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Focus on Alan Dow

I did my Level 1 exam and assessment last century, 1999 to be exact, so that I could be a pool umpire for Fleet Hockey Club Ladies 1, occasional umpiring in Hampshire Ladies Division 1 and 2 for a couple of years. Otherwise some club umpiring, but I was mainly playing.

Fast forward 9 years and after a second knee operation, playing hockey was banned so I turned to umpiring and re-joined the Hampshire Hockey Umpires Association.  I slowly worked my way up to South 3B ladies and Hants/Surrey 2 for men. Mainly I did umpiring as an activity to get out of the house and enjoy myself. However I must have been doing something right as I did a few Hampshire Day matches, Hampshire Day being the day where all the Hampshire Cup finals were played.

I then started to take it more seriously and at the end of the 2018/19 season was offer the chance to move up to South Region on the Ladies panel, which I took and got my assessment for Level 2 at the start of the 2019/20 season.  Started on South Premier 2 level, but was getting the occasional Premier 1 game when pandemic struck and the reorganisation of England Hockey into Areas.

I joined South Central, predominantly doing Ladies Premier 1 matches. I was improving as my assessment scores got better. 

Highlights – umpiring the last three Ladies Hampshire County Cup finals, travelling to many friendly clubs across Hampshire, South and South Central

Why I got better – produced a Personal Development Plan, paying more attention to my coaches, taking it more seriously and probably the most important reason, umpiring more matches so could put into practise the key skills.