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15 March 2005, 03:41 pm
ISAF Chief Umpire Seminar And Performance Assessor Workshop
Seminar leader, Jan STAGE

ISAF Race Officials
Southampton, Great Britain

Yesterday saw the conclusion of three days of Seminar and Workshop for Chief Umpires in Southampton, Great Britain. Attended by 53 International Umpires from over 20 nations, the participants represented more than 50% of the 102 ISAF International Umpires.
Specializing in training and educating, the objective of the Seminar was to give International Umpires the information and tools to enable them to be a Chief Umpire, and to ensure a more consistent approach amongst those acting as Chief Umpires.

The challenge in running the Seminar, which brought together the more experienced IUs and newer IU's, was to create an arena which was of interest to both groups. This was achieved by arranging the seminar so that experienced umpires could work with newer members to offer ideas and solutions to common problems encountered on the water, which delivered a valuable exchange of information between the two groups.

Jan STAGE (DEN), Seminar leader and Chairman of the International Umpire's Sub-Committee (IUSC), led a series of presentations on the following topics:

  • Challenges for a Chief Umpire
  • Event organization: parties and responsibilities
  • The Chief Umpire: tasks and role
  • The Umpire Team: tasks and roles
  • The Jury: tasks and roles
  • The Life of an Event
  • Formats and Scoring
  • Umpire Development
  • Mid-Level and Low-Level Events
  • Support Material
  • Information about the IU System

Group work focused on issues involved at match and team racing events, Rule 14 hearings, scoring and tie breaking and a review of the forms, checklists and the match racing manual from a Chief Umpire perspective.

During the group work sessions, the IU's were also invited to provide feedback to the ISAF Umpires Sub-Committee on the ISAF Match Racing Manual, with valuable input received for future revisions of the document, current policy issues and on other services and support IU's would like to be provided by ISAF.

Commenting at the conclusion of the Seminar, Jan STAGE (DEN) said, 'Fifty-three participants was a surprisingly high number. We experienced a superb two day's of presentations and discussions on how to manage an umpire team at an event. The level of the participants was exceptionally high. The Seminar provided the perfect environment to draw on a vast range and depth of knowledge and to share and pass on that knowledge.'

On Monday, the Performance Assessors Workshop was held, which focused on training IU's to carry out performance assessments, providing feedback to those being assessed as well as looking at the performance assessment criteria themselves.

All officials wanting to graduate to the level of International Umpire must undergo a performance assessment. Currently only the seminar instructors can perform these and ISAF wants to expand this level to meet the need to conduct assessments outside of seminars.

Commenting on how the content of the Seminar will practically translate to sailors, Jan added, 'From the sailors' perspective, they will notice a greater consistency from event to event, and some new faces on the circuit. All levels of event, from ISAF Grade 1 events down, will benefit from the Seminar as the world's top Umpires have been able to exchange their knowledge and experiences.'

And on his own mission in chairing the ISAF Umpires Sub-Committee, Jan added, 'My aim is to achieve a good job and to continue the high quality of work which has already been established.'

The ISAF Chief Umpires Seminar 2005 continues the ISAF Programme of providing education and ongoing training to ISAF Race Officials. In 2004 ISAF hosted an International Umpires Conference, which brought together International Umpires from around the world for discussion, information sharing, education, and future development and current best practice, while discussing new ideas and the future development of the sport.

In March 2003, ISAF hosted an International Judges Conference, focusing on levelling the playing field in the application and policing of RRS 42, which attracted over 60 participants from 43 ISAF Member National Authorities.

ISAF will be distributing the presentations from the Seminar and Workshop to all ISAF International Umpires and ISAF Member National Authorities. MNA's are welcome to use the material for use in their own National Umpire Programmes.

ISAF would like to thank the following for their support in co-ordinating the Seminar and making presentations:

Jan STAGE (DEN) - Chair
Gerard BOSSE (FRA)

Thanks are extended to all participants for their valuable input.

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