Numbers high at national conference

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ECB ACO National Conference

More than 300 people attend the ECB ACO national conference, held in the Nursery Pavilion at Lord's on Saturday 19 November

ECB ACO had more than 300 people in attendance at their national conference on Saturday 19 November at Lord's.

The Nursery Pavilion hosted the majority of the day as members came from all over the country to see numerous seminars on their chosen topics.

Beginning at 10am, play finally curtailed just before 5pm following some intriguing talks from the likes of Barclays Premier League football referee Howard Webb, former resident psychologist on 'This Morning' Raj Persaud and ICC Test umpire Richard Kettleborough.

Organiser of the day Ben Francis was delighted with how it went. He said: "It was a real success and the feedback we have had has been hugely positive. Each session was informative and throughout the day there was the right balance of thought provoking information and fun which was our aim."

The first seminar in the Nursery Pavilion was a presentation by Steve Carter, co-founder of Hawk-eye, who introduced his session entitled 'Hawk-eye is accurate and the world is round.'

Meanwhile, Lee Marmara and Paul Thurstance introduced 'Total Cricket Scorer' in the ECB Boardroom, who gave an intriguing insight in to the future of the system.

Lunch then followed as the MCC put on buffet food for the hungry contingent with John Bowra of Hertfordshire stating that "the blackberry and apple pie was worthy of a mention in its own right!"

After-lunch speaker David Kirk then entertained the masses before chairman of ECB ACO Roger Knight took to the stage once more to present the 2011 Shepherd-Frindall awards that went to the following people:

Behind the Scenes - Trevor Woodage

Young Official - Graham Pickering

League Panels & Associations - Clifford Loverock

Lifetime Achiever - Gordon Hubbard

In the first of the afternoon seminars, Persaud introduced the 'psychology of officiating' in the Nursery Pavilion, with many enjoying his take on the game of cricket - a number of videos catching out those watching

In the boardroom, the 'ACO scorers forum' was ran by Eddie Lunn, executive officer for the South, and Geoff Trett, the National Scorers administration officer, giving the scorers present the opportunity to air their views.

In the final session of the day, Webb spoke of his journey to the World Cup final in South Africa last year, before being joined on stage by professional umpires Martin Bodenham and Kettleborough for a question and answer session.

Paul Bedford's 'discipline and fair play' session in the ECB boardroom was very popular and many left wanting to hear more from Bedford after being impressed by what was said during the 45-minute presentation.

Steps are already being taken by ECB ACO to improve the conference further for next year though, with Francis concluding: "We already have some changes that we hope to implement and we have set some ambitious targets for next years presenters.

"More information regarding next year's event will be provided in the forthcoming newsletter."