Organised under the auspices of the ITTF Umpires and Referees Committee, from Thursday 13th to Sunday 16th October, Helsinki was the home for an International Referees’ School.
A modern and dynamic business city, the top level education course was held at the Hotel Matts, a four star hotel near the Finnish capital city. A total of 11 candidates enrolled, most from European countries, but also candidates from Colombia and Uganda.
Germany’s Michael Zwipp and the Czech Republic’s Petr Bohumsky were the course conductors.
“The four days ran fast. It was hard work for the candidates to pick up a lot of new information, to learn the characteristics of the referee job and to prove their knowledge in various tests and group assignments. However, it was very enjoyable too, specifically when role play was performed to manage call area procedures, to conduct a draw or to solve a critical match situation. The outline of the IR School covers the most important elements which must be known by an International Referee, it offers flexibility to learn in practical sessions.” Michael Zwipp
Overall, the four day itinerary included a broad range of subjects to illustrate the tasks and responsibilities of an International Referee. In addition to various presentations held by the instructors, the candidates had to manage group work, perform role play and deliver on supplementary overnight assignments.
Undoubtedly, the hardest part of the course was at the end. Candidates had to perform a three hour written examination, where they had to respond to questions of rule interpretation and to work on tournament preparations.
Later, a one hour oral interview was conducted for each of the students; knowledge, good judgement and communication skills being required to pass this part of the course.
Eight candidates emerged successful in all sections of the course and achieved the certificate of International Referee.
The successful candidates: Marcin Fidala (Poland), Michaela Hübener (Germany), Angelina Ivanova (Macedonia), Hernan Florez (Colombia), Asko Rasinen (Finland), Alexander Pertsch (Germany), Rauno Pöru, Stephen Smith (England).
Special thanks to the Finnish Table Tennis Association for their support in hosting the International Referees’ School.