01 Dec 2017

Organised under the auspices of the ITTF Development Programme, commencing on Saturday 25th November and concluding on Thursday 30th November, the Malaysian capital city of Kuala Lumpur was the home for a match officials training course.

A total of 18 students participated, nine women and nine men; the group including umpires from local, national level to International Blue Badge Umpires level.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Notably, the experts on duty were China’s Professor Zhang Yingqiu, from the Beijing Sport University and Hong Kong’s Cindy Leung, a member of the International Table Tennis Federation’s Umpires and Referees Committee.

The programme contained three aspects for match official training, an International Umpires Preparation Course, Basic Referees Course and Tournament Organisation Course.

Students studying diligently (Photo: courtesy of Zhang Yingqui)


Present was Chan Foong Keong, the Honorary Secretary of Table Tennis Association of Malaysia, the man who had played major roles in the staging of the World Team Championships in 2000 and 2016 in Kuala Lumpur and has been instrumental in organising a group of competent match officials.

“It is important to have continuous education to allow our match officials to learn from experts from overseas and get the latest information and updates on the changes of rules and regulations in table tennis.” Chan Foong Keong

Ms. Daphne Lau Sheng Yan, an 18 year old young lady who is preparing for the International Umpires examination next year and is well aware of the opportunities open (Photo: courtesy of Zhang Yingqui)


Everyone responded in a positive manner; a response which delighted Zhang Yingqiu.

“We had a group of very young participants, some only 18 years old, all were very enthusiastic, keen to learn and were preparing for their International Umpire exam in 2018. The participation of the experienced Blue Badge umpires created a good mix on the course; they were able to pass on their experience together and thus increased learning. Many of the participants had great potential in table tennis officiating; I look forward to future opportunities to see them practise what they have learned on the course.” Zhang Yingqiu

Equally the response from the students was most enthusiastic.

“The trainers were very knowledgeable. There was so much to learn during the course, from the refreshing of rules and regulations as an umpire to the technical knowledge of refereeing, and the multi-skills required for tournament organisation.” Ms. Para Khalilibmarandi, a Blue Badge Umpire

Ms. Para Khalilibmarandi, a Blue Badge Umpire demonstrated top officiating skills for the young umpires (Photo: courtesy of Zhang Yingqui)


Likewise those with less experience responded in an upbeat manner.

“I have been a player for eight years. I wish to involve in different aspects in table tennis and wish to start my career in officiating. It is a great opportunity that I can learn from knowledgeable and experienced trainers from the ITTF to start my officiating career. I am very happy that I passed the Basic Referee exam and I hope to pass International Umpire examination next year,”
Ms. Daphne Lau Sheng Yan, 18 years old

“The knowledge I learned on the course was very usefully for me in my work as a teacher in the school, I am involved in many table tennis activities at school level.” Ms. Maheran Binti Mohd Yassin

Ms. Masyitan Binti Mohd Slleh (left) and Ms. Maheran Binti Mohd Yassin practising their duties in the call area (Photo: courtesy of Zhang Yingqui)


At the conclusion of proceedings Chan Foong Keong presented souvenir to the course conductors

“We are committed to train competent officials for the development of table tennis in Malaysia, not the least encouraging more people to participate in table tennis; this is a continual training programme. Thanks to the ITTF Development Programme and the experts for the course. We look forward to having more training for our players and officials, in order to push the development of table tennis developing faster and faster in Malaysia.” Chan Foong Keong

A most successful course, the efforts of Zhang Yingqiu and Cindy Leung well received.

Chan Foong Keong (centre) presents souvenirs to (left) Zhang Yingqui and (right) Cindy Leung (Photo: courtesy of Zhang Yingqui)


High Performance and Development Umpires and Referees Cindy Leung Zhang Yingqiu