Technical Official Corner Jim Greenlees

May 14, 2019, 6:11 p.m. (ET)

Technical Official Corner

Jim Greenlees

Starting April 2019 USA Badminton will recognize a Technical Official every month. Technical Officials (TOs) are an important group of experts who play a critical role in the development of the game. 

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For May 2019, USA Badminton would like to recognize Jim Greenlees as our Technical Official of the month, who has been a technical official for badminton since 1994. 

Jim was asked to try out for line judging at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.  In preparation for this event, all the selected line judges went through rigorous training at various tournaments across the USA.

“I had the pleasure of leading the first group of line judges for the first match of the Olympics,” said Jim.”

It was during this time that someone suggested he should try out for umpiring.  He said why not, and the rest is history. Over the years, he has graduated from regional to National 1, then National 2, and finally National 3. Jim is also a Pan Am certified umpire.

“I was also a line judge for the 2005 World Games in Anaheim and was on the squad for the men’s doubles final which featured Tony Gunawan and Howard Bach bringing the championship to USA.”

Jim has umpired many exciting matches over the years, both singles, doubles and mixed doubles. One of the matches he remembers was when he umpired Peter Gade vs. Taufik Hidayat. At that time, both these players were highly ranked, and he really enjoyed the fact that both players played exceptionally.

“I have been lucky enough to have been involved in World Special Olympics badminton. In 1999, I was asked by the Special Olympics organizers to run the badminton event in Chapel Hill NC,” said Jim.  “I was told that score keepers would be provided.  I immediately told them that badminton required Umpires, not score keepers. The organizers agreed and I had umpires fly in from different parts of USA.  Special Olympics has become very important to me – apart from visiting different countries, I get to meet many of the special athletes who are representing their countries.”

Since that time Jim has been either an umpire or referee at all Special Olympics World Games. He’s gone to Dublin, Shanghai, Athens, Los Angeles, and this year to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates where he was able to tour the Royal Palace.

“Abu Dhabi was extremely exciting and is a beautiful city. This year’s games had representatives from 193 countries, the most ever in an Olympic game,” said Jim. “The badminton event was held in a huge convention center, which also had about 10 other sports in the same facility.” Jim added that members of the Royal family payed at least two visits to the badminton courts, and they had a visit from Peter Gade.

“My favorite part of being a Technical Official is that I really enjoy both umpiring and service judging,” said Jim. “I get to meet so many players from all over the world and visit new countries and new playing facilities. I like to see the way badminton is growing both in the US and overseas.”