In a game of cricket, it is the umpire who makes decisions and judgments on the cricket field. They do this strictly following the rules and laws of cricket. The word is derived from an old French word ‘nompere’. The duty of an umpire includes appeal for wickets and general conduct of the game. An umpire is also responsible of keeping records of deliveries and announces when an over is complete. A cricket umpire is different from a referee. The latter presides only over international matches. He however does not make decisions regarding the total end product of the game. An umpire must necessarily know the rules of the game and follow them strictly. Let us now analyse the duties and job outlook of umpires.
Duties of a cricket umpire
A cricket umpire is supposed to preside over sport events, competitions and other games. They are supposed to watch the game closely judging between performances impartially and then determining a winner. They are also required to inspect the sports equipments like the bat, ball, wickets and other equipment. They also inspect participants to ensure safety of the game and its participants.
An umpire must be present all through the game and thus keep track of the time of the play. They also have the right to start or stop the game in case of emergencies or other issues. In case of an emergency or if an accident or mishap occur during the game, it is the duty of the cricket umpire to let officials know and regulate the participants.
If any participant files a complaint about the conduct of the competition or lodges a complaint regarding any other participant, it is the duty of the cricket umpire to see to the matter and settle disputes and issues. Additionally, they must be strong enough to enforce the rules of the game and charge penalties if necessary.
A cricket umpire should also maintain the character and conduct of the players of the game. Any case of misbehavior should be noted and it is the duty of the cricket umpire to see to it that disciplinary action is taken. An umpire should place himself in a position where he can see all the actions of the game.
Violation of rules should be noted. A cricket umpire should have great presence of mind and must be capable of taking quick and efficient decisions. In a cricket field, the umpire mostly stands at the leg side of the batsman. There is also another umpire who stands at the bowling end. There is also the third umpire who presides over the match from the gallery. He watches the man through the camera closely and is assisted by many technological devices.
Thus if the umpires on the field are unable to make a decision on a delivery, they can seek the assistance of the third umpire who then decides whether the batsman is out or not. If a particular umpire on the field decides that the batsman is not out and the opposing team members do not feel convinced, they have an option called the review system. Here they can directly appeal to the third umpire. The third umpire will then review the delivery again and decide whether the batsman is out.
However, the review system can be used only three times during a match. If the umpire on the field is unsure, he has the liberty to use this service how much ever times he desires. Umpires often work in groups. The job is highly stressful as they will have to take decisions within seconds. These decisions may sometimes be opposed by the players and other team members. It is the duty of the cricket umpire to make prompt decisions so as not to fall prey to the criticisms from coaches and players.
The work environment of a cricket umpire
A survey conducted in the year 2010, revealed that umpires held about 19, 500 jobs. Some of them were also self-employed. Cricket umpires are supposed to work both indoors and outdoors and also under all weather conditions. Some cricket umpires may have to travel in bus, while other umpires presiding over international matches may be provided with facilities to travel by air.
Their work environment is highly stressful with strong pressure from both the teams, coaches and other players involved in the game. A split decision could either ruin or make their career. A single wrong decision could ruin their career for the rest of their life. Umpires do not have fixed work timings. They work in irregular hours. They may even have to work on holidays, weekends and weekdays, depending on the schedule of the game. a cricket umpire working in schools often work part time.
Becoming a cricket umpire
Each sport has its own requisites to become umpires. Cricket also requires certain qualification for becoming an umpire. First and foremost, you need a high school diploma. After this, you can begin your career by volunteering at various sports meets and programs.
As with other jobs, it is very essential to have great experience in the field you are working. If you intend to be a certified high school sports umpire, you will have to pass an examination that is certified by the state board. That is, you will have to possess deep knowledge on the game, both from a practical as well as a theoretical level.
Pay scale of a cricket umpire
The pay of a cricket umpire depends on many aspects. You may be paid anywhere between $16, 310 and $50, 350 depending on the experience you have and where you work.
Extra skills required to be a cricket umpire
It is important that you possess some qualities to become a cricket umpire. These include communication skills, decision making capacity, a clear vision, stamina and energy as well as team work qualities. You will often have to settle and solve disputes between team members which means you need to have a great skill to pacify people and make them understand and see things.