21 Jun 2017

Following the conclusion of the recent Liebherr 2017 World Championships in Düsseldorf, the Umpires and Referees Committee of the International Table Tennis Federation announces significant changes.

The newly appointed Chair is Korea’s Young-Sam Ma; he oversees two separate committees, one for umpires and one for referees, each with a Deputy Chair.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Deputy Chair for Umpires is Norman Tang, the group members being Cindy Leung, Rebecca Bergfeldt, Mohamed Bassonyi, Zhao Xia, Yoshiko Katayama and Alan Hopkins.

Meanwhile, the Deputy Chair for Referees is Werner Thury; his team comprises Freddy Almendariz, Albert Rooijmans, Kirill Mazaev, Vincent Blanchard and Ganeshan Neelakanta Iyer.

A major planned initiative is the promotion of a Young Umpires Project for the 18 years to 26 years age group; national associations will be asked to submit nominations from which candidates will be selected.

Additionally, in 2017, International Referees Conferences will be held in Beijing from Sunday 6th to Tuesday 8th August and in Larnaca, Cyprus from Friday 3rd to Sunday 5th November.

“Our group is regarded as the best URC among those of all sports federations. It has made systematic progress and has set forth a comprehensive framework for increased co-operation. Such achievements were possible thanks to the dedicated efforts of my predecessors. I plan to continue their work with equal passion. In performing my duties, I will maintain fairness and transparency while making sure to keep the consistency. At the same time, if there is a need for change, I will not be afraid to take initiatives. I`ve always believed in the power of collective wisdom. As such, your valuable knowledge, rich experience and diverse views will always be welcomed and sincerely appreciated.” Young-Sam Ma

Undoubtedly a busy schedule and one designed to continually raise standards; a working group to develop match officials of the very highest standard is also on the forward thinking agenda, as is subject of the uniform worn by referees.

Promotion at the highest level and also opportunities to progress from national to international level will be afforded. International Referee Schools are planned for 2017-2018, hosts as well as candidates are invited; the deadline date having been extended to Sunday 30th July.

Positive and forward thinking; also there is one fact everyone must remember, the officials you see working at tournaments in the capacity of umpire or referee have one fact in common, it is dedication. They are all volunteers, without them there is no tournament.

Email Contact:

Young-Sam Ma (Chair Umpires and Referees Committee): ysma81@gmail.com

Norman Tang (Deputy Chair – Umpires): normtang12@yahoo.ca

Werner Thury (Deputy Chair – Referees): w.thury@oettv.org

Umpires and Referees Young-Sam Ma