Third National Rules School held in China

The third National Rules School, organised by The R&A and the China Golf Association (CGA), was held at Lakeview Golf Club, Kunming, in South West China on 12-14 November. A product of the agreement entered into in 2007by The R&A and the CGA, the National Rules School is an annual four-tier qualification programme for Chinese referees.

It was attended, on behalf of The R&A, by Alan Holmes, Chairman of the Rules of Golf Committee; Lout Meertens, Rules of Golf Committee; Grant Moir, Director - Rules of Golf; and Shona McRae, Manager - Rules of Golf.

In support of The R&A team were Taylor Li, Chief Referee on the China Tour and the first Chinese referee to officiate at The Open, and Chris Feng, Chief Referee on the China Ladies' Tour. They provided translation when necessary and supported the delegates, most of whom they were familiar with having provided instruction during the preliminary and intermediate Schools.

In 2009 over 600 people attended one of the Preliminary School courses held in venues the length and breadth of China. Ultimately 34 officials qualified to attend the next stage of the School, where they were all hoping to attain the much-coveted A' referee qualification.

The programme for the National School was similar to that used at an R&A Referees School. The first two days involved video group discussions, practical demonstrations of the Rules, guidance on refereeing and demonstrations by The R&A team in giving rulings, before delegates took their written exam.

The final day was dedicated to role-play sessions: a formal assessment for those who had achieved 70% or higher in the written exam, and a more informal session for those who had not achieved the required result. Of the 34 who attended, 21 qualified for the role-play exam and, of those, 12 passed andattained the A' qualification.

It is important that there are plenty of top-class Rules officials on hand to oversee the continuing rapid development of golf in China,' explained Alan Holmes. We are now beginning to see the National Rules School producing Referees of the highest calibre and this can only make a positive contribution to the successful and sustainable growth of the Chinese game.'

The next stop on The R&A's Rules Education calendar will be in South America in January next year.