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I’m A New Female Umpire: Scared to Buzzing!

Thursday 1st June 2023

Back in March, we featured a tremendously well-received article written by new umpire, Sonya Dey.

Just beginning her officiating journey, Sonya shared her experience of attending the Stage One and Stage Two umpiring courses. If you didn’t get the chance to read it, you missed out, but the good news is that you can find it here.

This month, picking up from where Sonya left off, we’re really fortunate to hear from Rebecca Peirce who also completed Stages One and Two this winter. Here she shares her experience of what happened next!

My name’s Rebecca Peirce, I’ve been playing cricket at Sidcup CC since last summer and recently completed Umpire Education Stages One and Two.

Initially I took the introduction course because it seemed like a good way to develop my understanding of cricket as a new player. At that point I wasn’t sure if I would have the confidence to umpire a cricket match but knew that I would gain helpful knowledge.
The course itself was lively, questions were encouraged and our tutors, Mel Juniper and Martin Seguss, were more than happy to share their expertise. I was so glad that I’d attended and, importantly, they also provided a good selection of biscuits!

After attending Stage One, Mel invited us to join the Kent Ladies Umpire WhatsApp group where we could get help and support and share our umpiring experiences.

This has proved invaluable and through the group discussions I have learned so much and picked up useful tips. The group also features regular decision-making scenarios to challenge our umpiring knowledge and practical skills and it has created a wider sense of belonging, community and is invaluable to helping me feel not alone.

At this point, I was still unsure whether I would ever umpire a real match.

While my club are supportive of my journey and were offering to help me find games, it seemed a huge challenge simply because I lacked confidence due to being so new to playing cricket.

However, Mel’s support was unwavering and when she offered to run a follow up practical session, including umpiring a real game, I took the leap knowing that it would be a supportive space to learn and would help me progress further.

With Mel standing with me, after completing several overs I had gone from being beyond scared to buzzing!

I didn’t get everything quite right, but I learnt so much, enjoyed umpiring and wanted to do it again.

I felt so proud that I had umpired in an adult hard ball match and deeply appreciated both Mel’s patience and that of the two teams.

To support people who are new on their journey with such patience and encouragement is a real embodiment of what the Spirit of Cricket means.

Since then I’ve gone on to umpire a match for our Women’s team where I got to see a number of players make their cricketing debuts. It is definitely true that umpires have the best seat in the house and it’s nice to meet different teams, learn from them and have fun.

My skills as a player have also improved and I’m now sharing some of the knowledge with teammates and they are supporting me too. I’ve even gone on to learn how to score.

To have a team that are cheering you on makes a huge difference and this, alongside the practical support, is what will encourage future officials in cricket, which seem to be desperately needed.

My tutors have been a precious source of enthusiasm and knowledge and I look forward to seeing them again on my umpiring journey.

For any of you out there who are considering officiating, my advice would be to get in touch with the Kent ACO, take part in any umpiring courses available, start small and build up. The support that the ACO and your colleagues will offer you is invaluable and I was very proud to have two of my tutors, at my home club continuing to support my journey.

It’s important to know that you not be taking this journey on your own.

If you’re interested in learning more about umpiring or scoring, get in touch with the Kent ACO here: