On March 24,25, and 26, 2017 Grand Master Nestor Galarraga and Master Jose Maidana both from Argentina presented an Umpire Course in Houston, Texas. The event was hosted by the Phoenix Group (INO 78) and Junbi-Now a not for profit organization that has worked to support team USA competitors at several World Championships. Master William Howard, VII Dan, was the local host. The seminar was well attended with a total of 8 Masters present during the seminar including the 2 presenters. Participants came from Alaska, California, Canada, Colorado, Kansas, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Texas, and more. The lecture facilities were nice and included 4 full size display screens which allowed participants easy viewing of the power point presentation. Then participants simply walked across the hall for the physical activities.
The first day of the seminar consisted of 6.5 hours of lecture followed by dinner and a chance to attend the Houston Rodeo. The second day consisted of another 5 hours of lecture and several hours of physical practice. We had over 70 people join us at dinner that night! The final day culminated in a one day tournament where seminar participants could practice and hone their umpiring skills. It was followed by a bunch of very happy and very tired people heading home.
Grand Master Galarraga and Master Maidana did not leave until the next evening so we were able to take them to Kema for lunch on the water, a stroll on the board walk and a ride on a roller coaster! It was a fun time.
The Phoenix Group is very grateful for the opportunity to host this event and wants to thank Grand Master Galarraga, and Master Maidana for their time and expertise. The Phoenix Group would also like to thank all the Masters and Participants that took advantage of this opportunity and made it a great success!