To all SCCL Clubs from SCB ACO Chairman

Tom Kane
53 Arundel Close
01952 763 578

To all SCCL Chairmen

As the newly elected Chairman of the Association and being having been its Education officer for the last ten years, I feel I have to write to you about our challenge of improving the overall standard of cricket in our county.

It was brought to my attention at our first monthly meeting of the season that we have only 99 members of the Association of Cricket Officials in Shropshire when over 120 teams look to play a match within the “Spirit of the Game” every weekend 

A recent poll carried out by ECB, found that 93% of those players polled believed it’s essential to have qualified umpires, and they recorded just 65% on umpire quality in their league!

Our national governing body requires that only ECB premier leagues should have ECBACO members, however the FA require qualified officials at all senior matches, the RFU insists on qualified officials down to level 10, equivalent of lower league cricket.

SACO runs an umpires panel for SCCL for premier and Division One clubs and with the help of SCB has made great efforts to find volunteers to train as qualified officials without great success. 

However, if the players and their clubs, want trained Umpires and Scorers in all divisions, then the initiative for providing candidates with a commitment to officiate in our matches, must come from the league and its clubs. Apart from the clear benefits to the players and the game in general of having professional trained Umpires and Scorers, there are benefits to those officials who are members of the ACO.

You may be aware that two umpires were recently taken to court by a player contending “negligence” by playing in allegedly unfit conditions. The cost of the case was estimated to be in the region of £50,000, which would have been covered by ECBACO paying all the expenses of the case had it been lost, because both umpires were members of the ECBACO.

If the case had been lost and the officials concerned had not been covered by the comprehensive insurance the ACO provides its members, I wouldn’t like to consider the financial outcome of our colleagues.

It’s essential that everyone understands that once any person volunteers to umpire they could find themselves in a similar situation, all because they thought they would help their mates have a game!

I ask you as the Chairman of your club to help us find more qualified officials for our beautiful game in Shropshire

Yours in Cricket
Tom Kane                   

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