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cricket umpiring rules for beginners

Comprehensive Guide to Umpiring in Cricket: Rules and Responsibilities

cricket umpiring rules for beginners
cricket umpiring rules for beginners

An essential component of cricket, a game that millions of people love all around the world, are watching. Umpires make ensuring that the game is conducted safely, equally, and in accordance with cricket’s spirit. Their function is essential since the choices they make can have a big impact on how a match turns out. This manual seeks to give readers a comprehensive grasp of the fundamental guidelines and duties of an umpire, from getting ready for a game to making important calls on the field.

II. Pre-Match Preparation

Umpires have a few tasks to complete before a cricket match starts to make sure everything is set up for a level and effective game.

Ground and Equipment Check

  1. Pitch Inspection: The groundskeeper’s level of pitch watering must be confirmed by the umpires. The game can be greatly impacted by the pitch’s condition, which can change the ball’s spin and bounce.
  2. Stump Placement: Make sure the stumps have been set correctly by checking properly. They need to be properly positioned with the popping crease and properly attached in the ground.
  3. Boundary Markers: Ensure all boundary flags or markers are in place and clearly visible. This is crucial for judging boundaries during the game.

Sight Screens and Safety

  1. Sight Screens: ITo avoid interfering with play, sight screens, if they are available, should be placed outside the boundary and designated with flags or other markers.
  2. Safety Equipment: Verify that players have access to the appropriate safety gear, such as arm guards, thigh pads, and helmets. Additionally, make sure there are no dangerous objects in the field.

III. Umpiring Roles

Running the Game

To run a cricket game efficiently, umpires must adhere to specific roles and responsibilities, ensuring the game progresses smoothly and fairly.

Field Placement

  1. Positioning of Umpires: There should be two umpires on the field. One umpire stands at square leg, positioned at a 90-degree angle to the wickets, while the other umpire stands behind the stumps at the bowler’s end. This positioning allows them to observe the game from different angles, ensuring accurate decision-making.
  2. Guard Request: The batter has the option to request a “guard,” which is defined as his bat’s placement with respect to the stumps. To ensure that the batsman pitches correctly, the umpire helps by designating the guard.

Bowling Overs

  1. Over Management:Every bowler is permitted to bowl six valid deliveries in an over. After six deliveries, the umpire at the bowler’s end should declare “over,” loudly announcing the conclusion of the over and the switch of ends for the bowlers.

IV. Decision-Making

Umpires have a crucial duty of making decisions, which calls for fast thinking and a deep comprehension of the regulations.

Legality of the Delivery

  1. Bowling Position:The bowler’s proper bowling position must be checked by the umpires. The back foot needs to be inside the return line and the front foot needs to be behind the popping line.
  2. Arm Action: The bowler’s arm movement is very important. When delivering the ball, the arm needs to be straight at the elbow. Bending the elbow in any way is considered an illegal delivery, or “throwing.

Types of Decisions

  1. LBW (Leg Before Wicket): To make an LBW decision, the umpire must consider several factors:
    • Fair Delivery: The ball must be a fair delivery.
    • Pitching Line: The ball must pitch in line with the stumps or on the striker’s off side.
    • Impact: The ball must hit the batsman’s body first, not the bat.
    • Stump Contact: The ball should be projected to hit the stumps after striking the batsman.
  2. No Ball: A delivery is called a no ball if the bowler’s foot placement is incorrect:
    • Back Foot: The back foot must land within the return crease.
    • Front Foot: The front foot must have some part behind the popping crease.
    • Illegal Action: Any illegal bowling action, such as bending the arm, will also result in a no ball call.
  3. Wide Ball: A wide ball is one that the batsman cannot reach from a normal stance. It is called if the ball is bowled too far outside the batsman’s reach, either on the off side or leg side.
  4. Leg Bye: Leg byes are runs scored when the ball hits any part of the batsman’s body except the hand holding the bat. The batsman can run and score runs if the ball deflects off his body, provided he was attempting a legitimate shot.

V. Signals and Counting

Signaling is vital for clear communication between umpires and scorers. Accurate signals ensure that scorers correctly record each event of the game.


  1. No Ball: The umpire signals a no ball by extending one arm horizontally. This signal indicates that the delivery was illegal, and an extra run is awarded to the batting team.
  2. Wide Ball: For a wide ball, the umpire extends both arms horizontally. This signal shows that the delivery was out of the batsman’s reach, awarding an extra run to the batting team.
  3. Byes: Byes are signaled by raising one arm above the head. This indicates that the runs scored were not off the bat but from the ball passing the batsman and wicketkeeper.
  4. Leg Byes: Leg byes are signaled by raising one leg and tapping the knee. This shows that the runs were scored off the batsman’s body.
  5. Boundaries: Boundaries are signaled differently:
    • Four Runs: The umpire waves one arm across the body.
    • Six Runs: The umpire raises both arms above the head.


Accurately counting each delivery in an over is crucial. Umpires often use coins or stones to keep track of the number of balls bowled. Confirming that the scorers have acknowledged all signals is essential to ensure the match’s accurate scoring.

VI. LBW, No Ball, Wide, and Leg Bye

LBW, No Ball, Wide, and Leg Bye
LBW, No Ball, Wide, and Leg Bye

LBW (Leg Before Wicket)

Making an LBW decision requires the umpire to consider several factors simultaneously. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

  1. Fair Delivery: The ball must be a fair delivery, with no issues regarding no balls or wides.
  2. Pitching Line: The ball must pitch either in line with the stumps or on the striker’s off side. If it pitches outside the leg stump, it cannot result in an LBW.
  3. Impact: The ball must hit the batsman’s body first, not the bat. The point of impact should be within the line of the stumps.
  4. Stump Contact: The ball should be projected to hit the stumps after striking the batsman. The umpire must consider the ball’s trajectory and any deviation due to pitch conditions or spin.

No Ball

A no ball is called for several reasons, primarily related to the bowler’s delivery action:

  1. Foot Placement: The bowler’s back foot must land within the return crease, and the front foot must have some part behind the popping crease.
  2. Overstepping: If the bowler oversteps the popping crease, it results in a no ball.
  3. Illegal Action: Any illegal action, such as bending the arm or delivering the ball with an underarm action, is also considered a no ball.

Wide Ball

A wide ball is called when the bowler delivers a ball that the batsman cannot reach from a normal stance. Key considerations include:

  1. Off Side and Leg Side: The ball must be outside the batsman’s reach on either side.
  2. Batsman’s Stance: The umpire judges the ball’s width based on the batsman’s initial stance. If the batsman moves to reach the ball, it might not be called a wide.

Leg Bye

Runs scored on a leg bye occur when the batsman’s body is struck by the ball anywhere other than the hand that is gripping the bat. Key points consist of:

  1. Legitimate Shot: The batter needs to be attempting a legal shot or attempting to deflect the ball away from him.
  2. Runs Scored: If there is no foul play, the batter may run and score runs as the ball deflects off his body.

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VII. Conclusion

Umpiring is an art that demands composure and focus on specifics. Always attempt to maintain objectivity, and if in doubt, seek advice from your colleague. Make sure you have the tools you need, like money or stones, to count the balls in each over and acquaint yourself with the field. You can ensure that the game is played fairly and securely for all participants by adhering to these standards and you will be well on your way to being a skilled cricket umpire.

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