Stellenbosch, South Africa – Following the controversy surrounding international South African rugby referee Craig Joubert at the Rugby World Cup the spotlight has been on sporting officiating across the board. Tennis South Africa (TSA) will not be taking any “officiating chances” during the forthcoming Digicall Futures Series which start in Stellenbosch next week.
The Digicall Futures Series is three back to back weeks of international men’s and women’s tennis and TSA announced an experienced and impressive lineup of officials today (Wednesday) to take charge of the series.
Iain Smith of Pretoria has been named as the Men’s Supervisor and Anton Rens of Cape Town as the Women’s Supervisor.
Both Smith and Rens are among the most experienced and qualified officials on the continent and have both officiated internationally at various event including Davis and Fed Cup, with Smith doing regular duty at the Majors.
The chair-umpires were announced as follows; Ron Stirling (KZN), Mxolisi Matyolo (GE), Ivan Bridges (WP), George Phiri (GN), Pieter Hoeksma (GN), Abram Sehloho (GN), Adri Du Plessis (GN), Steve Kgaphola (GE), Ephraim Motsiane (GE), Tebogo Maleke (GC), Denerick October (Bol), Tarik Safir (Algeria), Marcel Gouws (EP), Patrick Selepe (GC), Ann Wambui (Kenya), Morne Van Zyl (Bol), Peter May (WP) and Herbert Buhrer (WP).
During the Digicall Futures Series there will be a Level 2 officiating school with 18 candidates from Africa, of which 5 are from South Africa. The school forms part of the continual TSA officiating programme to enhance and uplift local officials. The school will take place during the second week of the Digicall Futures from 11 to 15 November with the qualifying matches of week 3 serving as the practical for the candidates.
The course will be taught by Soeren Friemel (ITF Head of Officiating), Pascal Maria (ITF Grand Slam Official) and Iain Smith (ITF/CAT Officiating Officer for Africa).
Officials are selected based on past experience and TSA identified a group of 12 officials to prepare for this school two years ago. Five were accepted.
- Tebogo Maleke – attending as Chair Umpire
- Marcel Gouws – attending as Chair Umpire
- Denerick October – attending as Chair Umpire
- Patrick Selepe – attending as Chair Umpire
- Adri du Plessis – currently an ITF White Badge Chair Umpire, attending the Chief of Umpires module
The successful candidates become ITF certified White Badge officials within the different capacities i.e. Chair Umpire, Referee or Chief of Umpires.