Cricket UmpiresAn umpire in cricket (from the Old French Nompere meaning not equal, i.e. not a member of one of the teams, impartial) is a person who has the authority to make decisions on the cricket field, according to the Laws of Cricket. Besides making decisions about legality of delivery, appeals for wickets and general conduct of the game in legal manner, the umpire also keeps a record of the deliveries and announces the completion of an over. Traditionally, cricket matches have two umpires on the field, one standing at the end where the bowler delivers the ball (Bowler's end), and one directly opposite the facing batsman (usually, but not always, at square leg). However, in the modern game, there may be more than two umpires; for example Test Matches have four: two on-field umpires, a third umpire who has access to video replays, and a fourth umpire who looks after the match balls, takes out the drinks for the on-field umpires, and also arranges travel and meals for all of the umpires.
Professional matches also have a match referee, who complements the role of the umpires. The match referee makes no decisions relevant to the outcome of the game, but instead enforces the ICC Cricket Code of Conduct, ensuring the game is played in a reputable manner.
The ICC now has two panels of umpires: namely the 10-man Elite Panel (two of which are, in theory, appointed to each Test Match) and a larger 20-man International Panel.
Minor cricket matches will often have trained umpires. The independent Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (ACU&S), formed in 1955, used to conduct umpire training within the UK. However, following a ballot of its members, it was taken over by a new organisation, the ECB Association of Cricket Officials (ECB ACO) on 1 January 2008. The ECB ACO has yet to finalise its plans for future umpire and scorer training and examination with the UK. Cricket Australia has introduced a two-tier accreditation scheme and eventually all umpires will be required to achieve the appropriate level of accreditation. The ages of umpires can vary enormously as some are former players, while others enter the cricketing world as umpires. Physical disability need not necessarily be a barrier - in Victoria a 19 year old with cerebral palsy has achieved the national Level 2 accreditation, is umpiring in a country competition, has umpired a statewide carnival, and has been recognised for his achievement by Cricket Victoria. The youngest umpire to achieve Level 2 Accreditation was a 16 year old male West Australian, now umpiring second grade cricket.
Nevertheless, in accordance with the tradition of cricket, most ordinary, local games will have two umpires, one supplied by each side, who will fairly enforce the accepted rules.
PositionsWhen a ball is being bowled, one umpire (the bowler's end umpire) stands behind the stumps at the non-striker's end (that is, the end from which the ball is being bowled), which gives him a view straight down the pitch.
The second (the striker's end umpire) takes the position that he feels gives him the best view of the play. Through long tradition, this is usually square leg - in line with the stumps and a few yards to the batsman's leg side - hence he is sometimes known as the square leg umpire.
However, if a fielder takes up position at square leg or somewhere so as to block his view, or if there is an injured batsman with a runner, then the umpire must move somewhere else - typically either a short distance or to point on the opposite side of the batsman. If the square-leg umpire elects to stand at point, then common practice is to inform both the batsmen, the captain of the fielding team, and his colleague.
It is up to the umpires to keep out of the way of both the ball and the players. In particular, if the ball is hit and the players attempt a run, then the umpire behind the stumps will generally retreat to the side, in case the fielding side attempts a run out at that end.
At the end of each over, the two umpires will exchange roles. Because the bowlers end alternates between overs, this means they only move a short distance.
For certain decisions during a match, the on-field umpire may refer to the Third Umpire if there is one appointed, who has access to television replays. The Third Umpire is most often used in the case of run-outs, where the action is too fast for the naked eye but can be also used to decide the cases of disputed boundaries and catches, when the umpires cannot decide if the ball has struck the ground before being caught (but not to decide whether or not the ball in fact struck the bat or gloves of a batsman). Third Umpire referrals for LBW dismissals have also been trialled in the 2002 ICC Champions Trophy is Sri Lanka, and in the 2007 English Domestic Pro40 competition, but are not currently permitted in international matches. However, some experts have pushed for the introduction of LBW referrals since the advent of Hawk-Eye technology.