Hutchins teacher scores umpiring hat-trick
On Friday 8 April, Mr Sam Nogajski attended the Ricky Ponting Medal where he was awarded the State Umpire of the Year award from Cricket Tasmania. Mr Nogajski was also presented with Tasmania's 'Grade Umpire of the Year' trophy for 2010-11, his third win in a row, at the Association's Annual Dinner held at Bellerive on Wednesday 6 April. The award caps off a busy few weeks for Nogajski after being chosen as one of the umpires in Cricket Tasmania's Grade 'Team of the Year' and standing in Cricket Tasmania's Premier League First Grade Grand Final.
At Grade level this season, Nogajski's major contribution was in First grade where, in addition to the Grand Final and a semi final, he stood in 14 home-and-away games, and was chosen by captains at that level as the best umpire on show in their matches over the summer the same rating he received in 2009-10. Overall during the summer he officiated in 22 games played under the auspices of Cricket Tasmania, matches that include the Kookaburra Cup State Final, CT's Twenty20 final, and home-and-away games in Second and Third Grade as well as in Under-18 vacation cricket.
On the national scene Nogajski, 32, further showed his umpiring talents in the Womens' National Cricket League, two three-day Futures League games and in the latter's Twenty20 competition, a series in which he was chosen to stand in the final.
At a higher level still, the Hobart-born umpire added three matches to his tally in the third umpire's chair in senior interstate one-day games following on from the two the previous season, and also worked in that capacity in the Twenty20 domestic series. However, the highlight of what has been a season of considerable achievement was his debut on the field in a one-day match between Tasmania and New South Wales in Devonport in December.
Nogajski and three other umpires, one each from New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, currently make up Cricket Australia's emerging umpires group, with the organisation thinking sufficiently of him to forward his name to the Australian Sports Commission for a National Officials Scholarship.
In his response on receiving the TCUSA's top award on Wednesday, Nogajski, who has now worked in eight seasons with the TCUSA and stood in over 150 matches, 62 of them in CT's Premier League First Grade, paid tribute to his wife Monique whose "hard yards and support on the home front" make it possible for him to undertake his umpiring.
He also thanked his employer the Hutchins School for their "invaluable support" of his umpiring and the appointments committee for the faith they had shown in him, and expressed his appreciation to fellow members of the Association he has worked with this season. "The standard of umpiring in Tasmania is very high", he says, and "members should be proud of the contribution they make to the game and hold their heads high" about the work they do.