The 20th International Umpire Course from the International Taekwon-Do Federation was held at the Holiday Inn La Guardia in Queens, New York over the weekend of January 24th and 25th, 2015. With a participation of 66 members coming from Anguilla, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago, Uzbekistan and the United States took part in the umpire course which was conducted by the ITF Umpire Committee, Master Suarez and Master Ottesen, and we have the privilege to have with us during the event GM Wim Bos, ITF Director.
The course which followed the new and amended 2015 ITF Umpire rules and regulations began with an overview of the jury members, referees and umpires before going onto the purpose and procedures of the individual pattern point deducting system. The participants then had an opportunity to umpire and judge a number of pattern matches which raised a number of practical queries and discussions on criteria, scoring and decisions. The course also covered sparring competition and the rights and duties of the center referee, corner umpires, jury president and the ring assistants. The participants once again had an opportunity to umpire sparring matches using the electronic scoring system. The center referees displayed how to check the competitor’s safety equipment and continued to show the full procedure of starting the match with the correct bowing in protocol at the start and finish of each bout. The competitors and sparring matches created and displayed various scenarios to ensure that an explanation of all the warnings and fouls could be explained and discussed. Finally, the last topic of the course was to discuss power breaking and special technique competition. It was with great enthusiasm to see all participants eagerly engaged with the content of the course.
On behalf of the National Taekwon-Do Association – ITF (NTA-ITF), the International Taekwon-Do Federation, the ITF Umpire Committee and GM Bos, we want to thank everyone who travelled and participated in the umpire course and a special thank you to Master Kurt Ottesen for his continuous commitment in the development of ITF Umpires in the United States.
This umpire course was an ideal opportunity for everyone in the USA to either refresh their umpire skills or learn umpiring skills for the first time. We look forward to seeing our International Umpires in the USA putting their skills at the forthcoming ITF World Championship in Italy at the end of May 2015.
Master Ruben Suarez