by Joe Fisher, Course Conductor
A total of 19 candidates were engaged on one or the other course; many enrolled on both; males outnumbered the females by a 5:1 ratio.
All the candidates focused on the rules and regulations but soon saw that in many instances “common sense” prevailed in situations. Besides knowing the rules and regulations, candidates quickly understood that there is an important human relationship component to becoming an official at the highest levels. Treating everyone with respect and maintaining a smile, while being fair but firm is an essential ingredient for top level umpires and referees.
The candidates came from 10 communities across Trinidad and Tobago; their success was apparent with their results.
Impressively, there was a 100 one hundred pass rate on the Basic Umpires course. One of the umpires who attended as a refresher course commented that he really enjoyed the new practical component, where candidates are actually evaluated at the table on their performance by the trainer and a few candidates.
Notably, the Basic Referee course had a similar result with a 93 per cent pass rate. Creating draws and performing calculations for group resolution was a main focus which caused the candidates to work together and share their thoughts. Communication is the key. Trinidad and Tobago is now looking ahead to the future. They need opportunities to practise their skills and are thinking about a major event.
I hope my experience, personality and humour coupled with my passion for table tennis created an atmosphere of comfort for the candidates who readily asked many questions.
A national training camp for juniors was also held at the same time in another part of the complex; this provided the candidates with opportunities to test their skills as racket inspectors of National Team players. Another activity that helped candidates become successful was the practical activities that were conducted in teams of officials on the 12 tables in the field of play. Some of the national team players stayed on after their instruction was finished to assist with the practical activities.
Highest marks were awarded to Ernest Fraser on the Basic Umpire Course with a score of 96 per cent; Simon Spicer scored a 97 per cent on the Basic Referee course.
Congratulations are extended to both candidates who performed extremely well.
Catherine Spicer (left) the National Champion in Trinidad and Tobago presented (right) Joe Fisher with gifts as a token of their appreciation for his service to the officials of the country (Photo: courtesy of Joe Fisher)