Las Vegas, Sin City. The City that never sleeps…
Peter Higgins, TTW Umpire Coordinator, has just returned from Vegas. He officiated at the World Veteran Championships and have a great experience. Here he shares it with you…
Report From Las Vegas
The event had 3786 players should have had 4000, but a lot of players and officials were refused visas in the end. It was played in one hall on 178 competition tables, plus 72 practice tables. In all there were 80 qualified umpires ranging from AU, CU, NU, IU and IUBB.
We started on the Monday morning as table manager’s looking after up to 8 tables each. there were a few volunteers as we were split into two shifts, the players had to umpires their own matches which had four in a group. The same on Tuesday, over the two days we worked about 15 hours. we had the Wednesday off with a get together for all the players, officials and volunteers in a bowling alley which was also a club.
On Thursday the main competition started. First and second in the group went in the main competition, third and fourth into the consolation competition. If they wanted to, all the qualified umpires were to umpire the main competition, the volunteers acted as table manager’s and the players umpired their own matches, in the consolation when you lost you were out.
There were 11 age groups in men’s and women’s singles plus men and women doubles.
Thursday I umpired 22 best of five matches in total!!! Friday was only the doubles events and I umpired 14 matches in total. Saturday was doubles event from quarter finals onwards. I umpired two semi finals and three finals which was a great experience. The best being the over 45 men between Jorg Rosskopf (Ger) and Weixing Chen (Aus) Vs Aleksandr Savelev (Rus) and Georgi Rubinshtein (Rus).
Sunday was all singles, semi finals and finals. I was only involved in two finals, working the electronic scoring computer from outside the court. Overall a very enjoyable Championship but very hard work. The worst part was the journey home
9 1/2 hour flight then 6 hours from Manchester airport to Holyhead by train! Should have been three. It was worth every minute and why i enjoy umpiring. Meeting new friends, officiating at the highest level and travelling the world.