New South Wales umpire Claire Polosak will again break new ground for female officials in Australia at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday.
Polosak, alongside her South Australian counterpart Eloise Sheridan, will become the first female umpires to officiate on-field together during a professional match in Australia when the Adelaide Strikers host the Melbourne Stars in the WBBL.
It continues a history making year for the 30-year-old. In October 2017, she became the first female umpire to ever officiate in an Australian men’s domestic List A match at Hurstville Oval.
Then just last month Polosak became the first on-field female umpire to officiate a final in the history of the Women’s World T20 tournament.
She was one of the two umpires to officiate the semi-final between India and England in Antigua, West Indies.
Polosak said Sunday will be another special moment.
“It will definitely be a highlight for everybody I hope,” Polosak said.
“It’s a bit tough to go past the West Indies World Cup, but this is something on home soil, so it’s something special in itself as well.
“I haven’t umpired with Eloise yet (at any level of cricket and) I’m really looking forward to it.”
Polosak was this season appointed to the Cricket Australia Supplementary Umpire Panel for the fourth year.
She is one of four female umpires appointed to various State and Territory Panels this season including Sheridan, Ashlee Gibbons from Western Australia and Canberra official Deanne Young.
Polosak said this was a good example of the progression of female umpiring.
“Everything is done on merit,” she said.
“You’re only put into opportunities when the selectors feel you’re ready and able to be there, which I think is really important.”
Polosak said Sunday was another fantastic opportunity to showcase the pathway available for female umpires now.
“If you don’t want to play, you don’t want to coach, umpiring is definitely a way you can go about being involved.
“The number of female umpires is limited by a lack of awareness.
“So maybe seeing Eloise and myself out there on Sunday, there’ll be someone else in the crowd that will be like “Ooh, I didn’t know I could do that,” and then that starts the process for them.”
In her role as Umpire Educator/Female Umpire Engagement at Cricket NSW, Polosak has already seen the positive effect.
“This year I think we’ve got 11 females umpiring in Grade cricket up from four last year.”
“I’ve actually got one of those females, who said to me that she’s always wanted to be a cricket umpire, but she’s never known how to do it, until she saw me and the avenue that was there.”