Northern Ireland Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers

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Secretary's Report AGM 2016

Colleagues, I give you my report for 2015/2016

Disappointment must be the theme of my report. Disappointment in the fact that attendance at the monthly meetings was poor. In 2014/2015 we averaged 87% and in the past year, it had dropped to 52%. The Association can only survive and prosper if everyone sees the need to attend the meetings. The basic mistakes by Umpires reported this last season would suggest that attendance should be a must and that the required reading over the winter should be Tom Smith. Disappointment that we cannot get Scorers to join the Association, even though they are part and parcel of the Title. We have tried on many occasions and failed. Could this be due to a lack of Training Courses for Scorers and the lack of Scoring content in the monthly meetings.

Disappointment in that so few people responded to emails that I sent out. It saddens me that although I keep members up to speed with what is happening in the Association, when an email requires a reply, none is forthcoming. I would go even further and suggest that it is disrespectful. It also reflects the apathy prevalent in the Association. Disappointment in the fact that we were unable to arrange a Level 1 Training Course this year. In order to fill places left by the retirement of Umpires, it is an absolute necessity to have at least one Course per year. Candidates are hard to find and each one of us and of course, NCU, must do our utmost to attract new members to our ranks.

Courses for Level 1A and 2 were held and I am pleased to report that several Umpires will be officially credited in November by a panel from England. To supplement the Training Tutors, Phil Thompson and Joe Moore attended a 2 day Course in Dublin and successfully passed. These additions will greatly help the in the workload carried out by Alan and Keith. Members again done the Association proud when 22 attended the IACUS Conference in Monaghan. Unfortunately for some of those attending, the content of the program was poor. Critical comments were made and these were forwarded to the IACUS Chairman, for his consideration. We await the next Conference with interest.

I would like to congratulate those Colleagues who have stood in Cricket Ireland games this year, whether as on field or third umpire duties. It is also great to report that Alan and Mark have continued to progress in their duties for Cricket Ireland and Cricket Europe. The year has been marked with the deaths of 3 Vice-Presidents, John Caldwell, Dawson Moreland and Billy Ross. We were then extremely shocked when our Colleague, Gary McCormick died suddenly just the day after officiating in a game. His brother Jeff was further bereft when his mother passed away just a short time later. Then last week, our Colleague Dessie Milne lost his son-in-law. To the families of all concerned we send our sincere thoughts and condolences. We try to ensure that representatives from the Association attend each funeral service. The topics covered in the monthly meetings were well received. Discipline, Law & Regulations, Field Dress and Quizzes were presented by a variety of Speakers. We rounded off the year with a buffet supper at our April meeting. The Executive Committee were pleased to award the Trevor Henry Bursary to Michael Foster. Paddy O'Hara again was responsible for the arrangements and his good friend, Chris Kelly, the Umpires Manager and one of our Life Members did the rest. Michael then presented a thoroughly informative account of his visit.

The Chairman's award of the George Archer Trophy was awarded to Joe Moore. A new Trophy, presented by Louis Arneill, for the most improved Umpire, was awarded to Gary Blair. The season got off to the usual start with games wiped out on several occasions. Fortunately better weather arrived and with games on a Sunday, the program was soon back on track. With the loss of several Umpires through retirement, illness and holidays, the remaining Umpires were called upon to stand in more games than they could have expected to do, but this was appreciated by the Appointments Secretary.

Disciplinary reports were down this year and hopefully this is the case of players behaviour improving and not because of non - reporting by Umpires.

The White Stick Trophy was hosted this year by our Leinster Colleagues. A strong team travelled with the hope of wresting the Trophy from Leinster. Again captained by Michael Foster, the game was played in horrendous conditions, conditions that as the saying goes " you wouldn't put a dog out in weather like this" A valiant effort by NIACUS saw the game finish as a tie, and the Trophy stayed in Dublin. Get used to the captaincy Michael; make no mistake, you're there till you win the Trophy back.

Colleagues, I make no apology for my earlier comments. I believe that unless there is a seismic change in attitude, the Association is headed in a downward direction which may be impossible to arrest.

Finally, and I'm sure much to your relief, I finish my report with thanks to my Colleagues on the Committee for their help and guidance throughout the year. However, the greatest thanks must go to our hardworking Appointments Secretary, Ian Houston. Every season we receive our fixtures and probably never stop to think of the work he does. I'm pleased that he has agreed to carry on this next season. We are most fortunate to have him. Thank you Ian. We should also thank Alex Adams for the work he does on the website.

Colleagues, I submit my report.