Getting started as a Club Umpire

Like most hockey clubs, Wycombe Hockey Club needs more umpires.  It cannot be fair to ask someone to umpire three matches in a day so that everyone else can play.  Becoming a club umpire is one of the most valuable contributions to the Club that you can make.  As an umpire you would be a volunteer and as such your commitment would be limited to how much you are ready to do.  This can be anything from occasional junior games to travelling with teams to away matches.  Whatever your choice it’s clear that the more umpires we have available the less arm twisting you will receive.

There are several levels of qualification but you don’t need any to start umpiring.  Although higher level matches need formally qualified umpires, at lower levels the league requirement is described as ‘best available’ for men and ‘reasonably competent’ for women.  The ideal way into umpiring is through a Level One course. This is a one-day course, the cost of which the Club will meet.  Before going on the course you need to complete the England Hockey online rules test which is free.  This takes you through the rules with occasional videos.  The test itself is multiple choice with the opportunity to correct your answers, and you end up with an Awareness Certificate. 

At this point you can certainly start umpiring but the Level One course covers valuable practical aspects of umpiring as well as giving you a whistle and cards.  Once you’ve taken the course you have to get some practice before being assessed and gaining your Level One qualification.  The Club can help you with this by finding a more experienced umpire to partner you in your first games, with audio assistance and encouragement if you want.  The assessment is only required for umpiring senior matches at third XI and above and for some junior England Hockey competitions.

The England Hockey website has a lot of help for umpires.  In particular it has a series of instructional videos covering specific areas such as foul play and stick tackles.  Again these come with a quiz and an Awareness Certificate.  These are great for your confidence should players ever query a decision.

To get started go to , click on the Officiate and Volunteer tab, Umpiring, Find a course.  This lists upcoming Level One courses and has a link to Online rules test which takes you to Hockey Hub where you register.  The Club can’t do the registration for you but if you have any queries contact Kevin Olinn




Did you know that Graham Nash who officiated at five Olympic Games (1976 – 1992) went to RGS and was a life member of High Wycombe Hockey Club until his death in 2011?

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