A note from the chairman
As a group - SEWACO essentially provides umpires for the South Wales Premier League and cricket in various Leagues and age groups across South East Wales. Our scoring colleagues are generally members associated wh their own clubs.
The preamble to the Laws of Cricket say "Captains and Umpires together set the tone for the conduct of a cricket match". As a Group, together SEWACO must indeed set the standard and the consistency of our approach.
That of course is not an easy task!
Disciplinary matters on the field have come under closer scrutiny and led to ECB trials in this 2016 season across the UK Leagues and MCC University cricket of the red / yellow card scheme. Over the past 2 seasons the Glamorgan and Mon League have adopted our initiative of an automatic 2 match ban with no appeal when a player is reported and in the correct manner.
With the formation of the new South East Wales Crciket league (SEWCL) it's pleasing to see that this stance will be maintained.
Rod Jones ( Monkswood CC ) who was in charge of disciplinary matters in the SW Conference, has taken up the Chair of disciplinary in SEWCL. I'm delighted he and Chairman Jonathan Wellington have pledged to work togther and support us in our actions. They have not wanted to be part of the ECB Red / Yellow card scheme trials).
There is now an established principle that the "Spirit of Cricket" must always be disucssed at the toss with both cpatians who should be reminded of their responsibilities to the game.
This season, Captains , through online marking of umpires (rather than paper) are being asked to state if the "Spirit of Cricket" was indeed disucssed at the toss. It is an important reference point and your "get out clause" in th event of any issues. It is not as some suggest giving an impression of "looking for trouble."
As I said at the pre-season meeting, we must ensure consistency in our approach. That will help our respect and make it easier for all of us acting togther as a Group . Frustrations happen of course happen on the field but whatever the excuses, your EXCO agreed that we will set a bench mark for foul and abusive language on the field of play.
In that context, the use of the "C" word is completley unacceptable and automatically reportable. Captains should be made aware of this also at the toss.
The ECB code of conduct guidlines give further insight.
When reporting a player, it Is important that facts are reported. "War and Peace" is not required but plesase include Time, over when the incident occured, that you discussed the Spirit of Cricket at the toss and warnings were issued where appropriate as well as a general description of what happened and an assessment of which level of offence occurred. This must be stated. Once reported that's your job done. No discussions should take place and any queries should be ignored and directed to the Chairman of Disciplinary.
We have agreed with SEWCL that no player, club official or spectator should contact the umpires concerned. Please do not debate the matter - that is for the League through Rod Jones to deal with. As your ExCo, we will give you full support on such matters. If you have any doubt or issues please to call me or Bob Szpadt to discuss.
Reporting of players though could be seen as a failure allround. Failure of the player, the captain and possibly us as umpires. The "Arsene Wenger" approach of "I didn't see it" will make matters worse. We all have a responsbility to uphold standards of the game as stated in the Preamble "Spirit of Cricket" .
The SEWCL ExCo are supportive of us as Group. We hope the automatic 2 match ban will deter bad behaviour and our further iniative on Fair Play / Spirt of Cricket Awards that we are continuing again this season will assist further. The latter is now online and the marks should be agreed between both umpires when you complete the other paperwork or emial me: firstname.lastname@example.org preferably by Sunday at the latest.
Let's hope the sun shines this weekend as promised and there no further snow!