Chichester hockey stalwart Jan Barnes got rave reviews for her umpiring and match management at the Men’s Hockey Grand Masters World Cup in Australia.
She was the only woman among the 25 official tournament umpires. And at a petite 5ft 5in, she was dwarfed by the giant players she had to control. But mild-mannered Jan is made of the right stuff.
It was one of the best experiences of my hockey career. Once I got over my initial match nerves, I really enjoyed every minute.Jan Barnes
Although Barnes was understandably nervous before her first game, she didn’t let it affect her performance. She quickly dealt with player back-chat and challenges to her decisions. And this set the tone for a competitive but fair match.
After the first game, Barnes was approached by the Australian team captain who told her it was nice to have an umpire who really knew the rules.
She continued to impress but she didn’t realise how well her game management style was being appreciated.
So when she was asked to attend the tournament directors’ meeting, she was very apprehensive.
But the officials had been given great feedback on Barnes’ performance from team representatives and the officials wanted to thank her for her outstanding contribution.
She received three gifts – two Australia shirts and a tracksuit – and has been asked to umpire at the 2018 Hockey Grand Masters World Cup in Madrid. She has also been named as an umpire for the Over-70s bronze medal play-off final.
Barnes said: “It was one of the best experiences of my hockey career. Once I got over my initial match nerves, I really enjoyed every minute.
“There was a real family feeling about the whole event – tough play on the pitch but great friendship after matches.
“I was really flattered to be asked to officiate at the next tournament in two years. This has given me a goal to aim for.”
Barnes is a regular helper at Game Set and Match, the Chichester-based specialist sports retailer.
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