On Sunday May 2 Mr. Kurt Ottesen, member of the ITF Umpire committee presented a Class C and Class B umpire seminar in Vernon, B.C. The seminar was sponsored by the ITF of B.C. There were 41 participants. The seminar was divided into two parts: theory and practical. In the morning Mr. Ottesen reviewed rules and procedures for umpire responsibilities. The 4 hour power point presentation was based on the most recent updated ITF Official Rules of competition:
In the afternoon the practical component consisted of umpire exercises for both patterns and sparring. Volunteers were asked to perform various patterns to allow the participants the opportunity to practice judging patterns based on the five criteria: technical content, power, balance, breath control, and rhythm. Proper protocol was followed to ensure students understand the correct procedure to start and finish a match. Following patterns students practiced the intricate hand signals involved with centre umpire sparring duties. All too soon it was time to end the seminar.
The seminar was very professional in presentation. Mr. Otessen constantly stressed that safety and fairness were the major responsibilities of an ITF umpire. He also encouraged participants to devote as much time preparing for umpire duties as a competitor prepares for competition. Throughout the day Mr. O related some of his experiences on the world stage both as a competitor and umpire. His stories and anecdotes made the time fly by. We are very grateful to Mr. Ottesen for sharing his wealth of knowledge with us.