Cricket bosses are making a new appeal to recruit more umpires to officiate at matches in the area after admitting there is a shortage.
Durham Cricket Board Association of Cricket Officials (DCBACO) have launched their umpiring and scoring courses ahead of the 2018 cricket season which begins in the spring.
The England Cricket Board’s (ECB) new programme of umpire training sees four levels of training aimed at providing people with a lower entry point into formal training.
The new courses are shorter, cheaper and spend more time on the skills required to be a competent umpire, rather than the laws of the game which can be learned via a new online course which the MCC are offering.
Stage 1 courses are £30 and include a year’s free membership to ECB Association Cricket Officials and further discounts are available to candidates seeking to take the Stage 2 course.
Umpiring across the area has hit an all-time low and Durham is one of the many counties which has seen a fall in the numbers of officials.
During a typical season across the county over 8,500 umpire appointments need to be made by the various league and cup secretaries.
By far the busiest day is a Saturday, when around 120 matches are played requiring 240 umpires.
At the moment, the area simply does not have enough umpires.
Peter Brown, DCBACO Umpires Secretary and appointments officer for the North East Premier League and Durham Cricket League, said: “During last season 100 Durham Cricket League games had only one umpire.
“80 games had no umpires at all, resulting in players officiating themselves.”
Paul Jordison, Durham Cricket Association chairman, said: “We would love to hear from any ex-cricketers who still wish to be involved in the game. It is not just old cricketers we want, absolutely anyone, irrespective of age, anyone can become an umpire.
“We have excellent tutors to coach people through the twists and turns and a comprehensive mentoring system ensuring newcomers are paired with experienced umpires.”
Full details of the courses can be found at the DCBACO website, Facebook and Twitter pages.
Anyone interested can also contact Keith Sutherland (umpires) at email@example.com and Sam Blacklock (scorers) at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more details goes to www.durhamccc.co.uk/be-involved/officials/courses-umpires-scorers/.