Local Good Sort Owen Pratt – Umpire Profile
The man behind the umpire appointment sheet, chasing a group of over 60 umpires to cover nearly 30 games across 10 competitions, every week is Owen Pratt.
Owen played and umpired hockey as a youngster in the Waikato, and came back after a break around 15 years ago. You will have seen him around often on a Sunday playing for the Suburbs Reserve 3 Men’s team, and as coach/manager of the Suburbs Strikers Women’s Reserve 2 team.
With these commitments already on his plate, he was reluctant to pick up the umpire appointments saying he viewed it as a big job with little thanks but felt something needed to be done to create neutrality across the comps and to turn around some of the negativity towards umpires. He sees umpiring as a big part of our sport and acknowledges it as continuous learning experience.
He says he does it for the people he meets, all the great friends made and memories shared. A highlight has been playing and umpiring Masters Hockey coining it “next level competition for an old fella”.
Owen believes the tide has begun to turn this year with WHA “taking umpiring a bit more seriously” and hopes WHA can become a place where “everyone feels that they can get out on the hockey turf and give umpiring a go”.
Well Owen, we want to make sure your contribution does get the appropriate thanks this year, that we acknowledge what you do for our community, and that we couldn’t be more grateful.