12 Jan 2019

Invitations published in October, approaching 350 umpires representing 66 national associations, applied to officiate at Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour tournaments; the year beginning in Hungary on Tuesday 15th January.

A new approach for the selection of match officials has been successfully implemented.

by Werner Thury, ITTF Umpires and Referees Committee

In August 2018, new Directives for Match Officials were approved. Successfully tested later in the year, now in 2019 all World Tour and World Title events will adopt the approach.


• The best match officials will be selected for the main draw at World Title and World Tour events.

• The daily allowance for match officials is adapted according to the status of the event.

• Travel costs for match officials performing in the final days of major events are paid.

• A clear career pathway for match officials is established to motivate performance.

• Early selection allows officials to plan their year.

Note – final days: refers to the days when just one table is being used; on the Seamaster 2019 ITTF World Tour it applies to the concluding two days. The one exception is Japan where it concerns only the last day of play.

Selection completed in January; thus it is the first time that officials are able to plan their year well in advance, the effect being that it may be possible to gain more competitive airfares.

Reviewing the performance of each official over the last three years, whilst taking into account, continental and gender representation, overall 118 umpires from 44 countries have been selected.


• Nomination by association

• Selection completed by ITTF Umpires and Referees Committee

• Approval received from organisers

• Approval received from selected umpires

• Official announcement sent to selected umpires and published on ITTF.com

Officials at the Seamaster 2018 ITTF World Tour Austrian Open (Photo: courtesy of Werner Thury)



ITTF Umpires and Referees Committee: Hungary, Qatar and Hong Kong (issued Saturday 12th January)

World Tour Umpires and Referees ITTF Umpires & Referees Committee