It was Nairobi’s turn to get its umpiring courses started in one of its two scheduled for the year. The other, a Level ‘A’, would need this introductory one to prepare and facilitate the progress of interested individuals for the more involving Level ‘A’ course in late September.
The target group for this venture included the upcoming umpires from Kenya Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association that provided two entrants and a majority from the teaching profession, Kenya ladies members, scorers and representatives from the districts of Nairobi through their sports officers whom are now getting actively involved in cricket within their respective regions.
The attendants numbering 20 made the most of their two-day opportunity to learn the basics of umpiring facilitated by Cricket Kenya. The introductory phase was set to cover up to 70% of the laws on the game, but generally involving more theory than the practical fragment of the trade.
On the opening day tackled laws on nomination of players, substitutes and runners with the restrictions on the roles on each category of such players on the field. This was followed by the duties and responsibilities of umpires on the game, as well as ensuring the playing surfaces conform to certain standards.
Next up for them was to understand the functions of the crease markings, their significance and measurements, before dealing with intervals and scoring of runs - under which short runs and boundaries were covered.
Dead ball situations and no-ball infringements brought a close to the days play, but the later always a bone of contention in the many ways it occurs received the most attention, beginning with the fairness of the arm in during delivery, followed by the feet landings and the rest on field restrictions, the bowling of ‘beamers and bouncers’, the wicket-keepers role and the penalties involved.
The last day began with a re-visit on the technical points on no-balls, including a practical demonstration session on the field to assist the seeking audience a firsthand look at its implementation.
Understanding how to judge wide balls, the situations which result in deliveries being adjudged bye and leg byes, sections on how a wicket is put down and the relation it has on the position of the batsmen at the crease was to follow.
The several ways of getting out in cricket had the gathering engaged and especially the controversial decision of leg before wicket (LBW) receiving the most attention. With a cross section of the participants especially those that are current players giving their views on the matter.
The laws on the fieldsman and fair or unfair play concluded the discussions of this double bill exercise. The unfair part of this section providing the most discussion points and the implementation procedure to discipline offenders thought to be either unsympathetic and in some cases less prohibitive.