Referees' seminar and training camp in Bulgaria comes to an end

Elite and Category One referees and assistant referees, their fitness coach together with a number of referee observers and instructors led by the Malta FA Director of Refereeing, Mr Adrian D. Casha, returned to Malta after a pre-season seminar/training camp in Sliven, Bulgaria.

The Wednesday’s afternoon session consisted of a very interesting and useful practical activity for all participants, on Editing DVDs/Selecting and Cutting clips from a DVD. FIFA lecturer Mr Steve Bennett showed hands-on the process involved in doing such an exercise from approved software.

All participants were divided into eleven groups, and from selected FIFA matches had to find incidents (regarding body language, teamwork, dissent, offside, injured players, assistant referee technique, freekick management, handball, holding, advantage, management of re-starts) and transform them into clips for 5-minute presentations (which were carried out today ie. Thursday afternoon, mostly through powerpoint projections).

Thursday morning started with a Practical Training Integrated Exercises/Rotation of Activities at the nearby stadium. After a warming-up period consisting of games and exercises, the referees and assistant referees were divided into four groups according to category. Mr Bennett first dealt with offside situations where assistant referees had to decide same on the touchline while being filmed, and later on referring to these sequences to watch their own decisions, their technique and movement.

In the case of the referees, Mr Bennett tackled topics such as whistling, cautions and management of freekicks outside/inside penalty area and penalty kicks. Mr Bennett said that “It is better to make mistakes during a training session rather than during a football match; by making mistakes we learn. The whole purpose of the session is to make referees and assistant referees think and learn.”

Thursday’s afternoon session, apart from the subject on Editing DVDs/Selecting and Cutting clips from a DVD, was dedicated to Group Work Activity: Playing Advantage. Again, this was an interesting topic for discussion, where on many occasions the application of advantage can confirm a referee’s match control.

Match Assessment Review, Content and Marking was the first topic covered by Mr Bennett on Friday morning, during which the fair, precise and consistent evaluation of match officials’ performance was discussed as an important tool for the improvement of refereeing standards. As a practical activity, each participant was asked to fill out a Referee Assessor’s Report after viewing a FIFA World Cup Under 17 match.
Friday’s afternoon sessions consisted of a scientific analysis of Principles of Training by Referees’ Fitness Coach Mr Ronald Zammit followed by an interesting Group Work Activity: Penalty Kicks conducted by Mr Bennett.

The seminar/training camp reached its highlight on Friday evening with the Official Dinner, during which all participants shall be presented with FIFA Certificates and Malta FA/MFRA mementos.