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Season 2008/09 - Year 8

The 8th season of the Sydney Shires Cricket Umpires Association commenced at a very well attended Annual General Meeting on Wednesday 30 July, 2008

A total of 27 members (from a total membership of 57) attended the meeting along with a number of guests including Laurie Borg (Treasurer NSWCU&SA), Roy Formica (Assistant Secretary, SCA) , and Steven Poole (Liaison Officer, NSWCU&SA)

After a three year reign Chairman George Richards stood down to make way for Peter Friend with Jim Shellens maintaining the Vice President's role. Both Secretary Stephen Blomfield and Treasurer Gordon Smith were both re-elected for the 8th season in row. The management committee positions were filled by George Richards, Trevor Schokman and David Goodman.

Due to a highly successful recruitment campaign the Association took in a record number of new members. In total 20 new members joined our ranks most in a full time or part time active on field role. By seasons end the total membership stood at 69 (an all time high). The impact of all these new members was the successful supply of umpires to Shires Third Grade matches on a regular basis. This was a feat never before achieved in the Shires competition and players in Third Grade who had participated for years without ever seeing umpires for regular competition matches were now reaping the benefit of having neutral match officials in their games.

Statistics from the 2008/09 season read as follows -

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

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

* 98% umpire coverage of all days play in Second Grade Shires

* 52% umpire coverage of all days play in Third Grade Shires

* 13% umpire coverage of all days play in Fourth Grade Shires

(All of the above coverage in 4th grade being re-scheduled Sunday cricket + Finals Series)

Other Issues this season included -

* Reported Players - 4 (Down from 9 last season)

* Judiciary Matters - Code of Conduct commissioner given the power to offer an early guilty plea penalty to reported players to avoid Judiciary having to meet as often

* The Association successfully being funded $3000 from the Federal Government for a small equipment grant. The Association purchased 6 test match standard umpire light meters and computer equipment

* Umpire match fees increased from $100 to $105 per day with the SCA making a commitment to increase each year based on CPI

* George Richards & Michael Roberts took on the role of match observers watching & mentoring our new members

* A change in process to allow captains to fill in and hand in umpires assessment forms post match was trailed but deemed not to be a success

* Mark Hughes umpired the Shires XI v Churches XI rep match at Bexley Oval in October 2008

* Peter Mooney umpired the Shires XI v Grade XI rep match at the SCG in December 2008

* Jim Shellens & Gordon Smith umpired their 150th Career Shires Match

* Alan Green & Geoff Taylor umpired their 100th Career Shires Match

* Peter Friend & Chris Taylor were appointed to the 1st Grade Grand Final won by South Sydney CC

* Stephen Blomfield & Chris Taylor were appointed to the Frank Gray (Under 24) Grand Final won by Strathfield CC

* Chris Taylor took out the umpire of the year award and David Goodman won the Most improved Umpire of the Year.