Badminton Life

Umpiring Course for Maltese Officials

You won't find an obscure a place for badminton than the European resort island of Malta. But there seems to be plenty of activity there, according to recent media reports.

Badminton Malta is active in promoting the sport in the island, not only among players but also in terms of officials.

For its pre-season programmes, the governing body successfully organised an umpires' training course at the Cottonera Sports Complex.

The programme was designed for experiences umpires who want a refresher course and strengthen their skills as well as new umpires who want to learn more about their duties and improve themselves.

Packed with theoretical sessions in a classroom environment in addition to on-court practical time, the budding and experienced umpires were able to put themselves in a variety of positions and situations in order to practice the finer technical points of making calls.

Participants were drawn from three clubs, Pawla Wolves BC, Msida Arrows BC and Shuttles, as they paid special attention to the correct method of calling service faults - a particularly sensitive area of the game.

Badminton Europe played a major role in assisting the Maltese with the training material. The European governing body are keen to see the sport spread in the continent's southern countries and therefore jumped at the chance to lend a hand.

Umpiring is an integral part of the sport and the participants were taught how to take charge of the court during a match from the very beginning to when the players shake hands at the end.

The course was conducted by Mojmir Hnilica, of the Czech Republic, who has plenty of experience in umpiring and refereeing on the global stage. He has regularly officiated at tournaments organised by Badminton Europe as well as world governing body Badminton World Federation.

He is also the director for Court Offficials on the Badminton Europe Council.

Hnilca is fresh from umpiring at the Olympic Games Beijing, where there was plenty of action and umpiring study cases for the participants to analyse and learn from.

Badminton Malta officials are hoping that those who attended the course will one day gain enough knowledge and experience to officiate in big tournaments sanctioned by Badminton Europe.

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