Ronald Richards – 50 years as a National Umpire
By Ian Hazell
Ronald Richards became a National Umpire on April 20, 1972 when he was a member of the Culburra Beach Bowling Club, NSW. He moved to the Sunshine Coast in 1983, where he joined the Swan Bowls Club and became the Umpires’ Coordinator. After the Swan Bowls Club closed down, Ron moved to Club Maroochy, Pacific Paradise Bowls Club and is now the Umpires’ Coordinator at Headland Pacific Sports Club.
During the 50 years of Ron’s duration as a national umpire, he has adjudicated at several bowls events, ranging from club championships to Sunshine Coast District events including Champion of Champions and District Sides events.
He has umpired for several State players who travelled to the Sunshine Coast to play in the Winter Carnival event and various other events over the years. He has found that a large majority of players are extremely friendly and are a pleasure to umpire for, thus making his experience as an umpire very rewarding and enjoyable.
It’s a serious business being an umpire and not always that exciting. Ron does recall one incident which he found interesting when an Australian Bowling Representative was on the green and the opposing player kept leaving his bowls lifter on the green. This upset the representative so he asked him to move the lifter, or he would. The opposition didn’t move it, so the representative threw it over the fence.
Ron said that the 50 years has been “barely noticeable in passing” and wishes to continue to umpire for as long as possible into the future.
“I have enjoyed my 50 years as an umpire, meeting many bowlers of different capabilities and different walks of life,” Ron said. “Hopefully I will continue for a few more years.”
Image: Grant Richards Photography