In November, the European Hockey Federation held an EHF Zonal Umpires and Umpire-Coaches workshop in Dublin, Ireland, in conjunction with the Irish U16/U18 Interprovincial Tournament at Three Rock Rovers Hockey Club.
The workshop was led by former Olympic umpire and current FIH UM Craig Madden (SCO), accompanied by Irish UM Tom Goode, while Geoff Conn acted at UM for the tournament. Irish Hockey Umpires Association Chairman Warren McCully welcomed Craig and the 17 participants (from Ireland, Belgium, Scotland and Wales) to the tournament. Irish Hockey Association President, Richard Kendrick spoke at the opening event, where he said: “We see this as very timely in terms of the vast work presently being undertaken in relation to the Umpire Development Pathway here in Ireland which will hopefully see fruition over the course of the next twelve months. The Umpire Coach has an important role in any umpire’s development and they will be an essential resource within our development pathway by helping umpires to help themselves.”
After the warm welcome on Thursday evening, work began early on Friday morning with an introduction session followed by a visit to the tournament venue where the participants split into groups to watch, assess and analyse the umpires at work. A fantastic addition to the seminar was the use of ‘Gamebreaker’ video technology and a dedicated Video Operator to focus on the umpires so we could play back key moments and decisions for feedback sessions later in the day.
On Day 2 , the group reviewed the recorded matches, and worked together to analyse and better understand the decisions mad. Then it was off to a local Dublin pub for some important socialising and discussion of the day’s events.
The last and third day started early. Craig conducted workshops in small groups with the umpire coaches, while the umpires continued to work on the pitch. The day ended with the unlikely appearance of the sun, so closing sessions and certificate presentations were done pitchside.
EHF would like to thank Craig Madden, Tom Goode and Geoff Conn for their hard work on this seminar, IHA and IHUA for their cooperation and support and Three Rock Rovers HC for hosting a fantastic tournament.