World Bowls Laws Advisory Group’s Allan Thornhill had the pleasure of spending a weekend on the beautiful Island of Guernsey to run a workshop and assessment session for their existing umpires and three new candidates.
Explained Allan: “The island is fortunate to have around 12 qualified umpires many of whom are top class players, including Alison and Ian Merrien and Lucy Beere. Their deep understanding of the sport at a high level is a great advantage to being an umpire and applying the Laws of the Sport in a practical way.
“The process for Guernsey umpires is standard practice found elsewhere in umpire training programmes. Prior to the weekend, the new candidates completed a question paper on the laws which gave them a good introduction to the law book. This allowed us to concentrate on discussing some selected practical laws on day one such as displacement, foot-faulting, rink possession and dealing with other anomalies.
“The afternoon of the first day was spent practicing the various measuring exercises which test the use of the key items of equipment. This set the scene for the second day comprising the assessment. “Each candidate was expected to complete a selection of measuring exercises demonstrating their competence in the use of the equipment and the basic principles of measuring. There are also a set of laws questions asked orally to test the retained knowledge of the candidate.
“Existing umpires are reassessed every four years or so and they go through a similar process. I am pleased to say that all existing umpires passed their assessment.
“It is always gratifying to see candidates pass their assessment but even more so during this weekend when three new candidates passed with very high percentage marks. Many congratulations to Martyn de Carteret and Catherine Snell but special mention to Nicole Le Noury who becomes, what we believe to be, the youngest qualified umpire in the British Isles currently. All talented players in their own right which I believe gave them a good grounding in understanding how the laws are applied.
“Congratulations to all and I look forward to working with many of the Guernsey officials at the NatWest International Island Games this month in which indoor bowls is one of the key sports.
“If you are interested in marking or umpiring and would like to find out more, get in touch with your local umpiring body who will run courses on a regular basis.”
Caption: From left: Allan Thornhill with the three new umpires Catherine Snell, Martyn de Carteret and Nicole Le Noury, who is just 19.