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Keynote Speaker for Officials Conference
19 April 2010 

Former England Cricketer Geoff Miller stole the show at Sunday’s 7th UKA Officials Conference when he entertained 300 technical officials from across the UK with his views on the introduction of technology to the game of cricket.

In referencing his career as a player and more recently in administration including selection duties, Miller recounted a number of humorous tales that outlined just how technology was not only changing the face of the game, but changing the technique of the top players involved.

With a change in the spirit of the game – and few players ‘walking’ voluntarily anymore, technology was considered to be both a help and hindrance – although Miller’s view was that unless technology was 100% accurate it should always be left to the  umpire’s discretion.

Finally Miller asked whether technology was being considered in the entertainment factor of the game, arguing that the referrals system where appeals could be viewed away from the field added potential time delays of half an hour a day leading to spectators losing out..

The conference was left with questions to consider including – if the influence of technology slows down the entertainment is it really good for the game, and finally at what stage does an umpire’s authority diminish because so many decisions can be made elsewhere.

Also integral to proceedings were the announcement of the first ever recipients of the Official’s Official awards – recognition voted for by Officials for officials. The winners – who will be profiled in next month’s E-Inspire Officials were:

The Officials Official – Andy Parker (Preston Harriers)

Young Official of the Year – Melissa Robertson (Nithsdale AC)

Endurance Official – Joe Mower (Ipswich Harriers)

Innovative Official (use of technology and ideas) – Keith Davies

The awards and Miller’s speech were just two of the many high points in a fascinating day for the 300 officials gathered in Solihull where a number of key debates took pace. Officials were given key information relating to aspect of officiating including: selections for major events, assessment and reporting, use of technology by Delta Tre, and the introduction of Virtual Distance Measurement.

Save the date for next year’s conference with Sunday 10th April  2011 already set!

Content of the powerpoints and presentations used can be downloaded from the UKA website officials section by clicking here.

Further in depth reviews of content and discussion from the conference will be highlighted in next month’s E-Inspire Officials – sign up here to ensure you receive your copy in May.