International Table Tennis Referees School 2024: Developing Elite Officiating Talent

In a significant move for the sport, the referees’ school for the highest level of table tennis officiating has commenced its latest program in 2024, this time taking place in the heart of Czechia. The school, which has seen sessions held in Finland, Singapore, and Hong Kong over the past two years, aims to address the growing need for qualified international referees as the table tennis calendar expands with more ITTF, WTT, WTT youth, PTT, and Masters events.

Led by experienced instructors Petr Bohumsky of Czechia and Ramon Ortega Montes of Spain, the four-day course in the Czech National Training Centre in Havirov welcomed 11 candidates from 9 different countries. The state-of-the-art facility, equipped with the latest digital systems, provided the perfect setting for the intensive training program.

Prior to the on-site sessions, the aspiring referees received a comprehensive package of assignments, covering everything from draw management and scheduling to real-world scenarios and umpire coordination. The in-person training then consisted of:

  • Interactive discussions
  • Practical exercises
  • Role-play activities
  • Written and personal assessments

to gauge the candidates’ knowledge, problem-solving skills, and ability to perform under pressure.

“I am confident that it will greatly benefit their careers as referees. In the end, we now have five new international referees who now become our colleagues, and I hope to work with them in future tournaments to witness their skills in action.” – Petr Bohumsky

After a rigorous evaluation process, five individuals emerged as the newest additions to the international table tennis refereeing ranks:

  • Alexandra Böhmert (Germany)
  • Vaclav Gromnica (Czechia)
  • Pari Khalili-Marandi (Iran)
  • Zeljko Prsa (Croatia)
  • Lucia Vozdarova (Slovakia)

Petr Bohumsky expressed his admiration for the dedication and effort demonstrated by the candidates:

“I am confident that it will greatly benefit their careers as referees.”

Ramon Ortega-Montes echoed Bohumsky’s sentiments, highlighting the participants’ impressive evolution throughout the training:

“I’m really happy with the result.”

The newly minted international referees, including Pari Khalili-Marandi and Nicola Capurso, expressed their enthusiasm and determination to apply the knowledge gained during the course.

As the table tennis landscape continues to evolve, the successful establishment of this referees’ school underscores the sport’s commitment to maintaining the highest standards of officiating, ensuring fair play and a positive experience for players and fans alike.

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