New kids on the block in cricket development in Kenya, Kisumu County is where the latest umpiring course to be conducted by Cricket Kenya was held on Thursday and Friday at the Kenyatta grounds. They had 17 entrants who turned up to bring themselves up to speed with the latest techniques in officiating cricket.
Kisumu town continues to benefit immensely on the programmes conducted by the National body and previously had two-introductory to cricket courses as well as the successful inaugural six-a-side cricket tournament for the secondary schools in the municipality.
Having completed those processes, of course new challenges emerged with the hosting of the inaugural six-a-side event, where officiating revolved around the chosen few, while the rest could only sit and watch events unfold. An enormous task for just a few hands to handle a whole day’s event and there surfaced a necessity to hold an introductory course on umpiring, though initially planned but then it beckoned that more people needed the basic knowledge to perform official duties in matches involving their schools.
The piece of information received during the coaching courses which as a matter-of-fact encouraged involvement at the schools in terms of playing more matches had its fair share of tests considering the lack of cricketing backgrounds in some of the institutions.
They were eager to make the most of the opportunity to arm themselves with the laws of cricket that they changed the initial dates back by a week to ensure it fell squarely on their mid-term which did guarantee a good attendance over the two days.
The introductory syllabus covered a good 27 laws of the game that are necessary for beginners on law enforcement in cricket. Umpiring video clips were employed in a bid to assist the participants with a better understanding to the interpretations of the laws.
Questions arising from the floor on the commandments of the game were answered with the help of still pictures from previous matches incorporated within the presentation materials.
Most of the laws tackled well the requirement of a novice umpire, with emphasis on understanding them to a good quality which would then allow the attendees to be able to implement them back at their institutions when the time to put into practice their newly acquired skills arose.
Matters umpiring require a good understanding as the enforcers will be charged with a colossal task of implementing the rules and regulations that have a direct effect on the smooth running of cricket matches. With this in mind the participants were reminded that it takes a lot of time to fully understand the laws of the sport and watching matches with a focus on the officials is one way of ‘playing themselves in’.
Commendable was the active participation of this group throughout the learning process that made sure those discussions were helpful in their efforts to up-skill in the adjudication side of the game.
The group took the opportunity to laud the National body for the efforts it's taking in uplifting the standards of the game and especially the chance accorded to them.