires are required to take a course before they can get out on the field, but I always get the feeling that it's a lot of info to take in during a short space of time, and a lot of them (especially the younger ones) tend to panic when their first games are coming up because they've "forgotten" much of what they've learned, or don't know how to apply it to game situations.

    While umpiring is best learned by experience, I was thinking of trying to compile a kind of "quiz" that poses game situation questions to get the umps thinking about how they can apply the rules they've learned in a game, and distribute it sometime between the course and the first weekend of games. We're not looking at super brain-crushing situations, and not mindlessly obvious things either (ie: "A player stops the ball with her foot and then dribbles up the field with it - what do you call?"), but just some questions that get them to look at the rules outside of a lecture-y course setting and think "what would I do if this happened during my game?".

    However, I am crap at thinking up this kind of stuff, so any possible questions or situations for this "quiz" would be much appreciated! This is aimed mainly at U13-U16 umpires who have never officiated before, but should be applicable to all age groups.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. justin-old

    justin-old FHF Legend

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    You could start off with some of the lesser-used umpire signals, cascadia, eg 3rd party obstruction, "Calm down!".

    The 'rules', they can learn from the book, but such a 'quiz' could be a good way of helping them to find-out how much/little they know about the 'practicalities' of things such as positioning, communicating with your colleague, pre-match chats, etc.

    If they can get into good positions and know how to give & get help, it can, IMO, help a lot with on-field confidence.
     
  3. bighitter

    bighitter FHF Regular Player

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    OK. Here's a quiz question for a starter.

    Yellow team player hits the ball. The ball is about 2 inches off the ground as it passes a Green team player (about ankle height). Green team player doesn't quite stop it - it deflects up off the top edge of the Green player's stick's head. The ball goes on behind the Green player and on up to about 4 feet off the ground.
    Is it...
    A. Free hit to Green because Yellow lifted the ball. Even 2 inches is too much.
    B. Free hit to Yellow because their hit was allowable, but 4 feet high caused by Green is dangerously high.
    C. No foul has been committed by either player.
    Answer: C

    Mind you, I can see this all ending in a debate about some decisions. They'll have to be pretty clear cut.
    Or maybe not. Just issue the questions without answers - your Junior Umpires will learn a lot be wondering and debating the answers.
     
  4. deegum

    deegum FHF Legend

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    Presumably they are umpiring kids and probably on a grass ground?
    And new junior players?
    For Under 11 games or so, and especially on grass :

    Don't worry! If you saw and blew everything there'd be no game.

    Assume everything is accidental -or due to ignorance(bad temper/violence excepted)

    DONT BLOW feet!- unless there is a HUGE advantage.

    Blow bad stick checks/chopping/obstructions to improve tackling skills, but let lesser ones go, depending on player skill.

    Be "Harder" on talented players.........They deserve the help.

    Increase the standard as the season progresses.- well your standard as umpire will improve too.

    Don't blow in junior hockey unless you absolutely HAVE to.

    Especially at the start of the season.

    Never mind the twiddly rules.- so you don't need to worry . And it causes chaos to use them. - try giving an " UP ten" for instance !!!
     
  5. Cascadia

    Cascadia FHF Legend

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    Precisely. I'm hoping that will be the end result, anyway!

    We're talking U11-U14 games, mostly on artificial soccer turf (the longer shag-type stuff). The skill in these games is probably too great to let too much go - it's proven to be not so great for the development of the game and skills of the players to let them get away with too much. These habits just catch up with them later. I've got the guidelines for how they should be umpiring down, I'm more concerned about providing hypothetical situations that will test how they would apply the rules they hav learned.
     
  6. g9

    g9 FHF Legend

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    I'm in the same boat as you Cascadia; I'm the umpire coordinator for our local Recreation league's hockey program, and we just finished 2 nights of classroom training for a field of 35 new umps, mostly high school age kids 15-18 that have played but never officiated. Our playing pool is 7-8 year old "rookies," 9-11 year old "juniors" and 12-14 year old "seniors." First night was straight from the book, last night was working as a team, positioning and some practicing hand signals and whistle blowing. This year we are adding a third day to the training for practical work with kind of staged scenairos out on a field and no distractions like coaches or spectators. It's not perfect, especially without the speed and "the moment passed" aspect of a real game, but it's the best we can do to get them blowing the whistle with confidence and sorting out the which team is going which way thing. What have you already done for training...classroom lecture only? films? shadow reffing on other games? I'd be interested to hear and see if we can adapt anything from your experience.
    Like deegum suggested, we aren't planning to call feet too much or obstruction at all for the rookies, but are focused on safe playing techniques and the basic aspects of the game (FH, Corners, DH etc). Hacking, lifted sticks and balls, anything that smacks of aggressiveness will be about it. We are thinking of doing a passing only game at that rookie level, but not sure the game will go anywhere on grass.
    While the degree of actual officiating should go up as the age groups progress, I have way fewer experienced umps--only 3 that have worked middle school or high school games,and I have maybe 5 that have worked more than 2 seasons! So my situation is how to bridge that gap without overworking my 3 veterans. Any ideas? Are there any evaluation sheets for this kind of rec. hockey officiating that any of you know of? I figured I'd make something up, but if I don't have to reinvent the wheel...
     
  7. Cascadia

    Cascadia FHF Legend

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    Our training sessions haven't started yet. Unfortunately, we only have time for one night (our stupid season comes right after spring break, so there's the problem of having it too far away from the actual season and have them forget EVERYTHING, and have the clinics during spring break and having no one come...so many issues) in which we cover basic rules and introductions to umpiring protocol and positioning (several hand-outs, which they can download before-hand on our club's website...if you'd like to take a look at how we've adapted/written out the rules for club play, PM me). I usually try to stage situations for all of the rules with a colleague or volunteer while we go over them, so they at least have some idea what they look like, get them to blow their whistles (because one of the biggest problems I've encountered is simply whistle volume), do the signals as a group (we sometimes get this into a stupid version of "Simon Says" depending on the age level...they all groan, but they remember it in the end). Basically, anything that gets them involved in the process, rather than just being lectured at for however long will make it easier for them to remember.

    The most helpful thing, I have found, is basically getting more senior umpires out to the games to shadow them. This is proving EXTREMELY hard for us, since we have a limited number of experienced umpires (by this I mean people who already have a rating (not sure of the US equivalent), have been umpiring for some time, and are generally recognized as being good umpires) to spread over a huge number of games: my club is the largest in North America, and a typical weekend during junior season has upwards of 30 home games scheduled over four different fields (this is just our home games...There are loads more games going on in other areas). It's pretty nuts. But having someone there to ask questions to on the spot, rather than worrying about things all game, and who is there to sort of ease the tension and is ready to intervene if a coach or someone else gets cranky...it's kind of a relief to most of the junior umps. By now they understand that the person is not there to "evaluate" them, but to help them: it's not a test, it's a learning experience.

    Also, for first-time umps, we've found we get more people out if we let them form "umpiring teams" with their friends. This means they can umpire with someone they know every game and aren't intimidated by some stranger whose style they don't know. If they're comfortable with their colleague, they're more likely to openly discuss what's going on in the game, how they can communicate better, admit their own mistakes etc. Talking through these things with someone makes all the difference, and it can be hard to do that when you're umpiring with someone you don't know and who could be more experienced/older than you (when I started umpiring at 12, I was absolutely terrified of some of my adult male colleagues because they seemed so much more confident in their abilities (later I learned they weren't all that good after all!) and I was afraid to ask questions because I didn't want to sound stupid).

    The problem I am most often grappling with is balancing making the right VS playing advantage. Sometimes I wonder if the umpire is actually trying to play advantage, or if they just didn't recognize the call. I have been trying to encourage the younger ones to, if they see a foul, to just call it. This gets them into the habit of recognizing fouls (which I think is probably more important in the long run: if you can recognize the foul, it will become clearer to you when it happens, and in turn clearer when it should be let go due to advantage) and solidifies the basic knowledge of the rules. For the most part, they recognize that if the ball rolls over someone's foot, it's not automatically a foul, but having them call fouls more consistently at the younger age groups helps them gain confidence in their ability to make the call, and also lets the players (who are also still learning) know that something has happened that isn't allowed: the players at U11 don't know what advantage is, so they don't know that they've fouled and are being given the advantage, they just tend to think that whatever they're doing is fine. At this level, it benefits both the players and the umpires if the time is taken to make the call, make the signal, and verbally say what has happened - it helps the umpires get a grip on what they're doing, and it teaches the players what the fouls are. It sounds tedious, but it really doesn't detract from the flow of the game (and seriously, at U11 there isn't a huge amount of flow anyway).

    And as you mentioned, safety is of course the main issue. Most coaches and parents don't care about the rules so much as they don't want their kids to get hacked up or hit in the head with a ball!

    We had an evaluation sheet last year for the mentors, but I have no clue where it's got to...There's a bunch floating around on the net, that could probably be adapted to whatever level you are looking at.

    Hahaha, long post.... :eek:
     
  8. g9

    g9 FHF Legend

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    We are the only jurisdiction in the area doing rec hockey, so our program is pretty big too (5 fields going all day on weekends 9-4/5 plus weekday games and that really makes the lack of veteran umps more apparent. Here, we call them "certified" by the high school governing body for athletics in the state, and we are hurting at that level too (ie, not rec, but school year officiating). So this year our state high school league, the parks and rec department and a local indoor facility are all joining together to train newbies and hopefully start a pipeline that will feed into high school officiating as they gain experience and then sit for the tests at 18. That's the hope anyway, but at least we are finally working together under the same rule book, as even that didn't happen before this year. I love the idea of teams, totally makes sense given how terrified I know I was when I first started working with the umpire who used to officiate my games in school, but 20 years after the fact she was still a huge hero to me and I knew nothing and had no one to ask the stupid questions to! That teaming is something I can do easily at rookie and on into junior and ask the cert. umps to shadow or float at the rookie and junior games.
    Also couldn't agree more on the advantage issue... it is confusing to jump right into that without a foundation of what the foul is in the first place and whether it can be worked through. The term advantage has been thrown about so often in the training previously, that I think those who might not understand it are intimidated into silence, like sure, everyone knows when not to blow, right? So that idea of calling it all in Juniors is something I will take away right now (or when I next talk to my director); a tremendous way to help them see the game and know they are getting it right before moving on to nuances. Thank you! When I am not so tired I'll start a search for the eval sheets you mentioned...Thanks again. Jeannine
     
  9. Cascadia

    Cascadia FHF Legend

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    No problem. :) Since we're having similar experiences on both sides of the border, it's good to be able to talk this out with someone who knows where I'm coming from. It's hard even to get in touch with other ump co-ordinators in the same city as me, because everyone's just so bloody busy. I keep saying I'm going to organize a bar night for all the junior ump co-ords to discuss what we all do differently and what works etc. Alas, it hasn't happened yet, but one day, I tell you! ;) (after this year, since we just basically lost a good field to a fire (vandals) I'm sure everyone will want to get smashed by June. rofl)
     
  10. nerd_is_the_word

    nerd_is_the_word FHF All Time Great

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    Cascadia im sure if you look through the later pages in this forum you will find a quiz that is used over here in queensland at almost every junior state titles, it ranges from very basic questions, to the ones you have to think about for a few seconds.

    Me personally with the whole Playing advantage VS blowing the infringement thing, I tend to find that if its an obstruction or stick check or something like that then there is no chance for them to play advantage, or if there is advantage then its usually starkly obvious. with the little ones like foots and stuff i try and get them playing advantage, like if they dont see those ones then generally its because they actually couldnt see it, not because of a lack of knowledge of the rules, god help us when the umpires dont know to blow up feet.
     
  11. deegum

    deegum FHF Legend

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    in u12 around here there is one umpire -adult- who , I swear, blows feet if the ball tickles the shoelace. :growl:
     
  12. aussieump

    aussieump FHF All Time Great
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    Begiinner umps: keep it simple and as such a simple quiz. Talk through rules as they gain experience and they will ask questions themselves.

    Blow what they see and can whistle quickly enough.

    In the area I UC we run development days and all games are covered by beginner umps. The local Ump convenor is running the day and I support them.

    Either way Cascadia keep up the great work you are prepared to do.

    Aussieump :yes:
     
  13. Cascadia

    Cascadia FHF Legend

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    A-ha, but there's what someone like you or me, someone who has been at this for a number of years, would call, and then there's the kids who are doing their second game ever. Almost nothing is obvious when you're just starting out. Talking to most of them, they know when to play advantage, but there are times when it does go a little too far (to the point where some fouls are totally overlooked in the name of "keeping the flow"). I've gotta say though, some of the kids I have been watching the past two years have made remarkable improvement, and it's great to see them getting excited about umpiring again. I am really looking forward to seeing how they develop - maybe when they're old enough I can convince them to come umpire women's league. It's all part of my insane plot to amass an umpire empire! Mwahahaha!

    There's one group I mentored last year: one of the girls would get so into umpiring that the day before a game she would always e-mail me at least once saying "What if this happens, and then this - what do I do? If I did this, would it be correct?" She's a pretty funny kid. :) (although, now that I think about it, I do some of that myself!)
     
  14. aussieump

    aussieump FHF All Time Great
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    Cascadia: sometimes the best advantage is no advantage. Just get them to blow it early for a while then they will learn to relax and hold the call, this way they control the game and still learn when to apply advantage or award the FD.

    As I said they will ask questions, just do not let them become to bogged down and use the first twenty games for experience and positioning. The next twenty to develop game management, just like a player they need game time to learn.
     
  15. g9

    g9 FHF Legend

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    great advice all, thanks!
     
  16. Cascadia

    Cascadia FHF Legend

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    Aussieump: thank you for phrasing what I was kind of trying to say so well. Very good advice. :)
     
  17. keely

    keely FHF Legend

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    Hi Cas, late joining the thread...

    First of all, great work so far! I'm tempted to fly you out to Calgary and start up a program for us in May. :yes:

    Honestly, I don't know how much I would add to all the advice you've gotten so far and you've given me some great ideas yourself. I think that I wouldn't worry so much about what they do in the classroom at this point. The things that really matter are the fun and positivity that come across on the pitch - I love that "umpiring team" concept.

    Back to the very original question, I'm wondering if you could do some kind of Umpires' Bingo where the answers are laid out on a sheet in columns (arranged by type of call, maybe?) and you read out questions. The kids cross out the answers they think are correct on the sheet and when they cross out a whole column... BINGO! Just an idea...
     
  18. Cascadia

    Cascadia FHF Legend

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    ...er, as fun as that sounds...! :p

    Wow, I love the bingo idea!! I am a huge fan of getting the "students" involved (as I said earlier) and while I tried to get them to pay attention 2 years ago with the classic "There will be a verbal quiz - correct answers get candy!" bingo sounds more fun. :) I will have to figure out how to word the questions (signals to use? fouls to call? somehow get communication in there?) but that sounds like a blast...well, as much of a blast as learning about umpiring in a classroom could probably be. Now I just have to find a way of getting the boys more excited about having to wear powder blue umpiring tops (I swear to god, it was the only colour we could find that no clubs were using already as their uniform top...and then Club India went and made theirs light blue *pulls out hair*)
     
  19. justin-old

    justin-old FHF Legend

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    You should've heard the whingeing from some of the macho males about having 'cerise' (ie PINK!!!) as one of the official colours in UK :rolleyes:

    Perhaps you could have a 'place the umpire(s)' section..... diagrams of a field with all the players and ball positions(and directions of movement?) indicated, and they have to mark, with a circle, the areas in which they think the umps should be positioned?

    Just a thought..
     
  20. keely

    keely FHF Legend

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    Yeah, it's always tough to convince umpires they should be wearing one of the three FIH colours. :no:
     

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