Master Howard helps Umpires to see the Point
Our very own Master Robert Howard lead the recent RITA’s National ITF Umpire Course held in Carrick-on-Suir. As well a teaching at the Cabra school Master Howard is chair of the RITA’s Umpire Committee and he led the course with his good friend and fellow masrer, Master Mark O’Donnell from Galway Taekwon-Do School.
The event was hosted by Mr Paul Tobin and the Carrick-on-Suir Taekwon-Do School. In attendance were members from Old Bawn Waterford, Carrick-on-Suir, Fethard and Red Star.
The morning started with a power point presentation on the role and duties of an umpire. Master Howard stressed that fairness and unbiased decision making is the corner stone of being a good umpire. He said ‘You can make mistakes, or not know something, or you can be wrong in your understanding of the rules, but we can fix that. What we can’t fix is a biased umpire. We can’t trust you and the competitors and students can’t trust you.’ He added, ‘that is not the Taekwon-Do way’.
Master O’Donnell continued the presentation with a guide to judging patterns. The trainee umpires got to practice their scoring by watching videos of patterns and using the electronic scoring (clickers) system. They then got to discuss and share their views, and by the end of the session all the umpires’ scores were converging to a common norm.
Mater Howard led the session on Power Breaking and Special Technique and again the umpires got to practice blue flagging or red flagging competitors (on video) breaking with techniques used at RITA competitions.
The afternoon was focussed on sparring. Both corner judging and centre refereeing was covered in detail. It was clear from the corner judging that many of the participants had extensive tournament experience and were well able to award the correct points. There B class umpires were guided in the proper hand signals and ring protocol as well as the main fouls and tricks competitors do. The A class umpires covered the Fight System scoring software and Jury President duties.
The day ended with the two Masters thanking the participants for their openness and willingness to learn. They also thanked Mr Paul Tobin and his member for the use of the great facilities at their full time dojang.
This latest course on the 40th anniversary of the association means that almost all the RITA’s black belts are now qualified umpires and we should have a fair and high standard of judging at the Cork event. So that’s another reason why the students of GM Howard’s dojang will be up early on Saturday the 31st of March and getting the bus to the ITF-Ireland Cup in Cork.
Photos of the umpire course are on the RITA’s facebook page.