Umpire Workshop Report

Umpire Workshop Report

Mr. Stephen Ryan, V Dan, ITA Umpire Chairperson and Mr. Ken Leahy V Dan, ITA Umpire Vice Chairperson, assisted by Miss Laura Cullen 3rd Dan, Tournament IT Co-ordinator conducted an ITA national umpire workshop on Sunday January 29th at the Cork International Airport Hotel. This workshop was offered on a free of charge basis, with the costs being covered by the ITA. The course was attended by 49 participants from Cork, Clare, Limerick, Wexford, Wicklow and further afield including Master Kenneth Wheatley ( I.T.A. President )  and Master Patrick O’Rourke.

The course involved a mix of theory and practical sessions with an emphasis on the latter, where participants learned all of the essential skills to umpiring at ITA and ITF tournaments.

Before the practical session Mr Leahy went through the electronic system and the setting up of same, from the basics up to and including the changing of bout times, break times and updating the pool of competitors when necessary.

The practical session then started with everyone present getting the opportunity to experience every position within the ring council environment without any pressure.

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 participant put on their Doboks to play the role of competitors.Both juniors and adults participated in pattern and sparring matches, providing the referees with live competitors to judge and for very valuable discussion and feedback on the results at the end of each match.


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Young and old got involved in every aspect of the workshop and it was indeed refreshing to see all the new faces get involved in positions such as centre referee and Jury President ensuring the future and consistent professional umpiring that is synonymous with the I.T.A.

When the practical session was completed Miss Cullen revisited the electronic system and again reiterated the importance of getting evrything set up correctly in advance of the competition while outlining the system performances and capabilities.

Mr Ryan conducted a PowerPoint presentation outlining the key points of the ITF tournament and umpire rules. The presentation included the key points how to referee the event and the roles of each person on the ring council. Video analysis of matches from past year’s European Championships was used to show some high level referees in action.  

Each ring council position was explained in detail. The 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.

The pool system and repachage system was then explained in detail by Mr Ryan giving an insight into the reasons and working of same while instilling an air of confidence in the participant for all forthcoming tournaments.

During all sessions both Mr Ryan and Mr Leahy worked from ring council to ring council dealing with queries from participants and giving  advise and sugestions where requested and at the same time allowing them to work on their own initiative..

Feedback from the participants was very positive and all agreed the workshop was conducted in a relaxed, positive and professional manner.

Report by Mr. Ken Leahy

Posted by Stephen Ryan