International Umpire Course - Germany
Two ITA instructors from the Midwest, Stephen Ryan IV Dan and Brian Coughlan IV Dan, attended the ITF International Umpire Course in Cologne, Germany on March 29th and 30th 2008.
They arrived on Friday night and were met at the airport by Master Paul Weiler VIII Dan, ITF Vice President, and host of the event. From there it was a short drive to the hotel situated in the heart of the beautiful city of Cologne, adjacent to the Hauptbahnhof and famous Gothic Cathedral. After registration we had an opportunity to chat with some of the familiar faces participating in the course from the 72 participants (including 12 Masters) coming from 21 countries as well as make some new contacts.
The course was also attended by 2 members from the INTA, David Condon IV Dan and Ken Leahy V Dan and all participants representing Ireland acquitted themselves very well over the 2 day course. On the Saturday it was down to business early with the ITF Tournament and Umpire committee of Master Alberto Katz VII Dan from Argentina (chairman), Master Coos van de Heuvel VII Dan from the Netherlands and Mr. Kurt Ottesen VI Dan from Canada presenting the rules for World Championships and World Cup.
The course was run in a very professional and engaging manner; the content was clearly presented, through a combination lecture and discussion based modules as well as practical modules covering all aspects of ITF Taekwon-Do competition. The first day of the course was very intensive, running from 9.00am until approximately 8.00pm, but was very worthwhile as all participants gained valuable experience and information.
Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the weekend was practical sessions where the new electronic scoring system was introduced. This computerised system will undoubtedly bring ITF competition to a much higher level. The system itself was explained in detail and all umpires had plenty of practice in scoring both patterns and sparring competition.
This system (produced by Master Harry Vones from ITF Deutschland) will be used at all major ITF events in the future, and the ITA will also be making an investment this year to purchase the system for use at our national events. We would like to thank Master Weiler for being an excellent host and the ITF T&U committee for a very educational and enjoyable course.
Stephen RyanPosted by ITA Admin