Welsh International 2018
English umpires attending: Elizabeth Alam, Andrew Bennett, Stephanie Cartwright-Randle, Martyn Davis, Ian Johnstone, Chris Steeden and Nigel South. MOU – David Evans.
For the Welsh International in Cardiff seven of our members made the relatively short journey to Wales for the annual international series tournament which is part of the European circuit. This year the tournament was running from Wednesday until Saturday with briefing taking place on Tuesday night at the Sport Wales National Centre. Twenty umpires in total attended with the referee coming from Denmark assisted by Steve Temple from Wales. After the briefing we adjourned for the first of many visits to the pub 50 yards across the road!!
Day 1 began with a match that was being umpired by Stephanie Cartwright-Randle destroying court 4, when the court mat came loose and completely lifted! Needless to say play had to be suspended and eventually moved to another court whilst repairs took place. Rumours soon spread that Badminton Wales were considering billing Steph for not looking after their brand new court!
The English umpires didn’t seem to have much luck with court 4 as on Day 2 it was Ian Johnstone’s turn to suffer from the ‘curse’. Ian had the first game of the day on this court and arrived to find the electronic score pad wasn’t working. Luckily Ian was a dab hand with pen and paper!
Stephanie Cartwright-Randle’s interesting tournament continued with a yellow card for squashing a shuttle and an incident which lead many of us to believe that Martin Godfrey from Wales may not be on Steph’s Christmas card list. Stephanie was Martin’s service judge but between games forgot to go and stand by her umpire! Martin used his initiative and sent the mopper with a message inviting Steph to join him!! Martin is now fondly known as Billy No Mates. Elizabeth Alam has put in a request to santa for a satnav to help her get to court 5 as for some reason this seemed to be her only problem on an otherwise impressive first European event. Meanwhile the other members of ‘Team England’ carried on doing a splendid job without drawing attention to themselves.
Day three was the long day of the tournament and involved matches in the round of 16 and quarter-finals with England well represented in all disciplines. The highlight of the day was the pizza party organized by Badminton Wales at the end of play. Thanks to those who contributed to the liquid refreshments.
Saturday was Semi-Finals and Finals, with everyone working so duties were few and far between. It has to be said that the games were extremely competitive and the umpires were kept on their toes.
The finals saw four of our umpires working – Elizabeth Alam, Stephanie Cartwright-Randle, Martyn Davis and Chris Steeden, with Chris umpiring his first European Circuit Final.
All too soon it was over for another year and time to return to the real world.
Martyn T Davis