Toronto Umpires brush aside pitch for expansion


Jon Harris


At the meeting last week of the Toronto Umpires and Scorers Association, the overtures of the President of the Canadian Cricket Association were summarily rejected. This was serendipity indeed, for not only was I in the same room as 'the doctor', but he handed me a story.

The following is an edited text of a message sent to the recently resigned/fired Robert Weekes dated August 7, 2002.


You would know that the following is copied from the Cricket Americas web site.


Regional Umpiring Strengthening

· Increase the number of umpires in the region by
50 % in a three (3) time period

· Increase the competence and professionalism of umpires

· Increase the number of umpires who are accredited by
recognised bodies

· Stimulate the awareness of the importance of umpiring

· Attract new persons to umpiring

· Establish national umpiring associations which
are affiliated to the recognized national
cricketing associations/boards

· Establish a regional system of accreditation
which will be recognised extra-regionally


· Three (3) years, effective April 1, 2001
concluding March 31, 2003


· Design of a basic (introductory) umpiring course

· Design of an accreditation system to be utilised
region wide

· Umpiring Assessments and Profiles

· Umpiring courses at various levels


Approximately 50% of the time frame for the umpires development project has passed. Would you please provide some assessment of the situation for the Canadian performance towards the goals of increasing the number of umpires by 50% in a three year period.

You would also know that the Canadian Cricket Association is challenged when it comes to communication, so please do not bother to refer the matter to 'our' national dysfunctional association.

I shall place a deadline for your response at August 31, 2002. There will be a story if you reply. There will be a story if you do not. I would love to have a 'positive' story to deliver to the Canadian cricket constituency who have to rely on for news of 'their' game. Of course if you care to deliver the report for release to the official web site for Canadian cricket I know that Dave Liverman would be delighted, and I shall not be offended.

Unfortunately, before I could chase him down for his response, Robert Weekes had "Departed never to return"?

Is it coincidence that the President of the CCA should turn up unannounced, and uninvited, to the very next umpires meeting? "Curiouser and curiouser!", cried Alice, and Jon.

During the 'Other business' segment of the Umpires Association meeting, the President of the CCA made a pitch. A pitch which was promptly rejected by the TU&SA President without reference to the membership. The pitch was for the association to expand its horizons. (Those are my words.). The response was a firm 'we have as much work as we can handle'. (My paraphrasing). The President of the TU&SA appeared to have no knowledge of the "Regional Umpiring Project". I believe the President of the CCA would have had knowledge of the project as far back as ...... well who knows?


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