11 Dec 2017

The Caribbean Sea to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Central American country of Nicaragua was the recent home for a Basic Umpires Course.

Organised under the auspices of the ITTF Development Programme in conjunction with the Latin American Table Tennis Union, proceedings commenced on Saturday 25th November and concluded on Monday 27th November; the whole itinerary being conducted at the Nicaragua Sport Institute in Managua, the capital city.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Editor

Overall, a total of 33 students, of whom six were female attended, most being from Managua; many from the local university where table tennis is a popular sport. Notably two members travelled from Honduras.

The expert on duty was Spain’s Ramon Ortega Montes, always known as Moncho, the Development Officer for the Latin American Table Tennis Union. He was a course conductor with a special goal on the agenda.

Commencing on Wednesday 13th December and concluding on Sunday 17th December, the table tennis events at the 2017 Central American Games will be staged, Managua, the capital city being the focal point.

“I was really happy to see so many faces and most of them young, some speaking English. There was a lot of pressure on me, as not only the association but also the President of the region wanted to have enough umpires and of quality to umpire at high level. The first day, the practice was not very good, the second day we practised in groups with two participants taking notes, whilst two further participants fulfilled the role of umpire and assistant umpire; the participants watching provided feedback.” Ramon Ortega Montes

A total of 37 sports on offer, overall matters began on Sunday 3rd December, the day the table tennis event conclude is the final day of competition.

The Games on the horizon, a new Executive Committee in place and amongst young people English widely spoken; there is considerable potential for high standards being reached in both umpiring and refereeing.

“I belong to the Executive Committee of the Federation and I wanted to attend the course, to know about rules. I’m a professor at the University and I would like to see a practical as well as written test.” Roberto Aragon

“We came from Honduras, we want to have the opportunity to have an official certificate. We were already umpireS but with no certificate. In Honduras there are not many umpires or opportunities to do such kind of courses”. Nelson Orellana

“Now I understand many things that before I didn´t.” Victor Bojorge:

“I already did this course two years ago with Silvia Garro and I didn´t pass. Now I understand more; happily I passed and now I´m basic umpire. Thank you very much”. Priscila Reyes

In total, 11 members of the group passed the course.

 Nicaragua – Basic Umpires Course
Photos: courtesy of Ramon Ortega Montes

High Performance and Development Umpires and Referees Ramon Ortega Montes