Doha, in the state of Qatar, was the host of the 2020 Platinum Tour Qatar Open and with it Manitoba’s Blue Badge Umpire Greg Dzioba. 

“It was a successful tournament, despite the circumstances. At the officials briefing we had been told by Referee Silvia Garro that NO HANDS SHAKE BETWEEN ATHLETES, OFFICIALS AND PLAYERS. ALSO NO SPECTATORS ALLOWED IN THE VENUE!!! It was very strange working environment without people inside the Arena, because of the situation with COVID-19. 

Under the circumstances it was a very good tournament.  We stayed in a 5 star hotel “La Cigale” in Doha. Hospitality was very good, people very friendly and helpful. Transportation was the only hiccup there. We had to wait sometimes for over an hour until the bus arrived after a long day of work.

Four Teams didn’t arrive to Doha because of the Corona Virus. Korea, Iran, Egypt and Italy. Few players also cancelled their appearance do to injury or simply because they were scared. Timo Boll, Dimitrij Ovcharov from Germany, and Chinese Female player Liu Shiwen didn’t appear. Initially participation should have been 310 players but total was 270 top players in Doha.

I shared a room with Ben Foote from Guernsey, UK. He also was my teammate for one day. The Referee Team assigns umpires daily. I also had to umpire with the umpire from Egypt, France and Qatar. Had several good matches singles and doubles. Officials with Blue Badge (BB) status were evaluated and each of us had to have interview with Referee Silvia Garro and got a” Performance Assessment”. I was very happy with my performance and assessment, I got 93% which is very high.”  

Great to see Greg’s experiences with an international event in times of COVID-19.