Management & Communication Obstruction & Communication

Discussion in 'Indoor Umpiring Questions' started by JE87, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. JE87

    JE87 FHF Regular Player

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    Had this from the weekend.



    1. Is this obstruction/crossing? I don't think the white player has been impeded here, he is still able to play at the ball to defend. In discussion afterwards, the umpire in question said that 2 players had stopped him from trying to defend the ball.

    2. I will admit to sometimes not communicating to umpires very well at times, with the pressure of the game and situation sometimes getting to me. If I step over the line with my tone and words, I'll take being told to shut up or penalised with cards. But in this instance, I am calm and stating what I've written above - that the white player was not affected by any of the red players. What do people here think of the reaction? I've never seen this before in my years in hockey, with an umpire saying nothing and just pointing to his cards as a warning.

    Just interested as both points are recurring themes in my conversations with umpires - 1) the giving of free-hits and corners when the "offence" has no effect on the game (no advantage or disadvantage to the teams), and 2) communication between players/coaches and umpires.
     
  2. redumpire

    redumpire FHF All Time Great
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    I have to say that I cannot see any offence by red in that situation.

    However, you say that you were calm: what I see is that you stood up from a seating position, moved to the boards and stood on them to make yourself even taller and then directly challenged the umpire's decision. That's in and of itself an aggressive act whether or not your voice was rasied. I would argue that the umpire's response was every bit as calm as your questioning. He simply turns to you and makes his point very effectively. It's interesting to note that one of your players feels the need to come to you to persuade you to sit down again.

    To summarise: I think the initial decision was wrong; your reaction was OK, but not as calm as you might have thought; the umpire's response to your reaction is calm and effective.
     
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  3. JE87

    JE87 FHF Regular Player

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    I can see how it looks like that. Umpires generally don't hear me sat down as it's pretty loud in the hall with our supporters, hence why I've felt the need to get up. Also, he doesn't see this action as his back is turned to me, so I can't see that effecting his reaction, regardless of how it looks.

    It was a pretty key part of the game, and it was quite heated throughout - I don't think the umpires dealt with it well, this guy especially had little to no interaction with the players or coaches. I'm reflecting on myself here too, just trying to think how I would have done it differently - maybe saying nothing, but from a competitive point of view if after a small conversation he goes to the other umpire to check, it could save us conceding the PC if the other umpire sees differently. Of course I would expect the other umpire to converse with/help him beforehand if that's the case, but the sad fact is that they don't do it enough!

    As I said, I was just stating what I said in the OP - no expletives, nothing specifically against the umpire, and in a normal conversational manner (which with me doesn't happen as often as it should, something I'm working on!). But if that's not acceptable then perhaps coaches should not be able to approach umpires. If he comes over to me and tells me what he said after the game in one sentence, it's over. Or at least verbally warn me that I could be carded. I don't find showing someone the cards in your pocket as effective, it came across as more of a "power-complex" thing, which at that point I lost all respect for him as an umpire. Even if that wasn't how he wanted it to come across, that was exactly what I thought.

    Context of my player coming over was to remind me that my captain was yellow carded earlier for complaining (and rightly so) therefore we did not want him to get a red card. Also, we won the game and the PC was not scored - so this is me just looking at it from a development point of view - coach and umpire!
     
  4. aussieump

    aussieump FHF All Time Great
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    It looks like even after you had been informed by your player about Capt YC you still gesture.

    Looks like he thought he had seen an obstruction, but that appears to have been in error. (by signal used)
    Agree with Red, your actions appear to be aggressive and he probably heard your words, but appears to be answering an on-field query first.

    If you feel you lost respect for the umpire because he gestured towards his cards, maybe you need to reflect how your gestures and approach would have appeared to an umpire. not saying the umpire in the OP would have seen your actions, but as you say you are self reflecting then look at this from that aspect
     
  5. JE87

    JE87 FHF Regular Player

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    Ok so I'm getting that my body language and gestures are not helping, interesting coming from umpires point of view so that is good to know. I guess it's difficult in a high pressured game, I've seen much worse get away with much less, but that doesn't mean I can't work on that side of things.

    I still don't think the umpire handled it well - I don't get hung up on these things too often but the card gesture really riled me, would still had preferred verbal communication. In general, British umpires have a much better hold on this type of thing I think, but maybe that's just my opinion. Even in games that are quite physical/fiery, and are quite difficult to manage from an umpires view, I've seen and experienced many examples where it's been handed better by verbal communication. Quiet word, then it's clear. If I keep talking and gesturing towards the umpire, then I deserve to be penalised. Seen this more in the UK the majority of the time at this level, less than 50% of the time in Germany, and almost never in Spain!

    Another interesting question - my captain at half-time asked me how he can speak to the umpire about any issues during the game? We both agreed his reaction at the end of the first half warranted a YC, but there was no dialogue beforehand as he wasn't willing to discuss anything. I normally say that we should just continue to focus on ourselves, and I try to speak to the umpires after the game to try and work together to improve our understanding (as players, coaches and umpires). But that doesn't help the short term problem during the game. Interested in suggestions from umpire coaches or umpires themselves for what we can do as players and coaches that is acceptable in these situations.
     
  6. aussieump

    aussieump FHF All Time Great
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    Any approach must be a respectful approach. Ask if you may ask a question, that does not mean you will be happy for the answer. It should not be a long and protracted time as both players and umpires need the break for various issues and game management.

    It is about a question, not becoming a series of questions, so be brief and succinct with that request, this is all, it is a request for an answer or response not a discussion session that can lead to a debate confrontation.
    But as I said it must remain respectful and in all cases respect goes both ways.
     
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  7. JE87

    JE87 FHF Regular Player

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    Yep I agree with that. I didn't make my question clear enough. What if there is no response from the umpire?
     
  8. Nij

    Nij FHF All Time Great

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    Either they didn't hear the question, so now is not a good time, or they heard it but they're busy, so now is not a good time, or they heard it but they're not interested in responding (and there could be a range of reasons for that).
     
  9. JE87

    JE87 FHF Regular Player

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    Agree for isolated incidents. But continuous lack of communication throughout a game? Many umpires do have this dialogue with the captain and sometimes with other players and the coach, but also there are a fair few that don't. The players find themselves helpless, and can be a factor to increasing their frustrations - leading to less appropriate ways of approaching the umpire, and the likelihood of being penalised for it (and rightly so).
     
  10. aussieump

    aussieump FHF All Time Great
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    Not sure how much communication you want from umpires to players and coaches, they will signal infringements, use their voice to direct players to follow instructions so if they, as you would like more communications with coaches etc. then we will have people criticising them for talking too much and not following the game.

    From a Capt point of view once again say it must be a respectful request, not a "What was that for". then only when a break in play may allow the umpire to listen and possible answer that question. Even at half time only a polite request for a question or clarification. As I said earlier not a lengthy discussion period

    A couple of seasons ago I had a Capt tell me they were allowed to challenge an umpires decision. I quietly pointed out that is never the case. but if they asked in a polite manner an answer might be provided subject to play continuing. His response was " I am an umpire and we have been told they are allowed". My response was whoever said that is incorrect if they used those words.
    This all occurred off field as I was the Tech Official on duty as they had been carded for an on-field offence.

    So it seems sometimes the correct choice of words is paramount when people are coaching or presenting rules sessions.

    Just my thoughts
     
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  11. peterwins

    peterwins FHF Legend

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    Agree with @redumpire that no foul occurred, but I had to look several times to check that the red player who originally got the ball did not obstruct as he did his ballerina spin. At full speed, that probably was confusing.

    As to approaching umpires, as a player and coach, I have had the most success at a stoppage, either for a PC, PS or goal, by succinctly and respectfully stating a point of view and asking if the umpire might be willing to consider that with his/her colleague. If s/he does, great. If not, at least I have asked politely. The other time is that as a defender, there can be moments when the ball is down the other end and I can have a quiet word about something that happened in the last passage of play. Helps to keep my eyes downfield. That way it is just a quiet word and not seen by anyone on the sidelines as a confrontation.

    Always thanking umpires after a game and engaging them in a non-confrontational discussion, perhaps after a break, helps build rapport, not just with the two umpires on the day. Umpires talk. They will sometimes warn colleagues about a particular player or coach. Similarly, they will share views about "reasonable" players and coaches. I also umpire. I have no problem with a player asking me a polite question at a break. May be harder to address as play is going on. I am much less receptive to a coach complaining while play is ongoing about calls made earlier or urging me to "help my colleague get it right in his/her circle". We have radios. We are talking.

    At best, as a player or coach, I hope to have a major decision reconsidered. I say reconsidered, not changed, as my perspective may have been wrong. That is why as umpires, even with radios, it sometimes can be powerful to come together to discuss a decision. It can have a calming effect on the game as a point is being considered.

    Respect, timing and consistency of approach will allow you and your players to build better relationships with umpires over time. Good luck!
     
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  12. JE87

    JE87 FHF Regular Player

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    I agree totally with everything here. I do feel there can be some communication between (at least) captain and umpire - doesn't have to be a continual conversation/discussion. The issue I have is when the umpire refuses to talk to the captain or the coach, which unfortunately some do. It doesn't have to be a long discussion, just a quick clarification or something like that. I think what I said was pretty respectful, it was just my point of view, there's no problem with me disagreeing with a decision if it's respectful. Likewise it is no problem if the umpire disagrees with my point of view, if it's done respectfully. Had he clarified by saying he felt our player obstructed the opposing player, then that would be it - as he did after the game.
     
  13. JE87

    JE87 FHF Regular Player

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    Absolutely! I think here, although my body language wasn't great, I do feel I gave my point of view politely but clearly it wasn't welcome in this scenario.

    I generally like to talk to umpires after a game. I've said quite a few times on the forum that I think it's so important for coaches and umpires to develop their understanding together. And done politely and with respect. Unfortunately not all umpires take it this way - similarly too many coaches spend their time criticising umpires without offering to be a part of the development process for umpires and themselves!
     
  14. aurinje

    aurinje FHF Newbie

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    So, I’ve recently moved to Denmark from the UK and have been given much different guidance with regards to explanations during play.

    In the UK I was always told, provided you can keep it short, succinct and they ask nicely you can probably explain it.

    In Denmark, I’ve been told that I “talk to players and coaches too much” and that you should basically say nothing, being open to a discussion to explain the matter at the half or the end.

    I’m not sure if the guidance is similar in Germany, although it’s certainly a possibility if you’ve been facing that as an issue.

    I’ve always been keen on explanations in outdoor but with indoor I guess play can change so quickly that unless you’ve stopped the clock you could miss something.

    I would personally say that pointing to your cards is a perfectly polite reminder to someone that they are there and they will use them; IF the way you’ve been approached is borderline unacceptable. Otherwise I would have just asked politely for you to “leave it” until after the game.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  15. Diligent

    Diligent FHF All Time Great
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    In most indoor halls there is a great deal of sound echoing around so, from the umpiring perspective, while a 2 or 3 word explanation might work, anything more complex would only add to the confusion or grievance, and is best left unsaid.

    In terms of the offence/penalty, the red offender(?) does fairly dramatically lift his his leg away from between white and the red with the ball, so I can see how that momentary image triggered the "offence" response, and inside the circle that's a PC. As it happens there is no particular disadvantage, but the whistle has blown and there it is.

    The coach might wish to discuss that decision, but what would he be hoping to achieve - the umpire takes it back, and they restart with a bully some 3+m outside the circle? Imagine there was a video review: roll it, roll it, stop there; as you can see, there was a 3rd party obstruction; the PC stands, red lose their review (the decision was not wrong).

    Stepping forward, standing on the boards, and asking the umpire had the same result: the PC stands. Better choice was to stay seated. Keep the powder dry for a genuine 'wrong way' mistake, that the umpires can reasonably agree to reverse.
     
  16. Mick Mason

    Mick Mason FHF Top Player

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    In every call by an umpire there are two things to consider, the "act" and what the umpire (and you) sees, and the "rule" and how the umpire applies it. Before you can even begin to discuss with an umpire their application of the rule you must first understand what it was that the umpire saw. Was it the same as what you saw, is it even possible to agree that you both saw the same thing? Because it is all but impossible to be sure you and the umpire are even talking about the same thing the whole notion of arguing a call during play is a waste of your time and theirs. Just play on and have a chat about what you both saw after the game. It is reasonable though for the coach to ask what a call is for, for some explanation as to why a call went the way it did. It must be done in a way that doesn't intimidate the umpire though. The example in the OP, running up and standing on the board and yelling at the back of the umpires head, is always going to end with the umpire telling you to go away.

    An example of how people see different things.... This week at the National Indoor Championships in Goulburn Australia we saw an attacker carry the ball down the right side to the baseline where she was met by a player who was ready with stick down to prevent her coming towards the goal. Two other defenders were set with sticks down to prevent any pass to the attacking team player who was coming in at the top of the circle (with a defender on her shoulder). The attacker with the ball went ahead with her pass to the oncoming player, lifting the ball so that it travelled over 2 defenders sticks, and the oncoming player played the ball in the air on to the foot of the defender shadowing her and the umpire (who is standing right next to the attacker on the baseline) blows a PC. Naturally the defenders all had something to say, the other umpire (in radio contact) shrugged her shoulders and a PC was played out. Did the engaged umpire believe the ball came up off the defenders stick and was playing advantage? Maybe, she could have been unsighted by the attacker at the crucial time. You can't argue what she saw so you play on.

    At the beginning of each indoor season I send a note to all my players, the part about umpires....
    "
    How you act towards Umpires
    Their word is law. I do not want players to be commenting on the umpires work in a way that the umpires or the other teams can hear. You will not change an umpires mind, they are on there for the whole game and we want them doing their job not thinking about some play from 5 minutes ago that started an argument.
    We are playing in a small competition and it is likely we will have the same umpires for many of our games. We do not want an umpire taking the field for our game with anything but good thoughts about our team. If you have an issue that you think needs addressing you talk to the captain, Donna or me. We do not dispute the call, we all see things happen differently, and if it is about the interpretation of the rules, that is my job to raise it with the umpires and the grounds supervisor."
     
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  17. JE87

    JE87 FHF Regular Player

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    It's not something that happens with every umpire so I wouldn't have thought it is guidance.

    Again, I would take the "asked politely to leave it" every time over the "pointing at cards".
     
  18. JE87

    JE87 FHF Regular Player

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    I'd take a bully over a PC defence any day!
     
  19. JE87

    JE87 FHF Regular Player

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    I know I'm not in the greatest of shapes these days, but that is definitely not a run! ;P And genuinely there was no yelling. As I've said, I have been (to my weakness) much worse in other scenarios - this was genuinely in a normal (if slightly disappointed) tone. Yes my body language doesn't help (again something I have taken on) but it isn't seen by the umpire and therefore shouldn't have effected his reaction.

    The umpires don't use radios indoors in Germany, at least not for what I've seen. Perhaps they do in the final 4 but in the normal league games it's not something that's used. Interestingly we play at a lower level outdoors yet radios are used every week. Not sure if that happens elsewhere.

    I agree that I try to focus the guys on what we can control ("control the controllables", the umpires are not part of that. However, when there is little to no communication with certain umpires it can get frustrating. Similarly, I am sure it's frustrating for umpires when players and coaches comment all the time on their decisions.
     
  20. Nij

    Nij FHF All Time Great

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    I'm sure the umpire would take the "getting on with the game" every time over "stopping to ask questions". It doesn't appear you're going to acknowledge that preference at all, why would they care about yours?
     
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