After an absence of six years owing to the restrictions imposed by the COVID pandemic, ITTF Referees Conferences returned to the calendar with meetings held in Beijing in November and Senec in December.
Organised under the direction of Werner Thury, Chair of the ITTF Umpires and Referees Committee, a total of 121 International Referees attended the seminars.
The conference in Beijing, organised locally by Wu Fei, the Deputy Chair of the ITTF Umpires and Referees Committee, was supported by Peking University and the Chinese Table Tennis Association.
Notably, providing an extra dimension to the occasion, Li Sun, Chinese national coach, attended the conference alongside leading players, Lin Gaoyuan and Chen Xingtong.
Meanwhile, in Senec, proceedings administered locally by the Slovak Table Tennis Association and guest speakers prompted lively discussion.
Tina Crotta, ITTF Para Events and Match Officials Manager, detailed procedures for WTT events in 2024, while Kevin Carpenter, Head of ITTF Integrity Unit explained the role of the ITTF Integrity Unit; in addition, Austrian coach Jarek Kolodziejczyk addressed the subject of coaches’ expectations and the cooperation of referees with players and coaches.
“Three days of exchange of experiences and discussions finished with the common agreement that it is necessary to continue this way of development to ensure a common approach and professionalism. As chair I was really happy to see that around 90 per cent of all referees worldwide attended the conference this year.” Werner Thury, Chair of the Umpires and Referees Committee
At both conferences, referees discussed different scenarios and agreed on common solutions. Additionally, they practised public draws and implementation of events in a role play.
All referees completed an online rules examination.