Nine young cricketers took their first steps into umpiring at the annual Gloucestershire Under 10 Festival.
The youngsters all stood in matches after receiving training from the Gloucestershire Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers (GACUS). Three of them had completed full umpire training while the other six attended a three hour introductory course.
GACUS secretary Peter Sawyer said he was delighted with how the new initiative had gone.
He said: “These young people love their cricket, but this experience taught them more about the game and helped them understand about the umpire’s job.
“They all did really well and deserved the many positive comments they received from the coaches, scorers and parents watching.”
Each young umpire was paired with a more experienced official, one of whom was GACUS chairman Clive Poulton.
He said. “They knew their stuff all right and looked confident and assured. There’s no substitute for playing, but this experience can only help them along and I hope to see a lot more of them in the future, both playing and umpiring.”
The youngsters included a number of county age group and district players including Under 15 girls allrounder Bea Ellis (Charlton Kings) and George Driver-Dickerson (Frampton-On-Severn) who has played for both the Under 14 county development and full county teams this summer.
Bea said: “I didn’t realise I was going to have to concentrate so hard. It’s much harder than actually playing!”
George added: “I really enjoyed it, but was a bit nervous early on. It was great to have the support of a more experienced umpire as he primed me well and helped me keep my focus.”
The annual Under 10 district festival at King’s School, Gloucester is organised by the Gloucestershire Cricket Board (GCB).
Gareth Dawson, GCB community coach, was full of praise for the presence of the young umpires.
He said: “It was great to have these young umpires with us. In the past some games have had no umpires at all, but to see some of the boys and girls I already know as players was really heartening. The GCB totally support the work being done by GACUS to find umpires and to blood these youngsters here is fantastic.”
The youngsters who took part were:
Auden Barnes (Old Bristolians Westbury)
Bea Ellis (Charlton Kings)
George Driver-Dickerson (Frampton-On-Severn)
Max Haynes (Cirencester)
Leo Kelly (Newent CC)
Betsy Mangan (Charlton Kings)
Ben Markwick (Cheltenham)
Henry Morgan (Bourton Vale)
Alex Oliver (Tewkesbury)