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How to Be a Good Cricket Umpire

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An Umpire is a person who is present at a sports competition in order to make certain that the rules of that particular game are obeyed and to judge that particular actions are acceptable.

Skills and Knowledge that you must have to become an Umpire:

Umpires must meet some basic requirements:

  1. High school diploma or G.E.D.
  2. Reasonable body weight
  3. 20/20 vision (with or without corrective lenses)
  4. Good communication skills
  5. Quick reflexes, good coordination
  6. Some athletic ability
  7. Required preliminary training for the job (i.e., professional umpire school)
  8. 42 rules of cricket.
  9. Able to understanding of the game and take spontaneous Decision.

The Cricket Umpire needs to possess at least 3 key Qualifications:

  1. Physical :
  • Good stamina to stand for long periods
  • Good eyesight and Hearing
  • Good ability to move around to be in the best position for making decisions
  • Good ability to Focus and Concentrate for long Periods


  1. Personal :
  • Be able to remain calm under pressure
  • Be approachable
  • Have the sound capability to work numbers to calculate for reduced overs and target Scores etc.
  • Capable of Managing players in aggressive moods.
  • Regain confidence after dealing with difficult situations
  1. Technical :
  • Thorough knowledge of the Laws of Cricket
  • Be prepared for Ongoing Study of the Laws of Cricket
  • Attend Training Classes
  • Always be prepared for Opportunities when they come
  • Stand in as many games as you can to gain as much match experience as possible.
  • Work with Mentor – Be open to feedback to improve Umpiring Skills.

Different roles of Umpires

  1. Pre-match Roles

Before the coin toss, the umpires will establish the hours of play. In agreement with the two team captains, they will decide which balls will be used during the match and determine the times and durations of intervals during the match. The umpires are required to inspect the wicket, the crease markings, and the boundary lines, and ensure that all three are in compliance with the rules. They must also check that players' equipment -- batting helmets and wicket keeping gloves, for example-meets the standard requirements.

  1. On-field Decisions

The umpire at the bowler's end is responsible for making LBW (leg before wicket) decisions and judging whether the batsman hit the ball or not when the opposing team appeals for a catch. It is also his duty to signal no balls, wides, byes, leg byes, boundaries and sixes. The square leg umpire is responsible for adjudicating on stumpings and run-outs. He may also indicate to the umpire at the bowler's end if the ball crosses the batsman above the shoulder or head height. If the ball crosses above head height, the umpire at the bowler's end should signal a wide.

It is the umpire's duty to intervene in the case of time wasting, ball tampering, dangerous bowling or damage to the pitch. Umpires must also deem when the play is unsafe to continue such as in the case of bad weather or poor light. Umpires rotate positions after each over.

  1. Third Umpire and Match Referee

The third umpire has the final say on decisions referred to the TV replay by the on-field umpires. These rulings include run-outs, stumping, balls stopped on the boundary by a fielder and catch that the on-field umpires are unsure about. In 2008, the International Cricket Council introduced a referral system which allows teams to challenge decisions made by the on-field umpire. It is the third umpire's responsibility to watch the TV replay and advice the umpire on how to proceed with these decisions. The match referee is responsible for handling disciplinary matters. He has the power to fine a player for arguing with the umpires or expressing dissent.

Procedure for being an Umpire

A candidate must have to qualify for the theory and Practical exams conducted by the State sports body time to time. A candidate will become eligible for an exam conducted by BCCI after clearing the level one and level two. Then the candidate makes it into BCCI - Umpire Panel and can do umpiring at the highest level of tournament conducted by BCCI. After seeing the Candidate's growth BCCI endorses him/her to the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the candidate can join the race to be an International Umpire. A candidate needs to score more than 90% to qualify for the next level of Umpiring.

In India, to become a qualified umpire with BCCI, you have to come through your state associations. Each of the state associations has their own umpire development programs. So, the first step is to get qualified with your state association. Based on your growth structure in the respective state associations next step will be taken by BCCI.  So the very first thing you need to do is, visit your state cricket association and inquire about umpire certification exams.

Let me just tell you about the existing structure in Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA).

Initially, you have to clear the state level certification program. Here you will have to clear a theory examination on MCC Laws of Cricket. Only those who clear theory examination will be eligible for a Practical and Viva rounds. If you clear both these rounds, then you’ll be qualified to do matches governed by KSCA. During these matches, your performance will be recorded in match reports. Based on your match reports and yearly refresher assessment, you have to get into the scheme of things for BCCI level-1. To become eligible for taking up BCCI Level-1, you have clear internal screening examination. Once you get shortlisted for BCCI Level-1, you have to attend the level-1 program and also need to take a theory examination. On clearing this, you have to take up refresher course conducted by BCCI within 1 year. Successful completion of Refresher course will make you eligible to take BCCI level-2. After that same 3 round process of Theory-Practical-Viva will happen. On completion of Level-2, you will be impaneled as BCCI Umpire. And the similar process is involved to reach ICC panel.

There is one more association named Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) which also provided training of Umpire Courses. If you want to know more details please go through this link.

Purchase a copy of "Tom Smith's Cricket Umpiring and Scoring: Laws of Cricket"; this book is known as the umpires' bible. It shows all the laws in great detail.



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