USATT Announces The "Everyone In" Umpire Development Program
by USA Table Tennis
Image taken on March 1, 2020 at USATT Teams for the Trials. Credit USATT Flickr.
USATT Announces the ‘Everyone In’ Umpire Development Program
New Program Incorporates Waiver of Fees and Accelerated Certifications to Encourage Everyone –
Regardless of Age, Gender, and Physical Challenges – to Become an Active USATT Umpire
(Colorado Springs, CO – January 12, 2022) – USA Table Tennis (“USATT”) today announced the ‘Everyone In’ Umpire Developmental Program targeting all genders under age 40 to participate in the USATT Umpiring Certification Program. Under the new program, all fees associated with certification for all levels of table tennis umpiring proficiency will be waived, and the developmental process will be accelerated for those under the age of 26 to get International Umpire (IU) status.
“Table tennis in the United States currently has an outstanding group of umpires,” said USATT’s Chief Executive Officer Virginia Sung. “But we want to expand the pool of persons available to umpire at local, national and international events, with particular focus on younger persons – both men and women. We believe that an accelerated – but still challenging - umpire developmental program will bring the best and the brightest into our officiating community.”
A primary thrust of the Umpire Development Program, will be to accelerate umpires to the National Umpire level and prepare them for officiating at the highest ranks of national and international competition. To encourage wide-spread participation, USATT is waiving all fees associated with the umpiring program for the calendar year 2022. The Umpire and Referee Committee is also actively taking steps to reduce the amount of time necessary to advance through the levels of umpire certification. Of course, all umpire candidates must still be USATT members (basic $25.00 membership is acceptable) and must be SafeSport Compliant, which includes undergoing a criminal background check ($30.00)
“This is a great opportunity for our members to be involved at the highest level of table tennis,” said USATT Board Member and National Referee Dan Reynolds. “We look forward to getting our new officials trained and on the field of play soon.” Roman Tinyszin, URC Chair states – I hope that this initiative will bring on many umpires to the sport. As an official, you have the best seat in the house even though you are working the match.
With respect to the developmental process of becoming a table tennis umpire, there are four levels: (i) Club Umpire; (ii) Regional Umpire; (iii) National Umpire; and (iv) International Umpire. Certification at each level includes a written exam with participants being permitted to use an ‘open book’ approach at the Club level. Naturally, advancement through each level becomes more challenging and supervision becoming more stringent. Candidates must officiate twenty-five matches of which at least 5 matches must be doubles, under the supervision of an experienced umpire to advance through each level. The quality of the matches also increases as an umpire moves up the ladder. However, most certified umpires will attest that, with that increase in responsibility, there is a corresponding increase in satisfaction and reward in proper and successful performance.
USATT is seeking to undertake all available steps to increase the participation by everyone in our sport, and we would encourage those with questions to reach out to Roman Tinyszin (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Dan Reynolds (Dan_Reynolds@hotmail.com) with any questions and/or for further information and guidance on the ‘Everyone In’Umpire Development Program.