A record turnout of 60 umpires were joined for their Annual Refresher Day at Lanarkshire Ice Rink by Convenor Bill Duncan, RCCC Competition Coordinator Aline Hardie and British Curling Head Coach Tony Zummack.
Bill opened with a review of the activities of the umpiring committee over the year along with the number of competitions both at home and abroad at which RCCC umpires had officiated.
Alan Stanfield then covered a number of off-ice developments that had taken place during the season as well as future ones planned including an Umpiring Resource Pack to support umpires of all levels in fulfilling commitments as well as their own personal development.
Bill then highlighted the main rule changes passed at the recent WCF Congress which he had attended as one of the four RCCC reps.
This led onto Tony Zummack giving a very interesting and informative talk on all the difficulties over sweeping and brush technology last season before encouragingly outlining what had come out of the Sweeping Summit in Ottawa in May. It had resulted in a clear way forward for the coming season including new sweeping rules. This had been approved at the WCF Congress as well as endorsed by the relevant RCCC committees. A wide range of questions followed which also demonstrated how umpires, coaches and athletes were all working together for the benefit of the sport.
Splitting into small groups those present looked at a number of videos and written scenarios considering the relevant rules and how they were applied. As usual they provoked plenty of discussion points!
After lunch an exercise on ranking from last season’s Scottish Men’s Championship proved a good test of which rules needed to be used to decide who played in each of the play-off games.
The rest of the afternoon was taken with learning about new technology around the process of measuring Last Stone Draws (LSD) that will be used at this season’s national championships.
After a brief introduction explaining why it was being introduced umpires had an opportunity to use the Curl Distance App in conjunction with using the new laser measures the RCCC had purchased. Inputting the results into a specially designed App by Alan Stephen completed the session.
The day could not finish without the result of the traditional caption competition which this year was won by Linsey Alison on a tie break (!) with RCCC Vice President, Jim Cullen then presenting Linsey with her prize.
Convenor Bill Duncan summed up another very successful day with a vote of thanks and wished everyone a good season both on and off the ice.
Report: Alan Stanfield