Hockey India and Hockey Andhra Pradesh, aiming to strengthen the technical department in Andhra Pradesh, with the support of Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA), organized a two day Hockey Umpire and Technical Officials Seminar in Anantapur Sports Village (ASV), Andhra Pradesh. Hockey India stalwarts including internationally renowned hockey umpire, RV Raghuprasad, Manager Technical and Development and BJ Kariappa, Manager High Performance (South India) led the two day seminar on the 15th and 16th March, 2017.
A total of 28 aspiring umpires from both the Telugu speaking states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, alongside ASA’s senior hockey girls and boys attended the seminar. The participants were excited to attend the seminar delivered by RV Raghuprasad, the golden whistle recipient from the International Hockey Federation (FIH) for officiating 100 international matches, which includes the 2014 Hockey World Cup, 2012 London Olympics and Men’s Junior World Cup 2013, to name a few. It was equally motivating for the participants to be in the presence of BJ Kariappa, who came to Anantapur after helping Kalinga Lancers to win the championship in the recently concluded Coal India Hockey India League (HIL) 2017.
The seminar was designed to train the participants in the basic concepts of umpiring, including umpire roles and responsibilities, applying the basic hockey rules followed by a few fundamental concepts related to positioning during the various phases of the game, but not limited to penalty corners and penalty strokes. The participants were also taken through the signals and were offered a detailed explanation which would help their decision making on the turf with regards to offering advantage, giving cards, etc.
Alongside the theoretical concepts, Raghuprasad ensured the participants were supported by practical learning as well. The participants were divided into groups and each group was given a specific situation that might arise during a game and were allowed time to discuss among themselves. Later, the group members presented their explanation to the remaining groups regarding their umpiring decision pertaining to that situation. On both the days, participants were taken to the hockey ground to put their learning to test.
Raghuprasad, upon being asked about their objective behind holding the seminar and participants response, said “Our sole objective was to share our knowledge with the upcoming umpires in India and strengthen our technical department of hockey umpiring. Using these seminars, we would like to encourage youth to take up hockey umpiring as a career and identify the ambitious youth. Initially, the participants were a bit hesitant but by the end of the seminar we have seen a gradual progress with regards to their contribution within the seminar.”
Vijay Babu, Secretary of Hockey Anantapur and an avid supporter of ASA’s hockey program, which recently celebrated 10 years of developing lives through hockey in Anantapur, mentioned, “We would like to improve the standard of umpiring in the lower level competitions. Also, with the gradual downfall in the number of registered women as umpires in India, we are keen on promoting girls to take up umpiring as a career. We would like to thank RV. Raghuprasad, BJ Kariappa, G. Harsha Vardhan, Chairman – Technical Committee, Hockey Andhra Pradesh and Anantapur Sports Academy for organizing this seminar and we are already planning on organizing more seminars in the coming future.”