24 Apr 2018

A successful 2018 Belgosstrakh European Under 21 Championships concluded in the Belarus capital city of Minsk on Sunday 11th March but one fact did emerge which required attention.

Local umpires only officiated on the opening day of play; all the major matches were conducted under the jurisdiction of foreign umpires.

by Ian Marshall, ITTF Publications Manager

Thus in order to address the situation, on Friday 20th April, under the guidance of Kirill Mazaev, an International Umpires Examination was held in Minsk at the State Institution Republican Centre of Olympic Training; a total of 17 umpires attended.

“Belarus cannot do without international umpires, if it is decided to host competitions at international level. The specificity of our sport is such that many tournaments involve many tables simultaneously, which means that there should be many umpires. If everyone is invited from abroad, then it will cost a pretty penny, for the country is will be very costly.” Kirill Mazaev

Kirill Mazaev is a vastly experienced and highly respected International Referee, for more than a decade he has officiated at the world’s most prestigious events; he was the Referee at the 2018 Belgosstrakh European Under 21 Championships.

“I do not know what the chances are of Belarussian umpires gaining the international award. One of my colleagues says there are umpires of two kinds: some are able to serve and others are good at passing the exam. The human factor comes into play, someone likes tests; someone does not. I hope that everything will coincide here and everyone will be able to cope.” Kirill Mazaev

Most certainly a dedicated group of students attended, Valery Badalian reflected the attitude of the group.

“I am taking the exam, because I want to officiate in the more important matches. Umpiring practice helps me in coaching. I can analyze some situations from a different point of view and explain to athletes how to behave correctly.” Valery Badalian

The completed answer sheets are sent to the International Table Tennis Federation; the candidates await the verdict.

Course members in Minsk (Photo: courtesy of Belarus Table Tennis Federation)
Umpires and Referees Kirill Mazaev