With the ITTF World Table Tennis Championships Finals 2024 (WTTC) set to be held in Busan next year, the Korea Table Tennis Association (KTTA) has stepped up to the plate by placing a strong emphasis on ensuring that it meets the highest standards of organisation, competition and fair play. As such, one critical aspect of achieving this goal as host is to provide quality training for its referees and umpires to oversee the matches.
Last week, with the support of the ITTF Umpires and Referees Committee (URC), KTTA organised a workshop for Korea’s international umpires to improve the quality and consistency of officiating in the sport. It was the first time in four years that this workshop was held due to the prior restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic, and saw a total of 113 participants.
The workshop included personal sharing sessions by current umpires, a presentation on Korea’s permanent umpire system that was conducted by ITTF URC member Young Sam Ma, as well as the rules and regulations on Para Table Tennis and even an analysis on sports morality, among other topics. KTTA Vice President Kim Taek-Su also expressed his full support for the welfare and working conditions of the umpires, providing reassurance on quality accommodations and improvements in allowances during the WTTC next year.
Capacity-building programs such as this workshop represents just an example of how hosting a marquee event can help elevate the standards and quality of the host country’s sport, while increasing interest levels in it. With this year’s WTTC to be held in Durban from 20 to 28 May, we look forward to bringing table tennis to greater heights both in the host country and around the world.