Article - LBW Checklist
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LBW Checklist

Nauman Sheikh (

LBWs are the one of the most controversial and frequently occuring headaches for players and umpires. No batsman is ever convinced that he was out LBW and no bowler ever believes his ball was missing stumps. There are usually two reactions, some umpires immediately make a decision on out or not out. The OUT decision comes so fats at times as if the umpire is obliged to a loud appeal. On the other hand some umpires take their time and it is curious to explain what are they really thinking.

An LBW decision is actually a complex one that requires several variables to be considered. At times umpire has to do a "playback" in his head of all the minor events that collectivelky lead to a fair decision. Regardless, an umpire should always if he has a reason to give NOT OUT vs. a reason to give OUT in case of LBW as the benenfit of doubt in this particular case should heavily be tilted towards the batsman.

Here is a mental checklist that an umpire needs to run through and decide if any of these factors can be used to give a NOT OUT
1. Where the bowler pitched from, like wide of the crease or closer to the wickets
2. If it was a legal ball and not a NO ball - actually in case of NO ball, it should be called first anyway even before the appeal
3. Did the ball pitch outside leg. This is based on whethere its a Right Handed or Left Handed batsman which is determined by how the guard was taken by the batsman. If the ball has pitched outside leg, its a NOT OUT
4. Whether the batsman was forward, backfoot or stationary in his stance when the impact happened
5. What stump was the guard for the batsman for that ball. The batsman may move, shuffle, go across but it is important to note where he started the move from to calculate his positioning at the time of the impact
6. Location on the pad or body where the ball hit. Remember, glove is considered part of the bat so doesn't count towrads LBW. Two things to note here if the ball hit above or below the roll like on the flap. The other is where on the pad around the legs meaning the outside of the body of pad or inside
7. Trajectory of the ball. This will require a review of all of the above points to project the trajectory
8. If there was bat or glove kniocked the ball before it hit the body or pad of the batsman
9. Final determination - based on all of the above see if there is any way you can give the batsman NOT OUT.
10. If you cannot find any reason to deny the appeal, then only you give him OUT

Now this is a complex 10 point checklist to see if the ball was delivered from wide of crease even if it hit inline, it may still be drifting down. If anyone instantaneously raises the finger on an LBW appeal, it is entirely possible these missed half of these points. Practice these points on regular balls to get into the habit of tracking this while you umpire a game.

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