New Umpire & SET Training Course Initiative Success

Saturday 8th February saw the first step in a new umpire initiative from ITF Scotland of “One Team – One Goal” with a brand-new series of courses being introduced in Scotland to continuously train and develop our National Umpires.  Prior to the course, all participants received a copy to the 2020 ITFS Championships Umpire Reference Manual.

The course was presented by Master Gordon Wallace, 8th Degree and Master Alexander Dunbar 8th Degree, with the event being held at the Craigwillow Centre, Livingston, West Lothian.  It is the plan of this training that the course(s), plus future umpiring participation will be rewarded a C Class accreditation which will be the start of a pathway of excellence for those who wish to aspire to a B or C Class ITF umpire accredited status.

Seventy (70) participants were in attendance and were privileged to have in joining them many current international umpires, namely: Master David McNairn VII (Scotland), Master Anthony McKenna VII (England), Mr. John Munro V (Scotland), Mr. Ronnie Dewhurst IV (Scotland) and Mrs. Jacqui Wallace IV (Scotland) who were happy to impart their past experiences to the participants.  

The morning started off with a “brief” presentation by Master Wallace, of the Sport Event Technology (SET) Software, which has been used in conjunction with the ITF Scoring systems at a number of Scottish competitions over the past few years and will now become the benchmark standard for all future National Championships and some Regional Events.  This ensures our umpire pathway of excellence mirrors the ITF standard as closely as possible.  Step One in this path was to get as many participants fully familiar with using the controllers to actively record scores and manage the duties of what would be the SET Controller.  It is the goal to have the SET controller an integral part of the ring council during the rotation of any particular category in progress.

Previous investments allowed the course participants practical access to five (5) electronic scoring systems that were all data linked to create a “mini-tournament” format which allowed each ring council to identify and access the categories that would be expedited on their respective rings.

The seventy (70) participants were managed in ten (10) ring councils of seven (7) with two (2) councils per ring. One ring council would manage the scoring and the other provide the performances to be judged.  Each category had 8 athletes entered making 7 matches.  This allowed the SET controller to manage a full category at a time and the scoring umpires’ continuity in the scoring and command process.  Patterns were shortened to allow a quick turnaround of duties and responsibilities.

The fine pattern observation detail was not a main factor of the weekend course, but rather get umpires familiar with the due process of managing the software and controlling the athletes.  The fine detail in pattern performance and scoring will be the subject of Course Two (2) that will be held later in the year.

After a short tea & coffee break, everyone came together again to ask questions, gain clarification from both Master Wallace and Master Dunbar on aspects of the Pattern competition and application of coloured-belt (level 1) scoring.  The groups then broke off for the last time in pattern to practise the level 1,2 & 3 scoring which will be used for all future Junior, Senior and Advanced Senior black belt categories.  

The course moved on to the sparring competition in the afternoon, starting with a presentation to the group of the SET controller procedures in sparring mode.  Master Wallace gave the floor away to Master Dunbar to continue with sparring operations assisted by Mrs Jacqui Wallace demonstrating the centre referees duties and responsibilities and the critical interaction between match activities and the SET controller.

Master Dunbar continued to lead the group through the correct hand signals and procedures, as well as timeframes in which warnings and fouls should be issued.  The principles of scoring were addressed in addition to the non -specified anomalies that can happen during a match and the implications they have on when a warning or foul should be applied or a point added or retracted.

The groups broke then out into their rings to work their way through their selected categories.

Stage two in sparring was about extending the match through an extra round plus determining the final match winner through first point.  Master Wallace gave the final presentation of the day on how the SET controller manages this aspect of the scoring panel and Master Dunbar gave invaluable practical advice at this stage of the match that concerned the Centre Referee and Corners Umpires.

The participants again took on each role in turn, with many seizing the opportunity for some mischievous sparring & coaching tactics, that the centre referees were able convert into practising controlling match energies and behaviours not just inside the mat area.

The course ended with some questions and clarification points from the participants on the ITF rules, as well as the new ITFS competition rules in place for the 2020 championships. 

The course stopped at 16:30 to allow time for the official photo, and some closing words from both Master’s Wallace and Dunbar, and a footnote from Master McKenna, President of ITF England who travelled from Newcastle to take part.  

We could not close this account without mentioning another special thanks to the IT team of Chris Forbes I, Craig Rennie I, who everyone know now and Peter Hepburn I for the serious investment of their time and in some instances hardware, that allowed the development of the SET systems to be implemented to the level it has been in such a short space of time for the benefit of all the Scottish athletes, coaches and umpires.

Mrs. McIlvaney, on behalf of ITF Scotland and the participants, thanked both Masters for the time they had taken in preparing and delivering the course to such a high standard. ITFS Scotland look forward to seeing all our course participants applying the procedures and processes in real time and will get the opportunity very soon at the 2020 ITFS Championships 29thFebruary / 1st March at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility, Motherwell, Scotland.

Thank you everyone for your support and enthusiasm.  

One Team, One Goal


MasterDavidMcNairn7th DegreeMontrose
MasterAnthonyMcKenna7th DegreeNewcastle
MasterHeathDenholm7th DegreeWMA
Mr.AndrewChesworth6th DegreeChesworth Taekwon-Do Scotland
Mr.NikPurves6th DegreeNP Taekwon-Do Academy (TAS)
Mr.John Munro5th DegreeGMAC Martial Arts
Mr.Kieran McGowan5th DegreeMcGowan’s Blackbelt Academy
Mrs.KerrisDickson4th DegreeIntegrity Martial Arts
Mr.ChristopherDickson4th DegreeIntegrity Martial Arts
Ms.JanetMacDonald4th DegreeInverness
Mr. ScottMorris4th DegreeMorris TKD
Mr.AlastairSmith4th DegreeScotia
Mr.RonnieDewhurst4th DegreePro-Edge
Mr. AndrewMcQuade4th DegreeHowden TKD
Mr.AndyO’Hare3rd DegreeAlness
Mr. JasonMunro3rd DegreeGMAC Martial Arts
Mr.RoddyMcLeod3rd DegreeInverness
Mr.ColinMcRoberts3rd DegreeSouth Queensferry TKD
Miss.MelissaBrown2nd DegreeBraveheart Martial Arts
Mr.CalumMcNeill2nd DegreeBuckie
Mrs.LornaSingleton2nd DegreeGMAC Martial Arts
Miss.LornaFerguson2nd DegreeGMAC Martial Arts
Mr.GeorgeRussell2nd DegreeGMAC Martial Arts
Mr.RowanNilseen2nd DegreeInverness
Miss.AnnieMorrison2nd DegreeInverness
Mr.JasonCarroll2nd DegreeLeith
Mrs.BarbaraHarding2nd DegreeScotia
Miss.EilidhMorisetti2nd DegreeSouth Queensferry TKD
Mr.BrianBurns2nd DegreeSouth Queensferry TKD
Mr. Ethan Donnelly2nd DegreeGlasgow East
Mr.AidanTimoney2nd DegreeGlasgow East
Mr.AndrewKnox2nd DegreeGlasgow East
 JackShaw1st DegreeBoydell Blackbelt Academy
 JoeBurns1st DegreeBoydell Blackbelt Academy
Mr.CallanTaylor1st DegreeBuckie
Mr. LaurenMcCreadie1st DegreeChesworth Taekwon-Do Scotland
Mr.KevinForgie1st DegreeChesworth Taekwon-Do Scotland
Mr.LiamMcQueen1st DegreeChimera Martial Arts
Mr.Declan Laird1st DegreeGMAC Martial Arts
Mr.Declan McAvoy1st DegreeGMAC Martial Arts
Miss.DesAthanasiadou1st DegreeGMAC Martial Arts
Miss.JaimieSingleton1st DegreeGMAC Martial Arts
Miss.Donatella Fargnoli1st DegreeGMAC Martial Arts
Mr.RyanPark1st DegreeGMAC Martial Arts
Mr.ScottCrooks1st DegreeGMAC Martial Arts
Mr.HaydenMcAvoy1st DegreeGMAC Martial Arts
Miss.ArianaMcCarthy1st DegreeGMAC Martial Arts
Mr.RossKellachan1st DegreeGMAC Martial Arts
Mr. John Melrose1st DegreeIntegrity Martial Arts
Mr. JeromeChevet1st DegreeInverness
Mr. JamesWeston1st DegreeMcGowan’s Blackbelt Academy
Miss.Elidih Cowan1st DegreeMcGowan’s Blackbelt Academy
Mr.CampbellOag1st DegreeMWBA
Mr. CallumHarvey1st DegreeMWBA
Mr.CaydenLeitch1st DegreeMWBA
Mr.BrandonMartin1st DegreeMWBA
Mr.MatthewIrvine1st DegreeMWBA
Mr.BenJamieson1st DegreeMWBA
Mr.DarrylCox1st DegreeMWBA
Ms.TraceyWaddell1st DegreeScotia
Mr.HollieWaddell1st DegreeScotia
Mr.DavidFinch1st DegreeArbroath
Mr. JackWalker1st DegreeI-Kick Martial Arts
Mr.DylanGardiner1st KupBoydell Blackbelt Academy
Mr.TaylorSteven1st KupChimera Martial Arts
Mr.ChristopherBoyle1st KupMcGowan’s Blackbelt Academy
Mr.GaryMacKintosh2nd KupForres
Miss.StephaniePeden2nd KupGMAC Martial Arts
Mr.JamieKettyles2nd KupSMAC
Mr.RossChatham2nd KupI-Kick Martial Arts

A full gallery of images from the course can be found on our Facebook Page here.