Article courtesy of Shepard Neame League (Author unknown)
No cricket match can take place without umpires, however most cricket matches are played without appointed umpires. The purpose of this Guide is to give players the confidence to take their turn as an umpire to ensure that a match can take place.
In matches without appointed umpires, the Team Captains carry out most of the administrative duties of umpires (the number of overs; if game is playable (having to consider ground conditions, weather and light; who will bat first etc.) leaving just the umpiring to the ‘men in white coats’. These umpiring requirements are briefly covered in this Guide, are not too difficult and will enable you to make a valuable contribution to any match. Remember that umpiring is an art. Always try to remain calm, never be seen to act in a hasty or pressured way and you will learn something every time you umpire.
You cannot be expected to know all the 42 Laws in detail. While you have the ‘white coat’ then you and your colleague, together with the scorers, are the third team on the field. While you are in that role, act as a team and always remember that two heads are better than one. You will not need to consult your colleague after every ball, however, if something happens and you are unsure what to do, it is essential that you BOTH agree on what to do, after discussion – it is what qualified umpires do quietly all the time.
It has been brought to my attention that many clubs are not providing a scorer for their games particularly in the lower levels of the League. Normally, this is not a problem as two volunteers from the batting side take over the books for the innings. However, it seems that some clubs are now only filling in 'their' book and letting their opponents copy the book over at the end of the innings/match. This isn't good enough. Every club should be able to find two semi-literate individuals to do this vital job (particularly if the side batting first have managed to complete both books!). It is really not that difficult. A dot here, a single here and a little bit of adding up. It is vital that checks of both books are made at the end of every over to ensure that errors are not made.
I am attaching a 15 minute guide to scoring from the now defunct ACUS which clubs should keep with their scorebooks in case of queries.