Rift Valley province was the latest venue of the Level A umpires course which was also well attended by a similar group of participants who had been recently educated on scoring and part of this teaching fraternity had also been involved at the introductory level on umpiring.
A group of 20 participants turned up at the Rift Valley provincial capital to take the next step in learning the skilful requirements of the job of ensuring that play is conducted within the spirit and traditions of cricket as well as within the laws.
Umpiring brings its many challenges which include the ability to implement the laws of the game impartially and owing the one allegiance to the regulations of cricket over a host of other overriding factors associated with the job.
The balance of the laws not covered during the introductory phase were dealt with at this gathering into detail and several scenarios explained to ensure that the participants get to the bottom of the law requirements on each individual commandment on the sport.
The morning session on the opening day covered laws that dealt with the requirements of a scorer, the different sizes categories of the balls and allowable bats as well as the stump and bail sizes, the maintenance of the playing area and less applicable sections of follow-on and declaration of innings.
The afternoon sitting centred on discussions on agreeable practice on the field before and during matches, the results, appeals, a few other uncommon dismissals and the restrictions on the role of a wicketkeeper.
The section on results was the most challenging for the participants, especially in terms of differentiating a match that ended in a draw when clearly one team has dominated the scoring of runs over their opponents but failed get them all out in their second innings no matter how little a total they achieved.
The fact that a side can bat just once and still win a test match over a team that batted twice did not click right for this gathering. A few concepts on the game had to be explained to assist them understand why the results are arrived at in the manner which they appear based on strengths of a side over its competitor.
To assist and ensure the participants arrive as close to their goals as necessary a 70-minute session was carried out collectively with the group where questions and answers were discussed in relation to the different sections of the laws.
Eventually, the course was concluded on the second day with the participants learning quite a bit on the measurements of the creases on the field of play, the different application that pertains to the protected area of the pitch, the ability to access the fitness on weather, ground and light for play.