Five seasons ago, almost all of the umpiring in Taranaki’s New Plymouth primary competition was done by coaches or parents. While it was fantastic to have so many parents and coaches helping out to ensure that their kids were still able to play, it was limiting the number of umpires who were being developed in the Association and transitioning through to the next tier of secondary school and club hockey. That was until four wonderful volunteers stepped up, looked at the problem head-on and came up with a strategy to strengthen the umpiring development in the area. They began recruiting, training and mentoring. The initiative has been so successful that they are now in the enviable position of having too many umpires each week that they can’t find them games to officiate.