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Umpires of the Year 2018: Michelle Meister & Marcin Grochal

February 22, 2019

Michelle Meister of Germany and Marcin Grochal have both had an incredible year of officiating at high level hockey events.

Meister is renowned for the modest way in which she controls matches, working with the players, communicating with clarity and concision, and working with her colleagues on and off the pitch to ensure the matches run smoothly. It is little wonder that she has found herself umpiring at some of the most prestigious events in the hockey calendar. This year that has included the semi-finals of the Indoor World Cup in Berlin and the semi-finals of the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup in London.

"The award recognises all the hard work and the sacrifices we make in terms of missing out on family time. For my family back home it shows them that their support is valued as well."
                                                      - Michelle Meister


Marcin Grochal of Poland has been umpiring for the past 16 years, starting with grass roots club hockey and swiftly moving up to umpire in the top Polish league. He was umpiring internationals by the time he was 21. Like Meister, Grochal is admired for his calmness under pressure. 2018 has proven another busy year for the Polish umpire, culminating in Bhubaneswar where he umpired the Odisha Hockey Men’s World Cup final.

"We are just very proud of Marcin. At the moment he is the biggest showcase for Polish hockey all over the world."
                                                                  - Jacek Sobolewski, President, Polish Hockey Association

The President of the Polish Hockey Association, Jacek Sobolewski, said: “We are just very proud of Marcin. At the moment he is the biggest showcase for Polish hockey all over the world. We wish him further successes and good decisions on the pitch that will lead him to the dream final at the Tokyo Olympic Games.”

Michi Meister discovered she had won the award as she was travelling to the European Hockey Federation Indoor Club Cup. She says: “I was as surprised as I was pleased. There are so many good umpires in the world so it is such a great honour for me to be voted Umpire of the Year 2018. 

"The award recognises all the hard work and the sacrifices we make in terms of missing out on family time. For my family back home it shows them that their support is valued as well."

“I had a fantastic hockey year in 2018, umpiring two World Cups – the Indoor World Cup and the Vitality Hockey Women’s World Cup – where I umpired a semi-final at each event. That was then crowned by getting an appointment to umpire at the men’s EHL. I’m very grateful to be part of this hockey family and really happy about getting this award. Thank you.”

#HockeyStarsAwards

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