Umpire Information

The experience of most table tennis players with regard to umpiring is probably in local league matches where the primary function is to merely call out the score. However is this really what being an umpire is all about? Can umpiring really be a fulfilling and enjoyable experience?

Firstly, let’s take a look at the role of an umpire.

The role of an umpire is:-

  • Preparing the playing area for the match.
  • Ensuring the players are correctly equipped for the match.
  • Ensuring the correct observance of the service laws.
  • Ensuring compliance with the regulations concerning behaviour
  • Ensuring correct order of service for each player or pair of players
  • Deciding each rally as a point or let.
  • Calling and displaying the score, and indicating service changes.
  • To be alert to changes in the playing conditions and to react appropriately.
  • Observing net cord services and edge balls and adjudicate appropriately.
  • Ensuring continuity of play.
  • To know, understand and apply the rules and regulations of table tennis.

This list of the duties of an umpire is not exhaustive but it does demonstrate that the umpire has a very important role to play in the successful staging of a match.

Secondly, – How would you like to have the best seat in the house?
Just image what it would feel like to be the umpire for a final at our National Championships and possibly other major events. Yes, this really could be you!! So how do you become an umpire?

County Umpire – National Umpire – International Umpire

To qualify as a County Umpire you will need to pass a written test and successfully complete a practical assessment. To obtain a Test Paper, please contact Peter Higgins (contact details below). The written test can be taken in the comfort of your own home, and you are able to use any reference materials to help you answer the questions. Once you have qualified you have the opportunity to officiate at various tournaments, around the country, and having gained good experience you can be nominated to sit for the National Umpire (NU) qualification.

To qualify as an NU you will need to pass a written examination and a practical assessment.

The IU (International Umpire) is possible once you have gained good experience and demonstrated consistently high standards as an NU.
The IU examination is administered by the ITTF (International Table Tennis Federation) via TTW.

Table Tennis requires officials to make it function properly. Your involvement as an umpire will be fulfilling and rewarding, not just for yourself, but also for the players and spectators. You do not have to be or have been a player to become an umpire.


***Junior Umpire Award – A new Junior award is available for youngsters to test themselves and gain a TTW certificate – Check the test HERE ***


Peter Higgins,

ITTF Documents & Handbooks

ITTF Umpires and referees documents section

ITTF Handbook (2019 v2)

ITTF Handbook for Match Officials (2019)

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