Local umpire at the top of his game

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Vincent Maoeng, who is a graded International Softball Association (ISF) umpire and instructor, jets off to Japan today to conduct a certification school in that country.

Twenty-four umpires from Japan will be grilled in theory and practical sessions in their quest to qualify to handle ISF-sanctioned matches.

Maoeng, who was born at Wattville in Benoni, was graded as an ISF instructor after his sterling job at the 2008 Beijing Olympics qualifiers in Zimbabwe last year. The certification session in Japan will be held in Kitakyushu from Friday until Monday.

"Umpires will first undergo a theory session and from there they will be assessed at the five-day Asian Championship that pitches off on November 1," said Maoeng yesterday.

"They will be alone during the matches and we will see how they apply and interpret the rules of the game. After the games they will write a test on rules application.

"It is not going to be easy for them because the overall percentage for them to be graded is 90 and above, both in theory and practical."

Maoeng, who will be assisted by Tommy Wang from Chinese Taipei, said he was looking forward to the Japan assignment.

"I'm on top of my career as an official and I feel honoured that my contribution to the game has always been acknowledged," he said.