Following a recent tender process, England Hockey is delighted to confirm the appointment of Who’s The Umpire (WTU) as the provider of its centralised Officiating Management System.
This process has come from ongoing consultation between England Hockey and all 37 Hockey Umpiring Associations (HUAs) regarding a common IT system to meet the current and future requirements of HUAs in servicing matches and umpire development at all levels of the game.
England Hockey would like to thank representatives from HUAs for their input into this process, with the NPUA and Regional HUAs having directly reviewed the system and interested Associations pledging to adopt this system from the start of the 2019/20 domestic season.
What is going to change?
The Officiating Management System (OMS) will consolidate and drive all elements and stages of the England Hockey Umpire Development Pathway, including the management of umpires at club level, communication of development opportunities at a local level to umpires and the promotion of opportunities for umpires to progress up the umpiring pathway.
It will also engage with England Hockey’s Hockey Hub and accreditation system, to provide an engaging experience for umpires, umpire development officers, club umpire liaison officers and appointment secretaries alike.
I’m an umpire, how does this benefit me?
Other benefits that are expected will be for umpires to be able to access their England Hockey details directly (as it will feed from the main data management system).
Officials that are members of multiple associations currently will only need to update their availability in one system.
Any developments that are introduced to the system will be available to all users (including those introduced by WTU in other sports).
What can you tell us about Who’s The Umpire?
They are based in Norfolk and are a leading provider of software to sports bodies with particular understanding of officiating.
They work with national and regional bodies across England and other countries for numerous sports including Rugby Union, Cricket and Ice Hockey.
They pride themselves on their ability to understand the needs of clubs, umpires and administrators in particular.
When will it come into place?
A comprehensive testing period is being undertaken on the new system with core users between now and the official launch, targeted to be July 2019, with direct consultations with appointing bodies, HUAs and clubs being carried out.
Do I have to use this new system?
County HUAs who use other platforms may of course remain with their current providers, although opportunities to work with the new Officiating Management System will exist too.
How will it impact my club?
The impact on clubs will be minimal, as those that receive appointed umpires will still receive automated emails, be asked to complete feedback reports and be able to access officials’ contact details as currently.
But they will need to generate new logins for the system – information for which will be provided over the Summer, and well before the start of the 2019/20 league season.
I’m a club player, how will this impact me?
For club players, there will be no immediate or obvious difference to anything within your playing world – however, one of the longer term aims is to be able to use this one single, centralised system to better collect, record and collate information from multiple sources about the quality of umpires and officials.
By holding this data in one place, and then being able to analyse the information, England Hockey will aim to develop better education programmes, provide insight to leagues and Umpire Associations and tailor communications to the specific needs of individual umpires.
Who do I contact for more info?
For more information, please contact David Elworthy – Officiating Relationship Manager David.firstname.lastname@example.org