THE Bendigo District Cricket Umpires Association will again take charge of games in the BDCA this weekend with its strike now over.
BDCUA president Larry Wust issued a statement on Thursday conceding "a better approach would have been warranted, both in the timing and wording of correspondence sent to the BDCA" during last week's dispute.
The BDCUA statement also apologises for its criticism of tribunal members, and with a number of rules having been modified effective immediately, umpires will return to the field on Saturday.
The BDCUA last week sought amendments to several rules relating to the tribunal process, as well as rule 24.9 that states: "only the captain will query an umpire's interpretation of the rules during or after play."
Having sought to have that rule amended to "the decision of an umpire shouldn't be questioned by anyone as per the spirit of cricket", a compromise was reached that permits "a captain to respectfully query an umpire's interpretation of the rules at the next break in play."
There has also been an amendment made that now allows the BDCUA to appeal a tribunal finding or penalty that it was previously excluded from.
No amendments have been made to rules relating to the BDCA match review panel matrix.
The BDCA was alerted to the potential strike action via an email from the BDCUA last Wednesday night with a 5pm Friday deadline for change to be enacted.
With the timeframe deemed insufficient by the BDCA for consultation with its clubs, there was no resolution by the deadline and the strike ensued.
However, following meetings between the BDCUA and BDCA on Monday and Wednesday night a resolution was reached.
THE BENDIGO DISTRICT CRICKET UMPIRES ASSOCIATION STATEMENT:
"Over the past week everyone would be aware of the Bendigo District Cricket Umpires Association taking the unprecedented action in withdrawing its services across all grades of Bendigo District Cricket Association for round 11.
"This action was not taken lightly, but unfortunately a high amount of emotion was mixed up with the decision making process at the time, and with hindsight, a better approach would have been warranted, both in the timing and with the wording of the correspondence sent to the BDCA.
"This recent strike action by umpires was borne of frustration with standards of player behavior, particularly in the lower grades where at times the game is being umpired alone by an inexperienced umpire.
"These concerns have recently sought to vent is in relation to frustration felt by umpires as to what they see as a decline in player respect for umpires and an increase in on-field player misbehavior.
"Some recent misdemeanors that have gone through the tribunal process have caused angst among umpires with the tribunal process and the supporting playing conditions, but not angst with the tribunal members themselves.
"Our messaging around this was not worded well and this may have caused a wrongful perception of the tribunal members.
"The BDCUA unreservedly withdraws and apologises for its criticism of tribunal members and concedes that the tribunal members are typically experienced legal professionals and/or knowledgeable cricket people volunteering their time and bringing their impressive best efforts to the task of dealing with tribunal matters.
"We believe that they enjoy a high standard of satisfaction and confidence among all BDCA tribunal participants. A misunderstanding of data resulted in the BDCUA being most critical of the tribunal.
"We are pleased to acknowledge that through talks with the BDCA, a number of rules have been modified (effective immediately) to address our concerns and look forward to working with the BDCA, its member clubs and tribunal members, in further refining rules at the end of the season."
BDCA secretary Travis Harling said the association was pleased the matter that led to last week's strike had been resolved and welcomed the BDCUA's return for round 12.
"The clubs were put under quite a bit of pressure and stress last week to have to organise umpires; the clubs were fantastic in doing it and making sure the game of cricket went ahead, but it's obviously good to have the BDCUA back on board this weekend," Harling said.
"We've all agreed to sit down at the end of the season and have a look at the rules and go through them again, and we've also had some of the tribunal members offer their services to go through the rules with us again.
"So we'll undertake a full review at the end of the season."
As well as issuing the statement on Thursday, Wust also confirmed Peter Williams had resigned as BDCUA co-ordinator.
Saturday's round 12 BDCA matches:
Eaglehawk v White Hills
Kangaroo Flat v Sandhurst
Strathdale-Maristians v Bendigo
Bendigo United v Strathfieldsaye
Golden Square v Huntly-North Epsom
Have you signed up to the Bendigo Advertiser's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in central Victoria.