(AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS) REPORT TO: Sandy Goldthorpe, FIL Women’s Umpiring Chair:

Lauren & I want to thank you, FIL & USLacrosse for the opportunity & the support to attend the Lowlands Tournament this past weekend to promote umpiring & train umpires. In a separate report, Lauren will send a list of all umpires who attended the training sessions and an evaluation on those who also did practical work on the field..

The games were played at a sports facility in Amsterdam. Seven women’s teams were there: Dublin, All-stars, Karlsruhe, SaarMainz, Dutch National Team, Amsterdam, & Gin & Juice(a team made up of Americans who all teach & coach in England).

The play was low to mid level – three of the teams were fairly strong. The level of play was perfect for our beginning umpires, but scrappy enough that it would benefit the next level of umpires as well. There was enough stuff occuring off the ball to challenge the better umpires, while we were thrilled when the young ones recognized a foul and called it!

Our training started out with an hour & a half of classroom work, zeroing in on what we felt were the six basic areas of importance – 3 seconds, shooting space, carding, body/stick contact, blocks/charges, boundary balls & goal circle play.

We then moved out to the fields where games were scheduled on the hour from 11am to 6pm. The next day games ran from 10am to the finals which were played at 4pm. Because of the long days, we chose not to have any meetings afterwards, but instead, had opportunity during the each day to speak with each umpire individually about their strengths & weaknesses, giving each of them things on which to work.

Everyone had the opportunity to umpire at least two games a day. Some of the umpires were players, which always makes for some scheduling difficulties. While we would like the umpires to concentrate only on umpiring, it is difficult to expect this when they are so often an integral member of their team. The overall reaction from all the participants was how much they learned, how much they enjoyed it & how they were going to continue on with improving their umpiring. Some of the newbies chose to only shadow more experienced umpires, but even they expressed much appreciation for all that they learned.

The tournament was well organized from our standpoint – the fields were lined and people were assigned to be timers and scorers for each game. The weather was perfect which certainly contributed to a successful weekend.

As far as hospitality goes, Lauren & I were met at the airport, escorted to the train, the tram & to our hotel. We received tram tickets for the weekend to get us back & forth to the fields. Drink & food tickets were provided for all the umpires at the playing venue. Our three nights in the hotel were paid in the most part by the Dutch – we chose NOT to stay in a hostel!

Again, we both thank you for the opportunity to help develop umpires around the world, all for the betterment of lacrosse.