First National Referee Course in NorwayPhoto: Michael Zwipp
Supported by the European Table Tennis Union, the Norway Table Tennis Association organized a National Referee Course, which took place in Oslo from August 24 to 28, 2017.
It was the very first NR Course in the country. Of course, Norway has established a well composed umpire development program and has many high qualified umpires, up to international blue badge level. However, to set the basis for a profound referee program was seen as a vital priority. The course was the starting point to gain ideas for an own National referee education.
The invitation for this course was not only distributed in Norway, also candidates from other countries were welcomed. Out of nine candidates two came from the neighborhood country Denmark.
Michael ZWIPP, lead trainer for the ITTF IR School was invited to conduct the course. Oslo, the capital city of Norway was the place of action. Oslo, a great city, very modern buildings and a high standard of living; it's a dynamic business city where sport in general has a high priority here. The course took place in the office part of the Ulleval Stadium in the heart of Oslo. Many sport organizations have its head office there and provide national training for their athletes. The stadium is surrounded by many shops and restaurants, a perfect concept to link the needs of business, sport and social activities together.
“There wasn't a lot a time to enjoy the environment. The NR course was filled with duties from 9 am till late evening. The program has been redesigned recently. The agenda include a broad range of subjects to illustrate the tasks and responsibilities of a good Referee. In addition to various presentations held by the instructor, the candidates had to manage some group work, perform in role play and deliver on supplementary overnight assignments. The main matters included the interpretation of rules, the Draw, Scheduling, Field of Play preparation, para table tennis and the art of refereeing,” stated Michael ZWIPP.
In his report he also stressed:
“The four days were running fast. It was hard work for the candidates to pick up a lot of new information, to learn the characteristics of a referee job and to prove their knowledge in various tests and group assignments. But it was very enjoyable too, specifically when role play was performed to manage call area procedures, to conduct a draw or to solve a critical match situation. The outline of the NR course is covering most important elements to be known by a Referee and it offers flexibility to learn in practical sessions.”
They also managed to collect many ideas on how to setup a country specific National referee course for the future. The aim is better contribute to the organizational matter of tournaments and smoothly take over some of the duties currently performed by local organizers only.
"This will set a common standard for all tournaments and will improve the overall presentation of our sport", added Oivind ERIKSEN, Head of Technical Committee in Norway.
"We picked up many information about the referee work and we will think about to develop also our own National referee program" concluded Jens GULLBERG, Chairman of Danish Umpire Committee.
At the end Michael ZWIPP said: “I am very happy we did this course in Oslo. A starting point has been defined for National referee development in Norway and Denmark. New motivated people have taken the road for more referee assignments and I hope, we will see some of them taking the next step to roll-in for the IR School sometime in the future. Thanks to the Norway Table Tennis Association for organizing this event.”
Candidates: Michael ZWIPP (Trainer) Germany, Don ALEXANDER Norway, Janni ANDREASSEN Denmark, Kim-Erling BOLSTAD-LARSSEN Norway, Oivind ERIKSEN Norway, Jens GULLBERG HANSEN Denmark, Anders HOVDEN Denmark, Karl Borre REITE Norway, Mahta SOURI Norway, Marianne TROPPEN HORNNES Norway.