A grading system for umpires was introduced several years ago to enable umpires to know what level of cricket they were officiating at and, for those with ambitions to progress, to advise them what the next step up would be on the progression pyramid.
It is acknowledged that some umpires may not be particularly ambitious, content in the knowledge that their participation helps players to enjoy the sport. For others, the level at which they officiate is very important. It is for the latter group that grading is, and will increasingly become, more relevant.
Appointments at a senior level will become ever-more competence-based and how an umpire is graded will form an integral part of his or her ability to progress on the officials’ pathway.
Kent ACO grades its umpire members, according to agreed national standards and is based on the level of cricket they have officiated in the previous season, subject to a minimum of six matches at that level.
This year (2018) the Kent ACO have been invited to participate in a pilot scheme which will provide greater detail of both the level of officiating and the competence of the umpire. An indication will be given of whether educational training has been undertaken along with captains’ marks, where these are known, (i.e. Kent League Panel Umpires).
There is no change in the grading methodology, i.e. all grading is evidential based on where an umpire has officiated in the previous year. The revised grading criteria being used in the pilot scheme is shown below.
There are now 7 grades from C1 to C7.
C1 – ECB Premier League – Kent League 1st XI Premier Division
C2 – Tier 2 League – Kent League 1st XI Division 1
C3 – Tier 3 League – Kent League 1st XI Division 2
Kent Premier 2nd XI
C4 – Tier 4 League – Remaining Kent League
Kent Regional League Premier & Championship Divisions
Kent Village League 1st Division
C5 – All other levels of umpiring
C6 – New umpires and those we are unaware of the level of league in which the umpire is standing. The umpire should contact the County Performance Officer (details below) to advise them of which league he/she is standing in so that the correct grading can be given.
C7 - No longer actively umpiring.
Grades C1 to C6 will also have the addition of a letter A, B, C or D appended to the grade, e.g. C2C.
The definitions for the letters are as follows:
A) Appointed to a minimum of 6 matches at the Tier Level currently required for this grade and finished in the top quartile of captains’ marks and undertook some form of recognised training during the last year
B) Appointed to a minimum of 6 matches at the Tier Level currently required for this grade and finished in the top quartile of captains’ marks but undertook no recognised training during the last year.
C) Appointed to a minimum of 6 matches at the Tier Level currently required for this grade and undertook some form of recognised training during the last year but finished outside the top quartile of captains’ marks.
D) Appointed to a minimum of 6 matches at the Tier Level currently required for this grade but finished outside the top quartile of captains’ marks and undertook no recognised training during the last year.
Note - The option of adding a * to the grade, (i.e. where it had previously been determined that the umpire has the immediate potential to officiate at the next level), has been removed.
Previous experience of umpiring at a higher level, however, continues to be recognised by a + provided that person is deemed capable of doing so again at that level should the need or opportunity arise.
For example, a grade C5+3 would be awarded to someone previously graded C2 but who, based on matches umpired in the previous year, could only be awarded grade C5.
Any umpire member who has any questions about the grading process, or who wishes to verify his/her grade for the current year, is invited to contact the County Performance Officer John Hope