India’s apex hockey governing body, Hockey India has introduced an online application process for tournament officials. This was done on Hockey India’s member-unit portal.
Rohini Bopanna who is the FIH Technical Official – Advancement Panel has welcomed Hockey India’s move. She said that the portal is helping a lot of young umpires and technical officials to register and apply.
Hockey India’s platform for aspiring umpires
This year in June, Hockey India had introduced a user-friendly process where one can submit their application. This easy to access process helped many women aspirants to apply as officials. After the application is submitted, it will be approved by a concerned Hockey India registered member unit. Post this, Hockey India will give the final approval for registration confirmation.
This has removed the arduous task of sending the application form physically. It would lead to the forms being misplaced or offices forgetting to forward the application to Hockey India. The filling up of physical forms was also a time-consuming process. One had to constantly require to follow-up with the concerned authority.
The new process has made life easier for upcoming female and male officials. It is an easy process and puts one under the direct touch of the national federation. There is a lot of transparency involved and has led to more interests in potential candidates.
More women umpires at the national level
The 40-year old Bopanna believes that HI’s proactive approach has led to more women taking up umpiring. It in a way encourages women to take up technical officiating and umpiring. More women are looking up to it both as a part-time or as a full-time occupation.
She said that when she began a few women were into umpiring from Delhi. Hockey India’s seminars and workshops created an awareness. Women from other states like Haryana, Mumbai took up officiating at the domestic level.
Until a few years ago, there were only men officiating at women’s nationals but now we see women officials. This is a mark of progressive development. The federation is also encouraging state-level players to be certified as technical officials and umpires.
The COVID-19 scare has led to no tournaments being held in the past couple of months. This did not deter HI to conduct regular interactive webinars to engage umpires and other officials.