ITA Umpire Course Midwest Region Report
Mr. Stephen Ryan, V Dan, ITA Umpire Chairperson conducted an ITA national umpire course on Sunday October 24th in Quin Community Centre. The course was attended by 18 participants from the Midwest region. The course involved a mix of theory and practical sessions where participants learned all of the essential skills to umpiring at ITA and ITF tournaments. In the theory sessions the key points of the ITF tournament and umpire rules were emphasised and each ring council position was explained in detail. The morning theory session placed a large emphasis on the responsibilities of the umpire, competitor safety and enjoyment of tournaments, umpire attitude and fairness and consistency in refereeing. Prior to the practical sessions in patterns and sparring there was a presentation on the key points how to referee the event and the roles of each person on the ring council. Video analysis of matches from this years European Championships was used to show some high level referees in action. For the practical session participants were allowed to focus on ring council positions that they felt most comfortable in and encouraged to put those skills into practice in the season ahead. To make the course a more valuable learning experience local competitors, both children and adults participated in pattern and sparring matches. This provided the referees with live competitors to judge and for very valuable discussion and feedback on the results at the end of each match.