Throughout these blog entries there are constant references to the umpires “working as a team”. The Laws provide for many instances where the umpires “agree together”. It is essential that this teamwork is carried onto the field and implemented throughout the day’s play.
Regardless of any personal feelings you may have for each other, either misplaced or valid – to earn respect you must maintain teamwork and professionalism.
As umpires we have all experienced it at some stage. The help you thought you were getting never arrived. Your colleague has to be there for you and vice versa – NO EXCUSES. You almost immediately lose respect for an umpire who tries to show up his colleague. You are a team out there and you have to support each other. The support can be subtle and go unnoticed to all but those close to umpiring.
Loyalty towards a colleague must be complete and resolute.
During conflict situations there can be no value in going on the attack as soon as a possible problem arises. Always watch how your partner is handling a problem and be ready to give support whenever needed. If things get out of hand or bubble over for a long time after the incident, you should walk towards the other umpire at the end of an over and say something like “everything OK?” or “should we speak to the Captain?”
Never get caught not paying attention. Even a slight shrug of the shoulders if you are asked for help is a negative sign. Even if you do not agree that the incident requires a caution to the player or Captain, make sure you both attend to the matter. Quite often a Captain or player will not want to carry on with the problem if he is of the impression that both umpires are working together.
Not backing up your partner is the quickest way to lose respect of not only your colleague but the players as well.