Northern Ireland Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers

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From the Chair

It's difficult to believe that in approximately two months from now the gear will be getting washed, the boots cleaned, fixtures studied, bye laws and competition rules talked about, as both players and umpires alike eagerly anticipate a new season. Expectations will be high for success amongst the clubs, and umpires will be determined more than ever, to get all the calls correct this season.

In NIACUS we are fortunate in having a very dedicated group of umpires who willingly and faithfully stand week after week in all conditions and facilitate a game of cricket. Sadly our numbers are not growing as we would like and the executive committee is working tirelessly examining all avenues in order to attract more potential umpires and scorers to the game. It has always been a difficult task, which is not getting any easier, but hopefully when the pre season training course, which takes place this month, is complete, we will have a significant number of new colleagues joining the ranks. That is certainly our hope.

To any umpires who have decided for reasons of age or health, to stand down this year, we say a very big thank you for all you have done and wish you well in your retirement. On that point I wish to encourage all those who feel they have done their "bit", not to cut themselves adrift from NIACUS. This winter we will have a total of four main meetings in Stormont so I would urge you to make a date in your diary for the next two meetings in March and April and please try and join us. Your experience is invaluable and is of great benefit to younger members making their way in the game. It would be thrilling to see some "old faces" back with us again.

The executive committee is working very hard on various issues, and in Joe Moore we have a very competent and diligent secretary who makes my task much easier by shouldering a lot of the administration. Recently we co opted Ann McCullough as our scorers rep and she is busy examining ways in which all club scorers can become more actively involved within NIACUS.

A number of our top ranking umpires have received various prestigious and well deserved European appointments and to them we offer our congratulations.

As indicated earlier, there are two more meetings early this year, which are equally important. The first of those is scheduled for Wed 12th March at 7.30 pm in Stormont Pavilion. This is a must attend for those wishing to receive premier league appointments this year. Various aspects of cricket law will be dealt with in the form of a question and answer session between Paddy O'Hara and Alan Neill. This promises to be both interesting and educational and it is a chance for us all to brush up on the laws of the game. Tea and coffee will be provided. Howard Bingham will also bring a brief report of his visit to Edgbaston last season year linked to the Trevor Henry Bursary.

April 9th is the next date for your diary. This year we are changing the format of the pre season get together and rather than have a formal dinner we are incorporating a meal on that evening which the committee have decided will be free of charge to all members. The formal part of the meeting will deal with any bye law changes and law changes, so it is imperative all active umpires are there. Other traditions will be observed as is the custom, such as a ballot and of course, the presentation of the George Archer Trophy. Joe will be circulating menu options for you to complete. This new style pre season social event can only be a success with your support, so please make an effort to join us. Catering numbers will be limited, so early confirmation to Joe or myself would be appreciated.

Date for the diary....IACUS Annual conference ...Drummond Hotel Ballykelly Sat 15th Feb 11.30 am. I hope as many as possible will attend. Contact Joe or myself if you need transport.

Thanks to Alex Adams the revised NIACUS website is now up and running so please visit the site and also send Alex any interesting news or articles for posting on the site. The address is

I look forward to seeing a great turn out in March and April.

Louis Arneill