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Issue # 1, Fall 2001

Exclusive Report

World Slating and Tiling Championships, 2000

First Americans to Attend
International Federation of Roofing Trades Congress
since 1968!

UK Team Takes the Gold Medal Under the Mentorship of John Ball

World Slating and Tiling Championships, 2000

The American group, above, from the left, included Stacy Moore, Doug Lodge, Brent Ulisky, Umberto Perlino, Jeanine Jenkins, Kim Zorn, Barry Smith, and a friend (Joe Jenkins took the photo). Below, most of the Americans in the roofing group are attending the gala banquet, sitting with Scottish counterparts.

World Slating and Tiling Championships, 2000


John Ball and Joe Jenkins at the World Slating and Tiling Championships, 2000

John Ball (left, now deceased) with Joe Jenkins.


A group of nine Pennsylvania slate roofing contractors, friends, and wives traveled to Edinburgh, Scotland last November to attend the International Federation of Roofing Trades (IFD) Congress, and the IFD World Championship of Young roofers, 2000, the first Americans to attend the Congress in 32 years.

The highlights of this excursion included a talk on Scottish Natural Slate, during which a mention was made of a slate roof dating to 1643 still in use today in Scotland. Many world class traditional roofers from various countries were in attendance, including the UK, Scotland, Ireland, Germany, South Africa, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia, and others. All of these countries competed in the 13th World Slating and Tiling Championships for Young Roofers.

A number of roofing schools exist in Europe and the best of their roofing students and apprentices are chosen to represent their respective countries in this competition. Each of about 16 national teams consisting of two young roofers (maximum age approximately 24), who do the actual roofing work, and one Mentor who advises them during the competition, compete against each other. Each team had to install roofing materials on an indoor roof mock-up at Teleford College in Edinburgh. The roof mock-up consists of an “L” shaped roof divided into three sections: a hipped end section on which Redland clay plain ceramic tiles had to be installed on battens; a central section with a valley that could be done in any material or style chosen by the team; and a gabled end section that had to be slated with Burlington slates of random widths and diminishing courses, on battens. Over a three day period, each team had one day to complete each section.

World Slating and Tiling Championships, 2000

The 2 man UK team (above) and the roof mock-up in the background.

The UK team's finished tile "laced valley" (below).

World Slating and Tiling Championships, 2000

Although all of the teams exhibited exemplary craftmanship, the UK team, under the mentorship of John Ball of Northern Ireland, took the Gold Medal. The following year’s IFD Congress and World Championship occurred in Dublin, Ireland in 2002 and had American participation.

See photos and video of the Slate Roofing Contractors Association attending the 2010 IFD Congress in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Read an article by John Ball.

Information on the 2002 IFD Event in Ireland, November 5-9

Other World Slating and Tiling Championships

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