13 Jul 2018

Play concluded in the recent ITTF Challenge DPR Korea Open in Pyongyang; however, for Iran’s Simin Rezaie, the Deputy Referee, her duties were not over.

Immediately following, on Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th June, organised by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Table Tennis Association and supported by ITTF High Performance and Development, she conducted an ITTF Basic Referees Course; the Pyongyang Sports Complex, the scene of the action in the five day tournament being the venue.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Furthermore, in the guise of Simin Rezaie, they had a course conductor who was more than qualified for the task at hand.

Simin Rezaie is a full member of the ITTF Rules Committee; in 2010 she qualified as a Blue Badge Umpire and is the only Iranian to currently possess the status of International Referee.

Overall, a total of 23 students attended, travelling from various locations within the country; all responded most positively to her efforts, all wishing to enhance their knowledge.

“The overall logistics in Pyongyang were organised well. Comfortable meeting rooms were available in the Sport Complex, presentation facilities were arranged and the hospitality followed the same good standard as the immediate prior tournament.” Simin Rezaie

Administration of a high level, for Simin Rezaie it was a visit that will undoubtedly last long in the memory.

“It was my first visit to DPR Korea and I enjoyed my stay in the country. All the people I met were very friendly and supportive; the locations and events were well prepared; thanks to the organisers for hospitality and outstanding support!” Simin Rezaie

Simin Rezaie addresses the class in Pyongyang (Photo: courtesy of Simin Rezaie)


A detailed itinerary was followed, the course following the principles established for the revised Basic Referees programme agreed by the ITTF Umpires and Referees Committee.

“The agenda covered important matters, such as referee responsibility, system of play, the draw, group calculation and scheduling. The course was presented in the English language; an interpreter was available to translate some of the difficult items.” Simin Rezaie

Group work plus question and answer sessions were included in the schedule; matters concluding with the students sitting a written examination that included rule interpretation, calculation of such items as games and points ratio in a group situation, as well as the procedures needed to effectively make a draw.

“Referee activities in table tennis were new for most of the participants. Thus learning the necessary items in the short time available, was difficult; for those not understanding English it was even more difficult. However, the interpreter did an excellent job to manage language issues. The group was eager to learn and to build their referee knowledge. I wish all the students good luck for their future progress in table tennis.” Simin Rezaie

A successful course concluded, one for the undoubted benefit of DPR Korea.

Focused on the task in hand (Photo: courtesy of Simin Rezaie)

High Performance and Development Umpires and Referees Simin Rezaie