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Season 2007/08 - Year 7

The seventh season of the SSCUA began with the holding of its 6th Annual General Meeting on 18 July 2007. The meeting held at the Redfern RSL was attended by 24 of the 47 members holding membership at the time of the AGM. The total membership base of 47 is 10 less than the 57 that held membership as at the end of the previous season.

The drop in membership was due to a memo sent to all inactive members and persons who only umpired one or two games last season asking them to consider what role they were playing for the Association by not being active umpires. The effect was 10 members who between them had only umpired 9 games in the previous year deciding not to renew membership.

At the AGM a few small changes to the Management committee took place. George Richards was elected President for his 3rd term, Jim Shellens filled the role for Vice President for his 1st term while Stephen Blomfield (Secretary) and Gordon Smith (Treasurer) were both re-instated unopposed for their 7th terms in office. Chris Kearney and Trevor Schokman were both re-instated as members on the Management Committee and were joined by Peter Friend and Paul Coleman for their debut season on the committee.

Chris Kearney subsequently resigned his position on the committee as well as his membership of the Association one month after his election. No reason was given for this decision.

At the Annual General Meeting the members unanimously voted to a restructured constitution document that made the rules and regulations of the Association more relevant than the document that had been put together in 2001

The 2007-08 cricket season was one of the wettest and also coolest summers in Sydney for more than 15 years with more days of play washed out this year than the last 6 seasons all put together. Despite this, the season will be recorded as one of the most successful to date based on the following statistics -

* 100% umpire coverage of all days play in First Grade Shires

* 100% umpire coverage of all days play in Frank Gray Shield Matches

* 89% umpire coverage of all days play in Second Grade Shires (a rise of 16%)

* 29% umpire coverage of all days play in Third Grade Shires

(40% of this coverage was Saturday cricket, 60% was Sunday + Finals Series)

* 31% umpire coverage of all days play in Fourth Grade Shires

(All of the above coverage being re-scheduled Sunday cricket + Finals Series)

A positive aspect to the above statistics was that unlike last season we received during the summer a modest flow down of surplus umpires from Sydney Grade Cricket which show that umpire numbers across the board were slightly better than 2006/07

As at the end of the season we had a total of 53 members, a decrease of 4 from last seasons high of 57. During the season we took in 10 new members (8 new applications plus 2 re-joins) while a total of 14 decided to resign or allow their memberships to lapse.

Other Issues this season included -

* Reported Players - 9 (Down from 11 last season)

* Judiciary Matters - Continuation of the process last season seeing all reported players processed within a week of the matter being sent to the SCA

* The Association successfully being funded $2500 from the Federal Government for a small equipment grant. The Association purchased 8 test match standard umpire light meters

* The introduction of the on field umpires polo shirt which saw a near century of tradition put to bed with the abolition of the requirement for umpires to wear a tie.

* Umpire match fees increased from $85 to $100 per day

* Jim Shellens umpired the Shires XI v Churches XI rep match at Bexley Oval in October 2007

* Chris Taylor umpired the Shires XI v Grade XI rep match at the SCG in December 2007

* George Richards, Spencer Harrison, Ivan Holland and Peter Friend umpired their 100th Career Shires Match

* Stephen Blomfield umpired his 150th Career Shires Match

* Peter Friend & Stephen Blomfield appointed to the 1st Grade Grand Final won by Pennant Hills CC

* Jim Shellens & Tony Kingsford Smith appointed to the Frank Gray (Under 24) Grand Final won by Warringah CC

* Bruce Whitehouse took out the umpire of the year award and Richard Christen won the Most improved Umpire of the Year.

* Gordon Smith won the prestigious "Association Medal" at the Annual Dinner of the NSWCU&SA on 12.4.08

* The NSWCU&SA awarded President George Richards an upgrade of his full membership to principle membership. Only Life Membership is a higher honour within the ranks of NSWCU&SA