The top umpires of the Royal Dutch Hockey Federation (KNHB) have made the switch to the wireless AXIWI communication system. These umpires officiate in the highest professional Dutch Hockey Leagues for men and women.
User friendly communication system for officials
The wireless communication system provides fast and direct communication between the umpires during a hockey game. As a result, those two officials are able to observe almost everything on the pitch and are consequentially leading the game optimally. Jasper Nagtzaam, one of the top level umpires with the KNHB, who has tested the AXIWI communications system, is telling about his experiences: ‘The great advantage of the open communication line, is that information can be transferred immediately from umpire to umpire, without the need of pushing and holding a button. That is an advantage of utmost importance in situations where there are a lot of moving players into a small space; most notably with free hits around the circle and with penalty corners. Another major benefit is that when you say something to a game participant, your colleague will always hear that.
In addition; the AXIWI communication system is very user friendly, compact and you can easily charge the AXIWI-units. Our old communication sets worked with batteries, which made them many times heavier. With the AXIWI-communication system, umpires communicate through a so-called ‘open’ line. The hockey game at national level is played fast – an environment in which losing time in communication must be avoided – and where the possibility of having direct contact between the umpires has many benefits.’
Development hockey umpires
The AXIWI is also used by KNHB observers, who provide umpires with evaluations and tips to develop their umpiring skills. Jasper Nagtzaam: ‘Observers at hockey games are present to make an assessment of the performance of the umpires. Among the motives for the KNHB to also equip the observers, is that by letting them listen ‘in’ on the communication between the umpires during a game, they know exactly what the officials on the pitch say and how they react to specific situations. For the observer this is very valuable, because it increases his insight into the motives and the actions of the umpires. This information is then included in the evaluation with the umpires after the game and enable the assessors to give them the best advice possible.