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Players Acting as Square Leg Umpires

Attention: All TCI Affiliated Clubs, Players and TCUA Umpires

We have received a number of reports involving players acting as square leg umpires and players behaviour towards them. Following is an outline of the responsibilities of players who act as square leg umpires and their treatment:


  • Bring a phone, I-pod, camera etc onto the field
  • Come onto the field wearing bear-feet or thongs – wear covered shoes
  • Stand more than 30 metres from the pitch, you need to be able to see the crease lines
  • Place a water bottle on the ground – always carry it so it doesn’t become a “hazard”
  • The player square leg umpire doesn’t decide to leave the field of play until a replacement is standing on the boundary line ready to take his place
  • Stop to chat with the batsmen between each over, move smartly into position so as not to hold up play


  • When changing player square leg umpires do so when in a position closest to the batting side shelter, plan ahead, be aware of drink breaks and falls of wickets so as to cause as little interruption to play as possible
  • Wear a hat
  • Wear a different shirt to players (ie a Club supporters/training shirt) so as to minimise confusion for both batsmen and fielders – also saves having to carry a bat
  • Have a counter so can count balls bowled (the umpire standing in the match will often provide the player square leg umpire with a counter)
  • Be on the lookout for “short runs” – alternate attentions between following the ball into the outfield and watching the batsmen turn for additional runs
  • When a batsman is playing a shot look for hit wickets, especially when playing a back-foot shot. May mean delaying following the ball as its being hit until the shot has being completed
  • if carrying a water bottle make water available to both the batsmen AND the field side

A couple of things for the player square leg umpire to remember:

  • on the line is out – a batsman must be behind the crease line to be not out from a stumping or run out attempt
  • the player square leg umpire’s primary responsibility is to be a square umpire – not a batting coach, chief tactician, sledger of the fielding side etc
  • the official umpire may decide to make all the calls regarding the height of short pitched balls, full tosses etc in an attempt to keep some consistency in these calls. The Umpire and captains should discuss this at the toss before the start of the match

The fielding side needs to remember:

  • that the player square leg umpire is to be treated the same as you would treat a badge umpire
  • Abuse of player square leg umpires will not be tolerated and could lead to a report/suspension
  • If a fielding team wishes to make a comment about a player square leg umpire they are to do so via their captain to the appointed badge umpire standing in the match

Player Umpires in Lower Grade Matches:

  • In lower grade matches ALL player umpires are to be treated with the same respect as a badge umpire
  • A reminder that badge umpires aren’t the only people who can report players for inappropriate behaviour – people such as team captains, Club Presidents & Secretaries can also fill in reports using the appropriate Report Form

If Clubs would like the TCUA to conduct an information session on the basics of umpiring with its members in an attempt to improve umpiring standards and consistency, especially in lower grades, don’t hesitate to contact the TCUA so a session can be arranged. Email TCUA –