66 ready for China National Referees School

The 2010 China National Referees School begins today [Thursday] at Zhuhai Golden Gulf Golf Club in Guangdong Province. The three-day school, which, for the first time, will be conducted by Chinese instructors, as well as those from The R&A, represents the pinnacle of The R&A and China Golf Association Joint Referee Training Programme; an initiative, now in its fourth year, to which The R&A has contributed well over £150,000.

Since 2007, between five and seven primary-level schools have been held, followed by two intermediate schools and, finally, a national school. Between 2007 and 2009, 1659 people attended primary level schools, with 1044 of these gaining a basic qualification in the Rules of Golf.

In the same period, 42 attendees achieved an “A level” qualification, which involves gaining a high mark in The R&A’s written exam, and performing well in a practical exam which tests a candidate’s ability to give rulings. 12 of the 42 graduates have now gone on to attend R&A Referees Schools either in St Andrews or at other locations outside China.

Many of the “A level” graduates have gained experience officiating at high-profile events in China on the Asian, One Asia and European tours. And two those, Taylor Li and Chris Feng, who are now qualified instructors, have refereed at The Open Championship.

China Rules
  • 1044 officials gained basic qualifications in the Rules from 2007-2009.
  • 42 officials attained an 'A Level' qualification from 2007-2009.
  • Two officials have gone on to officiate at The Open.
  •  500 people have attended primary level schools in 2010.
  • The R&A has contributed £161,000 since 2007.

“The Joint Referee Training Programme continues to go from strength to strength, each year producing capable and knowledgeable officials, who will go on to referee at the very highest levels of the game,” explained The R&A’s Director of Rules and Equipment Standards, David Rickman. “It is particularly pleasing that two such officials are now an integral part of the team of instructors at the 2010 School.”

At this year’s School, 66 officials will spend their first two days in video group discussions, watching practical demonstrations of the Rules, and receiving guidance on the Art of Officiating from Li, Feng, and The R&A’s instructors Grant Moir, Director - Rules of Golf, and Shona McRae, Manager - Rules of Golf. The delegates will also take the two-and-a-half-hour written exam.

The final day will be dedicated to role-play sessions: a formal assessment for those who achieve 75% or higher in the written exam, and a more informal session for those who have not achieved the required result.