I see a lot of games from the touchline at all levels and wondered what people think are the essential qualities for the role. Having a presence and authority must be important as is good humour and a businesslike professional and friendly approach to players. I like to see very clear signals and umps explaining their decisions as play moves along. Can't expect to get it right every time but the best umpires are trusted in their judgements as I'd assume best intentions at all times. I think a lot of umps are self critical and I see them discusing various points and interpretions say at half time. I guess you need a thick skin too as I know that some players try and intimidate and argue the toss instead of accepting decisons with good grace and getting on with the game- but players that do this are in a minority and confrontations are rare in my experience. I'd guess at hugher levels it is unlikely that players know more about the rules than those who officiate as I'd guess they don't study the guide book as intensely as the pro umps. Fair , unbiased , comnsistent all seem to be pre-requisites for the role.