Cricket Umpires Australia

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Kemp and Pitts stand interstate as part of exciting initiative

Luke Uthenwoldt and Stephen Pitts

The inaugural Premier Cricket umpire exchange initiative between South Australia and Victoria has successfully concluded, with SACUSA’s Cain Kemp travelling to Melbourne and VCAUSA Stephen Pitts standing in Adelaide.

The exchange between Associations provides a challenging environment for umpires, who are tested by travelling interstate; standing in a match with a new partner; and managing two unfamiliar teams at a foreign venue. It also calls on the umpires to be well prepared and have a thorough understanding of the varying playing conditions between the competitions.

In early October, Kemp stood in the Prahran versus Dandenong fixture at Toorak Park with Victorian State Panel member Dale Ireland. With the first five rounds in the Victorian Premier Cricket competition scheduled as one-day fixtures, Kemp stood in a back-to-back limited overs game on the Sunday at Junction Oval between St Kilda and Kingston Hawthorn with Tony Ward.

On the weekend of 14/15 November, Pitts travelled to Adelaide and stood in a two-day fixture at Gliderol Stadium in the seaside suburb of Glenelg. Standing with South Australian State Panel member Luke Uthenwoldt, Pitts oversaw the Glenelg versus Woodville fixture.

Pitts noted that “even though we were from different states, the training that we have received enabled Luke and myself to communicate effectively during the game. Luke was even kind enough to do the majority of the work as 14 of the 20 wickets fell at his end”. Pitts also highlighted some differences between the two Premier Cricket competitions across the states, including post match meetings with the captains to discuss decisions, pitch and ground conditions in Adelaide, and that the overall age of players in South Australia is younger than in Victoria. 

The exchange adds another dimension to the already strong relationship the two Associations have. For over 70 years the two have been playing a bi-annual Easter game, the last match played this year in Melbourne with victory going to the Victorian team. 

The respective Umpiring Managers from each state, Neil Poulton and Richard Patterson, along with the Umpires Associations from each state have been the driving forces behind the successful exchange, and it’s envisaged that the initiative that is expected to continue into the future.