On Sunday 23rd February the Irish Taekwon-Do Association hosted a free umpire workshop for all members aged 14 & older. The workshop was run in conjunction with the national team training camp which was taking place over the weekend in the Marino Institute of Education. Master Pat Barry, VII Degree, ITA Umpire Chairperson delivered the course which covered all aspects of the ITF tournament rules & protocols including the patterns competition scoring system, centre refereeing and corner judging, the role of the jury president as well as use of the electronic scoring system for sparring.
The course also included the role of the ring assistants, including equipment checks as well as information on the ITA tournament scheduling system. The course was well attended with over 50 students from colour belt up to 7th Dan Master level from all parts of the country in attendance. This included many beginners to umpiring as well as experienced national & international referees. It was a great advantage to run the workshop alongside the National team camp, as it allowed for some top level patterns & sparring competition, giving the new umpires a very realistic experience.
The workshop was very practical, with most of the time spent on the mats, looking at real-life sparring & patterns matches. Master Barry and the experienced umpires were able to offer examples from their own experience of competition & umpiring which was very helpful to the less experienced umpires in attendance. This course was well-timed with a large international contingent expected for the upcoming Dublin Open, the ITA was ensuring our umpires are fully updated & trained to allow for an excellent tournament in April. Another umpire course will be run in the near-future in another region of the country and all members are encouraged to attend.
Report by Carl Smullen, IV Degree, ITA PR Officer