It is VITAL that umpires arrive at the match venue well before the start time, you should aim to be pitch side at least 30 minutes before push back and preferably 1 hour (you need to consider traffic hold-ups, weather & breakdowns). You should try to find your colleague and go through your match preparation together, if possible. The reality is that one umpire always turns up 'late' (is it you?), usually the home umpire - the one with the shortest distance to travel! NHUA have produced a quick check list to help prompt your thoughts as to what points you should be covering during your 'chat'. This is the bear minimum and can help when time is tight, you must at least discuss these basics with your colleague even if it means your game starts 2 minutes late!
Pre-match Check List
Is the pitch fit to play?
Ideally both umpires should check the pitch, state of goals & nets, playing surface etc. Even if a game has just finished, you should both be seen to check the pitch. Whilst you are doing this you can discuss the following points...
- Dress: Colour, Suitable for teams & background.
- Whistle: Fox or pea, harmonise tone.
- Which side? If necessary, toss a coin.
- Division of pitch: Basic areas of control, advantage in boundary area.
- Time keeping: Who times each half? Indication of 2 - 1 minutes to go, time keeper under pressure.
- Partner's position: How far up field in open play? Set pieces: position at PC & PS.
- Signalling: When help is requested. Advantage, shortening signal. Stopping & Restarting time. Contrary signals. PC at far end.
- Agreed attitude to:- Quick whistle & advantage. Lifted ball; on field, into & in circle. Breaking down of play. Positioning of hits? Stationary ball? Dissent & chat. Knocking ball away.
- Cards: Meaning of verbal warning. Yellow; suspension times. Discuss where the designated place for suspended players will be.
- PCs after end of time.
Then introduce yourselves to the captains....
- Are they wearing armbands?
- Collect team sheet/s
- Get them to choose ends etc.
- Are there any substitutes?
- Tell them where suspended players must go
- When are the floodlights coming on?
- Remind them of the captains duties
- Ask if they have any questions?
...then wish them well