• Governance

NW EHO Branch AGM 2024

Chair’s Report to the NW Branch EHO 2024

1. Welcome                  Apologies   Derek James, Dave Goldstraw.

2. Having responsibility for all Officiating matters in the NW is a huge task as whilst traditionally the bulk of the work has been around the appointment of officials now it is around Club Umpiring and Umpires.

At every level there is a shortage of umpires and particularly younger umpires - 30% of our umpires are over 55 - and female umpires who form only 33% umpires.

The game and umpiring have moved forward over the decade but not all Club umpires have caught up with the changes.

We have a limited number of Umpire Developers, coaches and assessors who can support our umpires.

We have great difficulty in communicating with Clubs and their umpires.

Unfortunately, the level of dissent and abuse seems to be on the increase.

Within this context, thanks to a small band of volunteers the OC has been endeavouring to deliver officiating within the NW.

3. Tony Shutt has been performing miracles this season despite some frustrations with GMS not showing all the umpires who were available and also having to wait for the NPUA appointments to be published. He appointed umpires to all Premier games and supplied 12 umpires to the National Conference. This has only been achieved through the good will of many of our umpires who have taken more than one appointment or a Women’s game instead of a Men’s appointment or travelled up to the far North to cover matches and the help of Chris Reece and Chris Regan in resolving problems often brought about be last minute changes. Thank you.

Tony and Chris Regan have been giving great support to our appointed umpires and many of them have progressed during the season. Congratulations to all on their achievements. In addition, our support team has also increased. Finally we cannot let the opportunity pass by without recognising the recent success of Gem Jones in gaining both Indoor and Outdoor FIH award and to wish Hannah Harrison every success in the forthcoming Olympics.

To aid the progression of umpires to we have produced a Key Skills package to issue to all candidates and prospective candidates. We are keen for Clubs to understand that gaining the L2 award does not mean that the umpire will no longer be available to umpire Club games. We acknowledge that, for some, taking occasional local appointments will still enable them to umpire for their Club and equally we are keen simply to improve the competencies of those umpiring Div 1 games.

4 .Indoor Hockey is not well represented by teams in the North West but thanks to the initiative of Gemma Jones we have been able to appoint and develop Indoor umpires at the Club Sixes and a clear structure is in place for Indoor Officiating.

Goals set for the 2023/24 season were achieved.