Cape Town hosts AUT
Cape Town was recently the proud host of an ITTF Advanced Umpires Technical (AUT) course for International Umpires (IU) wanting to attain their Blue Badge status.
20 internationally certified Umpires from around South Africa and other parts of the globe (Italy, Russia, India, Iran and New Zealand) attended the course that covered two days of lectures (22 to 23 October) presented by an international ITTF technical evaluator, Tony Chatwin. The course concluded with an one hour closed-book exam on the intricacies of Umpiring a Table Tennis match: a kind-off situation replay of some of the most colourful true-life experiences from around the globe e.g. the server projects the ball up commencing the rally. On its way up, the ball strikes a flying bug. What does the Umpire do?
The AUT course was a prequel to the much vaunted World Cadet Challenge and Junior Circuit Finals that were held at the Good Hope Centre in Cape Town from the 23rd to the 28th October. Needless to say, the course sharpened the mind to the rigors of internationally accepted Umpiring procedures and time scheduling. While all matches were umpired by an Umpire and an Assistance Umpire, the tenseness of being under the scrutiny of the ever watchful roving evaluator never went way (and some matches were televised to boot.)
In the end, nine IU’s were merited with a ‘meets expectations’ evaluation; a lofty award indeed.
The road to Blue Badge status is long and arduous, but given the successes attained at the WCC and JCF by all the Umpires present, the progress towards accomplishment is guaranteed.