October 31, 2018

Members of the group in Brisbane (far left) C.K. Chan and (far right) Graeme Ireland, the course conductors (Photo courtesy of C.K. Chan)

by Chan Cheong-Ki, Course Conductor

Located on the east coast of Australia, the city of Brisbane was the recent home for an International Referees School.

Organised by the Umpires and Referees Committee of the International Table Tennis Federation, in liaison with the ITTF-Oceania, proceedings commenced on Thursday 25th October and concluded on Sunday 28th October.

The venue for the proceedings was a meeting room at the Sports House Milton; an excellent venue for such an event. A total of eight candidates, seven male and one female, attended under the direction of Australia’s Graeme Ireland, ITTF Technical Commissioner and myself.

Similar to previous such initiatives, the school involved the active participation of candidates on rules interpretation, conduct of draws, scheduling of matches and, most importantly, role play as a Referee.

During the intensive study and overnight assignment, candidates gained experience in becoming an active Referee. General feedback from the candidates was very positive. Several candidates expressed that “they really enjoyed the course”, “learnt a lot” and some also commented that “we are a good team”.

Most certainly, Christian Holtz, Chief Executive Officer of ITTF-Oceania, who helped to bring the School to Brisbane was delighted.

“The knowledge and expertise gained by the students of the International Referees School will benefit the entire Oceania region. Our officials are very committed to umpiring and refereeing. They sacrifice a lot of their personal time to participate in table tennis competitions. ITTF-Oceania is proud to support their development and their personal goals as officials.” Christian Holtz

One of the objectives of the School is to qualify new International Referees.

Assessment included pre-school homework, overnight assignment on the first day, comprehensive written tests, performance during the school and an individual interview. As a result of the assessments, three candidates passed and are now qualified as International Referees.

Among them, Fanny Ho from Australia has become the only female International Referee from Oceania. Warmest congratulations to Fanny. She is no stranger to many in the table tennis family having been one of the umpires at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and, more recently, both she and Stephen Gillespie were umpires at the Liebherr 2018 World Team Championships in Halmstad earlier this year.

The newly qualified International Referees are Australia’s Stephen Gillespie and Fanny Ho alongside Russia’s Ian Zubar.