06 Jul 2018

A total of ten new Blue Badge International Umpires, the highest award for those who sit in the best seat in the house is announced by the ITTF Umpires and Referees Committee.

Notably Europe is very much to the fore; seven of the newly qualified officials being from the old continent.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Russia’s Aleksandr Aleksandrov, Sweden’s Anders Henriksson-Bjerser and Belgium’s Michel Hermans appear on the list as do Luxembourg’s Pol Perret, Finland’s Asko Rasinen and Latvia’s Sonita Villestre in addition to the Czech Republic’s Jan Vrabec.

Meanwhile, from Asia the names of China’s Feng Limei and Park Myungsook appear, as does that of Stephen Banko from the United States.

The new additions mean that Asia leads the field with no less than 118 Blue Badge qualified umpires. Europe is close behind with 115 such officials, whilst for North America it is 19 in total; one fewer Africa has 18 overall, for Latin American there are 13 such qualified umpires. The number is five for Oceania.

Additionally, no less than eight national associations boast ten or more Blue Badge International Umpires.

China with 28 overall leads the way; next in line Germany has 21 in total followed by Japan with 19, India 18, Korea Republic 16, Russia 15, the United States 12 and Egypt 10 in number.

Also note; perhaps we too often take umpires for granted, we expect them to be present officiating the matches. Remember, they are all volunteers and on many occasions they pay their own airfares and travel expenses to be present. They have the sport at heart.

Newly qualified Blue Badge umpires (left to right) Aleksandr Aleksandrov, Asko Rasinen, Sonita Villestre (Photos: personal)

ITTF Umpires and Referees Committee: Blue Badge Umpires (Saturday 30th June)

Umpires and Referees Blue Badge Umpires