Refereeing is one of the most important things in any competition. Abilities and skills of the referee actually "make" fights. What does it take to become a high-level referee? Where can you learn everything you need?
Eduard Dimiean – EAF Assistant Director of Referees – helps to deal with these issues.
How can you evaluate a level of referees’ work at the championship?
– Hello Armpower and thank you for the interview and congratulations to the Polish Armwrestling Federation for organizing such a good championship!
The first step to evaluate a referee is at the referees’ seminar, there everything starts, explaining the rules, the situation at table exactly, test him in the seminar and after you can see approximately at what level he is. Then comes the live coaching on the stage as we have in EAF, coaches that are assigned by the Head Referee, work with the new referees and evaluate them through the competition, we tried this year to prepare everything in English and Russian, the most used languages in armwrestling and both written as official in Constitution, so every referee can understand and be evaluated with ease. Last year with the approval of the EAF Congress we introduced a new level of refereeing that is Major, is only used in Europe so we can have a stepping stone between Senior and Master granted only at WAF and evaluate better the referees who are invited at the Europeans. The European Armwrestling Championship is the most important Continental Competition so the level of Referees must be at a high standard.
What does the panel need to work successful? What do you think about teaching referees of other countries?
– For the Referees Panel to work in a successful way, it must have chemistry, and not only them, the whole team of referees must have the chemistry and to know each other between them and this can only be built in time, as a proper team is very important as the referees who are new at the Europeans to be accepted and integrated by the ones who have experience and not put pressure on them, passing the knowledge to them takes skill and an amount of teaching ability and we have that into the EAF Referees Panel, in every new referee stands the future of refereeing and without taking good care of them, they can quit or retire, but this year at EuroArm everything worked fine in our team and i am proud to be a member of this team.
As an observation, at EuroArm 2017 the competitors were very disciplined and the level of speed and tehnique was higher than last year, so we have worked with the best competitors that can be in our Continent. The development of a referee has his first step in his own country, there he makes the first seminar and gains the first knowledge. When you are a Referee you have a duty, since the moment you step on the venue, you start to focus on the competition, every competitor from each country, every spectator in the venue, expects a fair match, so that is why you are there.
A referee is built on a moral spine and focus, never be individualist because always a match is done by two referees and there is where the chemistry takes place between referees, needs perfect synchronization to call a decision, everything must be clear for everyone who is watching, from the call signal to the newest addition the microphone for the referee attached to the table. Refereeing becomes a part of life, so is not treated as a part-time job, because also competitors don't train part-time and we always have to have the level of skills and knowledge updated.
So building referees takes time and patience who we all have in the European Panel, you start from your own nationals and climb every step through the continentals and then the worlds and zloty tur who are the maximum you can achieve as a referee. Every step a referee makes learns something, knowledge in time become skill and skill becomes reflexes and reflexes will help you enforce the rules and make your duty in the best way possible. As the referees are there to enforce the rules, we do it for the competitors who are the essence of the sport. Of course nothing can be achieved without desire, passion and love for this sport.
Let’s imagine, one country has a lot of good sportsmen but no referees of high level. Do you think good referee can improve the sports level in this country?
– The countries who want to develop new referees but have a very high standard of competitors can always come to the referees seminar and technical meetings from the international championships and start sending people to referees training, as this year we had at Europeans 2 referee seminar, first for qualification to referee in the competition and the second was on the Disabled day, a seminar dedicated for training and coaching referees to help them get better in refereeing aspects. We had a good championship, congratulations to every referee and every competitor, well done to them all and thanks again Poland for hosting the EuroArm 2017.