The Rift Valley umpire introductory course was held at Rift Valley Sports Club over the weekend and sought to realize the basic understanding of the laws of the game for learners’ numbering 16.
With the continued development of the sport to the wider Rift Valley region, such courses can work for the betterment of the game as whole. It is paramount that the personnel on the ground benefit massively from such ventures and also having the basic knowledge of the laws will assist them in their overall education on the game.
Sections of the attendees comprised of teachers from the new schools that had cricket recently introduced to them after the addition of Elite coach Peter Ongondo in the roll of coaches. They surely were the major beneficiaries of this undertaking and the other lot of teachers that had never been to a course of this kind before had a lot to take back home with them.
Least was the now slightly accustomed group of teachers who’ve tirelessly devoted their time in the Rift schools with cricket development and they also used the opportunity provided by this course to further enhance their skills on the laws of the game and in turn use the same knowledge going forward in their future cricketing endeavours.
The section that covered the role of the umpire on the field posed some challenges as to being the sole judge of fairness on the field including the condition of the playing surface which could work for or against competing teams in terms of the outcome of decisions made by them.
Perhaps another section on the laws that provided similar trial was the area that covered dead ball, which initially seemed confusing as to when would the ball to be considered ‘dead’. The common notion that the ball becomes dead when the wicket-keeper collects it having been bowled had to be explained and the fact that the wicket-keeper does effect a stumping assisted with the understanding.
The use of visual images did assist greatly in getting the attendees to understand some of the facets of the game and from a learners perspective they went as far as painting a clear picture on expectations of the tasks that are involved with the sport.
It was clear that the that part that covers ‘fair and unfair play’ is rather too long for a beginner to grasp at the first attempt, every reason advice was given that it takes time to make an umpire and it would need further individual study and practice to achieve the goal and where possible the need to always have the law book at matches for reference purposes was encouraged.
Whilst active participation was witnessed amongst the learners, a lot more will be expected of them individually as they attempt to make it a reality on the field of play in the not so distant future.