Saturday May 3rd, Mark Frost and I traveled to Nhill to conduct an umpiring clinic and assessing day. We conduct two rules session, one for umpires and coaches and second for parents and players. Each session had around thirty five attendees. As both sessions were running concurrently this is a fantastic effort for Wimmera Hockey Association and they must be congratulated for such an excellent turnout. We arrived at 9.00am to work with umpires appointed to junior games and provided tutoring for these games. At midday the two rules sessions had been arranged and Mark Frost and I presented the rules sessions. Mark conducted the session for parents and players in the Football Clubroom while I present the rules clinic in the Netball Clubrooms. Both sessions were well attended and the response for participants was fantastic, It was great to be able to spend time with each group and their needs were different. The players and parents session was conducted to provide information on rules and as an education process for the association members, whilst the coaches and umpires session was targeted towards the knowledge and specific issues that effect umpiring and player welfare within the association. Speaking with Mark he was delighted with the response from parents and their desire to learn what the basic rules of the game were. With games starting at 9.00 am and continuing until 6.30pm we had a busy day viewing ten local umpires for assessments and providing tutoring and mentoring for some umpires that have just started. To these five umpires we look forward to seeing the development and skills base increase with more experience. The grounds were excellent and for grassroots hockey the Wimmera Hockey Association and local councils must have a good working relationship.
All the community umpires that have not completed theory online will do so over the coming weeks and will pass this information onto me when completed. The recommendations for beginner umpires were conducted on suitable games and all umpires demonstrated appropriate skills. This will allow Wimmera Hockey to extend the knowledge base for umpire development and assist with the HockeyEd program for community assessments. Several umpires need to complete the Beginner online theory and they will also follow the above format. Five umpires will be updating accreditation next season so we have already completed practicals for these. I have left with Wimmera Hockey a detailed plan for the umpiring sector to work with and through, this includes a five step program, umpiring program, accreditation process and benefits, game management and signals documentation and a mentoring program and the requirements for usage. This will allow the long-term development of the system we started last year and will assist this association to develop a pathway for their umpires and ensure they receive the support and assistance they need. I would like to thank Launa Schilling and the Wimmera Hockey for their efforts and the hospitality they extended over the course of the day. To the players, coaches and umpires thank you for your assistance and responsiveness towards umpire development I have attached several photos from the weekend for your usage. Yours truly,
Regional Umpire's Coach
South West Zone
Vern Wheaton, Regional Umpire's Coach for the South West Zone for Hockey Victoria Charlie Martin and Mark Frost, and Kim Croot. Wimmera Hockey Association's Umpire's Convenor 2008 Launa Schilling is in front.
Kaniva Hockey Club's Claire McDonald umpiring on the Rules Session day.
Horsham Highlanders' uniform at the start of the 2008 season, before they switched to the Olympic quality suit!