NEVER mind dress-down Fridays, the Dales Council League Umpires’ Association want to bring in dress-down Saturdays.

There is a school of thought that requiring umpires to wear black or navy trousers and a white shirt and tie may be putting some off from officiating in the league, although wearing a DCUA polo shirt is already permitted “in certain weather conditions”.

Paul Whiteley, the DCUA delegate to league meetings, brought up the topic at the latest DCUA meeting, which was held by Zoom.

He said: “Maybe we could get more polo shirts. It is something to bring up at the next league meeting.”

Meanwhile, the DCUA continue to look at other ways to recruit more umpires, with Whiteley suggesting that if a club nominates an umpire to join the league’s panel then for every match that umpire officiates the club will receive five bonus points (for example giving a team 25 points if they receive a victory with maximum bonus points rather than the 20 points they receive at the moment).

Whiteley added: “If that umpire or a collection of umpires from a club stands in 12 matches during a season then that club will receive half of their annual league subscriptions back (£35) for the following season.”

Umpire Steve Bradbury suggested that the league should go further and pay an umpire’s ECB ACO annual subscription (£32) as an incentive to get new officials, as well as giving clubs half of their annual league fees back the following season and giving clubs who provided panel umpires five additional league points per match.

It was thought that rewarding clubs who provided umpires was a better incentive than taking away league points for clubs that didn’t provide them.

Although most of these proposals must wait to be voted upon at the league’s annual meeting in the autumn, it is possible that something could be implemented after the next full league meeting (either at Pudsey Congs or by Zoom) on Thursday, June 24.