The Table Tennis Officiating Scheme is coordinated through Table Tennis Queensland and Table Tennis Australia and is managed by the Australian Sports Commission and has 4 levels accredited by the National Officiating Accreditation Scheme (NOAS), through which umpires (16 years and over) can progress. Table Tennis Queensland runs the Association, State and National Umpiring Course. All of the higher level accreditation are accredited and verified through Table Tennis Australia and the International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF).

Officiating provides the opportunity to be involved in the conduct of Table Tennis competitions at many levels – club, regional, state, national and international, including World Championships, Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

Table Tennis officiating can be divided into two sections including Refereeing and Umpiring. Referees control the conduct of tournaments and umpires control the conduct of matches. Both sets of officials have their own responsibilities, with the referee in overall control while umpires have their own powers in relation to their match duties. At a major tournament, there will be one referee and a varying number of deputy referees, and a group of umpires. However, at lower levels of tournaments and club competition, players are often required to umpire matches for other competitors. Therefore, it is not only useful to have a good knowledge and understanding of the rules as a player but also to have some knowledge of umpiring procedures and duties.

Currently in Australia, there are two levels of referees and four levels of umpires. These are Association Umpire; State Umpire; National Umpire; International Umpire; National Referee; International Referee.

In order to be recognised through Australian Sports Commission's National Officiating Accreditation Scheme (NOAS), umpires must meet minimum requirements. Table Tennis Australia accredits members who wish to become Association Umpires, while the Australian Sports Commission accredits State and National Umpires and National Referees. The International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) is responsible for accrediting International Umpires and International Referees.

Courses accredited by NOAS are updated every four years. The following are the main requirements that need to be met to be accredited at each umpiring level of the officiating scheme:

Association Umpire

The individual must:

  • complete twenty hours of match umpiring prior to attending the course
  • attend an Association Umpire course (approx. 3 hours), conducted by an authorised State or higher level umpire
  • pass a basic written test on the rules of Table Tennis
  • complete one hour of match umpiring under the supervision of a mentor who is a State or higher level umpire
  • sign an Official's Code of Behaviour

State Umpire

The individual must:

  • either be an Association Umpire or an experienced Table Tennis player
  • attend a State Umpire course (approx. ten hours) conducted by an authorised presenter (National or International umpire / referee)
  • pass a written closed book test on the rules of Table Tennis (approx. one hour)
  • pass an oral test on the rules of Table Tennis (approx. 30 minutes)
  • complete eighteen hours unsupervised umpiring practice which may be undertaken at club or tournament competitions
  • complete two hours supervised umpiring practice with an authorised mentor, again at either club or tournament competitions
  • be assessed by an authorised person by umpiring at least four matches of varying types (singles, doubles, junior, senior) at a regional or higher level tournament

National Umpire

The individual must:

  • complete at least two years as a State Umpire, with regular attendance at regional and higher level tournaments as an official (i.e. not as a player-umpire)
  • attend a State / National Umpire course as above
  • pass a written closed book exam on the rules of Table Tennis (approx. one hour)
  • pass an oral exam on the rules of Table Tennis (approx. 30 minutes)
  • be assessed by an authorised person (International Umpire / Referee) by umpiring for several hours at a National or higher level tournament

International Umpire

The following requirements are set down by ITTF.

The individual must:

  • complete at least two years satisfactorily as a National Umpire
  • pass the written ITTF International Umpires exam (closed book, approx 50 minutes) which is held every two years

National Referee

The individual must:

  • a National or International Umpire
  • attend a National Referee’s course (approx. 12 hours)
  • complete a written assignment on tournament conduct 
  • be assessed at a National or higher level tournament as a Deputy Referee under the supervision of an International Referee

International Referee

The requirements of this course are set down by ITTF and are currently under revision.

The individual must:

  • be a National Referee and an International Umpire
  • demonstrate expertise as a National Referee
  • attend an ITTF Referee’s course and pass their exam
  • be assessed at an International tournament as a Deputy Referee under the supervision of an authorised International Referee
About Table Tennis QLD

The Queensland Government provides ongoing funding to Table Tennis Queensland to get more Queenslanders active through sport and recreation.

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