There were 60 participants in attendance (11 masters and 49 instructors/assistants) from across the United States and abroad, including Anguilla, Canada, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Trinidad & Tobago.
The course opened with an introduction to and clarification of the Official ITF Rules and Amendments that are currently in effect for international competition, followed by a description of the responsibilities for each member of the Jury Council, including the jury president, jury assistants, and center and corner referees.
Pattern competition was the first event covered in the UC, with an overview of the point deduction system for scoring patterns. This discussion was supplemented with a demonstration of various videos from past world championships, as well as a series of prepared videos that contained intentional errors commonly found in pattern competition.
Sunday’s agenda packed a great amount of valuable information into one day, beginning with the job responsibilities and protocol of the ring council, with particular emphasis on the system of warnings and fouls, and the associated hand signals used by the center referee. An in-depth practice session of these hand signals followed, where all participants were paired with the more experienced referees in attendance, to practice this knowledge. After a discussion of the sparring point system, participants were all able to practice the real time application of being a center referee and/or corner judge in sparring matches.
The course was an ideal opportunity for referees in the United States and neighboring countries to review and update their umpire skills and fulfill the qualifications for participating in the upcoming ITF international competitions. It is also a great opportunity to introduce those with no prior knowledge of the rules and protocol for those who have no prior experience.
The only downside was the amount of information required to cover and an insufficient amount of time. In the future the course must be longer to adequately and comfortably cover everything. Nonetheless, it was an overall success with much information loaded in to the two days allotted.
On behalf of the NTA-ITF and the ITF Umpire Committee, we want to thank everyone who travelled and participated in the QIUC, continuing the commitment to the development of ITF umpires in the United States.
Master Ruben Suarez