11 Jan 2019

Japan’s Midori Furuya and Mari Koda are the most recent names to be added to the Blue Badge list of International Umpires; they qualified during the period Monday 1st October to Monday 31st December 2018.

The announcement was made by the ITTF Umpires and Referees Committee on Thursday 10th January.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Overall, the list comprises 275 officials who have gained the Blue Badge, the highest award in officiating; pertinently Asia and Europe, the traditional strongholds of the sport, possess the lion’s share, over 88 per cent of the total.

Asia has some 115 such registered names, for Europe there is marginally less will 111 registered; North America has 17 such umpires, the number is 15 for Africa, Latin America harbours 12, for Oceania the tally is five.

Notably, the leading nation in the playing arena, China heads the pecking order, possessing 27 Blue Badge Umpires; next in line is Japan, 20 being their impressive record. Making progress in the international arena, India alongside Germany catalogues 17 names.

Meanwhile, four further national associations reach double figures; the Korea Republic lists 16 such umpires, Russia has 15 in total, for the United States and Hong Kong it is 10 overall.

Worldwide, 63 national associations possess at least one Blue Badge Umpire.

The next assessment period is from Tuesday 1st January to Sunday 31st January.

ITTF Umpires and Referees Committee: Blue Badge Umpires (as at Thursday 10th January 2019)

Umpires and Referees Blue Badge Umpires