23 Mar 2022

The distinction is the fifth and highest in the officiating pecking order.

Czech Republic’s Roman Klecker is the first-ever Gold Badge umpire to be named by the ITTF Umpires and Referees Committee.

Introduced one year ago but the initiation delayed owing to the restricted number of international tournaments caused by the pandemic, the distinction is the fifth and highest in the officiating pecking order.

Basic Umpire is the starting point, officiating at provincial tournaments; next on the list is National Umpire, followed by International Umpire, Blue Badge Umpire and now Gold Badge Umpire.

Standards of presentation improving, the Gold Badge was created to identify highly qualified International Umpires who have been Blue Badge umpires for at least two years. Officials who can work at the highest levels, in particular at World Table Tennis tournaments.

Enjoyed atmosphere

Roman started playing table tennis when eight years old but owing to injuries he was forced to stop playing.

Undeterred and enjoying the tournament atmosphere, especially rubbing shoulders with the world’s best players, the umpiring role proved the perfect solution in order to pursue his interest in the sport.

He qualified as an International Umpire in 2012, a date since which he has officiated at 89 international tournaments.

Additional to knowledge of the Laws and Regulations, Roman believes concentration during a match to be of the highest importance and as an official, you learn something new from every difficult moment you may experience.

Equally, he is clear that experienced officials, especially Blue Badge and Gold Badge Umpires should act as mentors for other umpires.

International Blue Badge Umpire Conference/Seminar 2022

A landmark award for Roman Klecker, furthering the cause, it has been decided to seek expressions of interest from Blue Badge and Gold Badge with regards to holding conferences similar those organised for International Referees.

Not compulsory to maintain status, two or three conferences each lasting three hours is proposed.

Anyone interested in staging such a gathering, kindly contact: [email protected]

Replies should be received by Thursday 31st March.

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