To become a Waverley player it is important to learn the Waverley game. This guide will teach you the ins and outs of umpiring. A good umpire will be impartial and even handed, however a Waverley umpire will generally give you out if you are batting too slowly or if you gave him out in a previous match.
- Warming-up is of vital importance in all aspects of the game. Many umpires look to warm-up by giving a decision early to get back in the swing of things which will, unfortunately, mean a short innings for the opening batsman.
- The umpire should stand behind the stumps at the bowler's end. It is important to note that if you find yourself standing next to a funny looking man wearing gloves then you are probably at the wrong end. At the end of the over, the umpire should walk to the position occupied by the square-leg fielder (to the left of a right-handed batsman, about 15-20 paces away).
- The umpire is responsible for ensuring all the necessary equipment is ready so the game can be played. There should a set of stumps at either end of the wicket for the bowlers to hit and a shiny red ball for them to try and hit them with. Should the wickets become broken during the course of the game by the ball then the task of the umpire is to put them right again.
- It is necessary to bring six stones or coins with you to the wicket when umpiring. This is to aid you in keeping track of how many balls have been bowled in the over (although there is still a fair amount of guess work involved when umpiring the Waverley way). There is also an art to transferring the stones/coins from one hand to the other - an inexperienced umpire will usually just pass the stone/coin from one hand to the other, whereas a more experienced umpire may toss the stone/coin from one hand to the other, or perform a bizarre juggling ritual after each delivery.
- HEALTH WARNING - if Jim Jam is umpiring, it has been known for batsmen to try and impale themselves on their own bats to escape his ramblings. Similarly, if MC is seen walking out to umpire then batsmen are frequently overcome with despair and contemplate the pointlessness of existence. If you are batting and you see either of these characters approaching the wicket in a white coat, it is advised that you mentally prepare yourself.
Dealing with an appeal;
The appeal consists of a bowler screaming at you (see the Art of Bowling
) and this is when you have to make the judgement of out or not out. Here are the factors a Waverley umpire should consider:
- THERE MUST BE AN APPEAL - as tempting as it is to give Mog out the first time the ball hits his pads, the finger must remain down until the fielding team ask the question.
- Is the bowler bigger than you? If so then the batsman is OUT.
- Is the batsman the captain? If so then it is advised you give him NOT OUT to be in with a chance of playing the next game.
- How quickly has the batsman been scoring? Should the batsman be scoring slowly and generally playing a boring innings then the batsman should be given OUT; however issues arise if the batsman is also the captain. This is called the 'Moggy Paradox'.
- Did he give you out in the last match? This is your chance for revenge. That dodgy LBW he gave in the last game will now come back to haunt him.
- NB: the above rules do not apply to MC, who will probably give the batsman out regardless.
- FLOURISHES - when giving a signal, it is widely encouraged that umpires should show some creativity. Senior pros are entitled by virtue of their age to signal how they see fit, but younger players should attempt to finish a signal for a four with flick of the wrist (see the Bandit for advice on wrist-flicking), or a six with a Bowden-like stride towards the scorers. Similarly, creative ways of raising your finger to spell a batsman's doom are smiled upon, e.g. the "Bucknor nod' or the slow death (see Rudi Koertzen). Raising a crooked finger (e.g. Billy Bowden) will be treated as an instant pink t-shirt offence. For inspiration, ask Teabag about his "wobbly wides".
- MIND-GAMES - it is likely that the batsman on the receiving end of the appeal will attempt to play mind-games with you, the umpire (see 'how to survive an LBW shout' in the Art of Batting). This could involve looking incredulously at the bowler, quickly walking away from the crease or simply raising an eyebrow at you (particularly effective if the batsman has a position of authority, e.g. Club Captain). You must ignore these attempts. If you believe the batsman is out, then give him out. You can spend the rest of your umpiring stint figuring out a good excuse for the decision.