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Q: Cricket: Do We Really Need Umpires?^^^ ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   5 Comments )
Subject: Cricket: Do We Really Need Umpires?^^^
Category: Sports and Recreation > Outdoors
Asked by: probonopublico-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 28 Aug 2006 00:20 PDT
Expires: 27 Sep 2006 00:20 PDT
Question ID: 760076
Every GAR & GAC must surely be aware of the Mega-Fiasco that, last
week, brought a premature end to the 4th Test between England and
Pakistan. Right?


So here's a solution that will prevent future mishaps ...

No more umpires!

Instead, TV viewers should take over all the umpiring duties and they
can phone in their verdicts within, say, 5 minutes of every appeal.

This will revitalise a thoroughly boring sporting event and should
also raise money for the telly companies and other (much more worthy)

Of course, when it is seen to work for cricket then it will soon catch
on for all other spectator sports like fox hunting, hockey, baseball,
football (all types), darts, snooker, cock fighting, bear baiting,
gladiatorial combat, etc., etc.

Well, what are the hurdles (if any) that may retard the much needed progress?

Bryan the Innovator
Subject: Re: Cricket: Do We Really Need Umpires?^^^
Answered By: tisme-ga on 28 Aug 2006 11:29 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello probonopublico-ga,

Unfortunately, officials are necessary for sports. We need quick calls
from an official who understands the game. Otherwise, chaos would
reign. The idea of having television viewers make calls would be a
problem because many do not understand the game to the level
necessary, and they might be partial to their team (which is a
problem, especially when populations of various cities are taken into

There is an excellent game that can be played with children/teens and
even adults to show the importance of having a referee. It goes
something like this:

Works best in a group of about 12-15 people. The rules are given as such:
-Throw the ball to each other. Make sure that you throw the ball so
that the throw is ?fair?
-If you fail to catch a ball that was thrown ?fairly? at you, take
yourself out of the game.
-If you throw a ball and decide that the throw wasn?t ?fair?, take
yourself out of the game (regardless of whether or not it was caught).
-No talking. if you talk, take yourself out of the game.
-No signal communication. If you signal, take yourself out of the game. 
-The person who wins gets to skip homework for tonight. (or other prize).
-Add another ball every 3 minutes. 

It is important that the rules are not explained beyond that at all.
Just start the game right away.

A combination of the following usually happens:
-People don?t take themselves out of the game when they should.
-Some people take themselves out of the game, but get frustrated that
others aren?t playing fairly.
-People start talking or pointing for someone to get back out (or even
get back in) which technically means they have broken the rule, but
they might ?forgive? themselves for it.
-A cheater usually wins
-Everyone is frustrated at the end of the game and wish that there was
an ump, and everyone wants to voice their opinion on everything (it
would take hours to sort everything out).

It demonstrates to children/teens (and adults) that umps/officials are
there to make quick calls that are based on the rules of the game.
People interpret the rules very differently, some think automatically
that if the person doesn?t catch the ball, they must take themselves
out (others think that the person should take themselves out
automatically because they should have been alert at all times).

To sum it up, although we all don?t like the calls that officials
make, and although they do make mistakes, they are a vital part of
sports. Having managed several high school teams, I have seen bad
calls for both sides and in the end, it probably balances out. I
personally have great respect for umpires/officials (especially the
unpaid/low paid local ones) because they take a lot of heat for what
they do. The truth is, without them, games would fall apart.

If your idea caught on, it could transform sports to becoming a
popularity contest. Most people don?t know the rules anyway to the
level that would be required. It would be an interesting experiment to
have stats on the side on what the audience thinks (in the stadium and
viewers), but I don?t think it should have any impact on the game

Thanks for this very interesting question! I look forward to your
feedback to my answer.

probonopublico-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Oh dear, Tisme, you taken a very lofty approach.

Cricket ain't like that at all: the Indian bookies call the shots and
the late Hansie Cronje (spelling?) of South Africa made a killing from
fixing matches ...

In any event, the game needs a shot in the arm!

It's now time to turn it into a reality show.

But thanks anyway for your old-stick-in-the-mud train of thought and
the nursery tale which left me completely underwhelmed.

Subject: Re: Cricket: Do We Really Need Umpires?^^^
From: myoarin-ga on 28 Aug 2006 02:24 PDT

 I can just see it:  When the appeal is made, at the bottom of the tv
screen a banner starts:  "To vote in the decision call [service phone
number with an extra charge*] and 1 if you uphold the appeal, or 2 if
you are against.  Voting closes at [time to the second]."

One problem, however, is that these days people can probably create
automatic multiple calls, stuffing the ballot box, so to speak.  Not
cricket, you say?

Considering that the Pakistanis seemed to be leading so strongly, I
think they showed bad sportsmanship.  Referee Hair may have been a bad
selection, but he seems to have correct in his decision about
scuffing.  I suppose forensic people could inspect the ball and verify
if this were true.
(Maybe AF-ga has been montoring the cctv at the Oval.)
Even in my very little experience at viewing cricket, I have seen a
bowler warned about taking the polish of a new ball.

*The surcharge could go to all sorts of things:  retired referees'
fund, MCC if a test match, prize for worst batsman,...
Eventually, of course, there would be scandal about misuse of the money.

Cheers, Myo
Subject: Re: Cricket: Do We Really Need Umpires?^^^
From: aussietpp-ga on 28 Aug 2006 11:04 PDT
We phone up to vote for everything else in Australia, why not cricket?

Subject: Re: Cricket: Do We Really Need Umpires?^^^
From: bowler-ga on 29 Aug 2006 12:29 PDT
"I have seen a bowler warned about taking the polish of a new ball."

I object to the unauthorized use of my GA name in this comment.  It
has cause undue stress while checking updates to questions I've
commented on.  I will be conatacting the editors to request removal.

Subject: Re: Cricket: Do We Really Need Umpires?^^^
From: myoarin-ga on 29 Aug 2006 12:55 PDT
And I was thinking Bowler-ga had named himself after the hat:

Definitions of bowler on the Web:
    * Rounded, hard-felt hat designed by William Coke (afterwards Lord
Leicester) who ordered London hatter Lock to make one as a protective
riding hat. Lock's sub-contracted the job to firm called Beaulieu
(anglicized Huguenots) so name has nothing to do with a 'bowl.'
Americans call it a 'Derby' after Lord Derby who popularized it on a
trip to the US Lock's still call it a 'Coke.'

Last seen worn by bank runners near Threadneedle Street in London.
Subject: Re: Cricket: Do We Really Need Umpires?^^^
From: gopinathan-ga on 20 Sep 2006 03:29 PDT
Yes i think so the need of umpires is an essential thing in cricket
because the telephonic voting which has been said out here requires
more time and delays the intersent in game. But the umpires who are in
the middle can be watched are overruled by the third umpire and also
can be penalised if required which has not been taken in the match
between pakistan and england which i think so should be did.

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