INTERNATIONAL KNOWLEDGE: Ipswich umpire Steve Rogers is eager to play a role improving standards after years of gaining valuable experience.
INTERNATIONAL KNOWLEDGE: Ipswich umpire Steve Rogers is eager to play a role improving standards after years of gaining valuable experience. David Nielsen

Latest hockey knowledge from Malaysia to Ipswich

IT didn't take long for international umpire Steve Rogers to share his latest knowledge at the Ipswich Hockey Complex.

Just days after controlling the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament final in Malaysia, Rogers was back at Raceview umpiring Saturday night's A-Grade encounter between last year's grand finalists Hancock Brothers and Norths.

"It's been quite a few years now but I just thought it's about time that I would try and help some of the kids,'' Rogers said.

"They can actually watch and see the different style and different things that happen.''

Rogers' higher level knowledge and especially his precise calls will hopefully help Ipswich competition players avoid indiscretions and gain valuable feedback.

He also wants to continue his work with umpires having built a portfolio of Australian Hockey League and 43 international games over a number of years.

The proud Ipswich sportsman is keen to give back to grassroots hockey, having recently been appointed senior vice-president on the Ipswich umpires committee for the first time.

He's working more closely with umpires committee president Mark Eleison and another respected umpire Jess Fox in the Ipswich competition this season.

"We've got some good players and if we can get the umpiring standard up a little bit it helps them as well,'' Rogers said.

Rogers has been a long-time umpires mentor, assisting another international Ipswich official Bernadette Gotting encouraging younger people and on selection panels.

He's still doing Hockey Queensland high performance work.

However, he hopes umpiring more A-Grade matches at the Ipswich Hockey Complex will introduce the players and rising umpires to what's being enforced at international level.

"Umpires-wise, it's the harsher penalties that some people don't give,'' he said.

"It's the easier things like the bad tackling and tackling from behind, we need to kind of rule out.

"I don't want to see players get injured; or when they travel to Queensland (championships) or even Super League, they won't get away with it (bad tackling).''

While keen to be an active mentor, the Ipswich-bred umpire enjoys overseas tournaments to continue improving his knowledge.

In Malaysia recently, Rogers officiated in his third Sultan Azlan Shah Cup final, won 4-2 by South Korea over India in extra-time.

"It was awesome,'' he said of being involved in such a thrilling final.

"It went to shoot-outs. It was a great game. It was good fun.''

Rogers was also video umpire in the bronze medal match won 4-2 by Malaysia over Canada.

Having been to four Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournaments, Tivoli-based Rogers enjoys learning from other well-qualified people.

"It was a great tournament,'' he said, having been appointed as a neutral umpire.

"It was good to meet new guys and umpire with them as well.

"Every umpires manager I've had has given me something different to work on or different ideas.''

Rogers said the biggest international umpiring challenges were being consistent, staying relaxed and the language barrier.

However, that's why he appreciates being invited to annual tournaments like the latest one in Malaysia. He's off to Singapore this weekend to do some more umpire mentoring.

As he plans to keep sharing his experience at local level, Rogers will continue two other hockey passions.

The former premiership-winning Norths' A-Grade player wants to represent Ipswich at the Queensland 40s masters championships in Ipswich from May 3-6. That's the same weekend as the annual Super League series in Brisbane.

"It's the first time I haven't done Super League since it started,'' he said, happy to give some younger umpires another representative opportunity.

Rogers is also continuing his coaching role with the Wests White Reserve Grade women's side that won last year's grand final.



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