The ITF International umpire course was held online via zoom by the ITF umpire committee. This course is a qualify course for A and B class umpires. There were over 440 participants from around the world.
There was a large participation from the INTA with the umpire committee and other INTA instructors taking part.
On day one Master Abelardo Benzaquen, chairman of the ITF umpire committee, opened up the proceedings with a message from the President GM Weiler to officially open this course. Master Wallace covered in detail the duties of the ring council on how to open/close and enter/leave the ring. Master Ruben Suarez covered the procedures on how the Electronic scoring system works, the 0.2 deductions and 0.1 deductions on scoring patterns in detail.
GM Lan Ung and GM Marano from the technical committee were there also to give their input regarding technical questions on the performance of patterns. This area was the most debated regarding the speed patterns are preformed at in a tournament. After a short break we continued with the procedures on sparring with the scoring, warnings and fouls. This was covered by Master Wallace with the aid of videos which had some technical issues. Master Ottesen was, as always, every passionate about centre refereeing and how to control the ring. We had a chance to move about with Master Ottesen practicing the hand signals for both warning and fouls.
Grand master Lan Ung and Master Ottesen were most inspiring with their energy and passion.
Day 2 started with the guest appearance from GM Weiler, who was quite proud of the fact that this was one of the largest English spoken courses online with over 451 participants.
A presentation followed, covering the procedures regarding team Patterns on how to score and how to use the SET system. Master Wallace had great videos outlining how the team pattern is kept within the orientation of the ring without stepping outside the parameters of the area. There was an in depth breakdown of incorrect movements from GM Marano and GM Lan Ung, looking at the rhythm of the patterns and at normal motion being one breath.
After a short 15 minute break we resumed with the procedures on how to score pre-arranged sparring, again Master Wallace did a great job with videos and detailed information regarding this.
Up next was Master Kurt Ottesen with his presentation on Power competition. With his in-depth experience, he gave a detailed breakdown of the rules and procedures on how to run and score the power division. There is now an official supplier for the breaker boards, and the boards now have round edges. Master Ottesen continued next with special tech again covering in detail the breakdown of the rules and procedures in this section.
The last twenty minutes of the course was a Q and A section with a compiled list of questions from the participants to the Umpire committee. They informed us there would be an online exam at the end of the course and it could be completed within 48 hours.
Master Benzaquen then proceed with closing the umpire course by thanking everyone who attended, and all the Grandmasters, Masters and officials.
Many thanks to The ITF Umpire committee for such a detailed and successful online course.
Well done to the INTA Umpire committee, INTA Black belts who attend. Looking forward to working with you all at the next tournament. Keep practicing our new skills.