Thirty-three Match Officials from the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Categories are currently attending a three-day pre-season seminar at Mount St Joseph in Targa Gap, Mosta. The participants include seven new graduates from the Referees’ Academy.
In his introductory speech on Friday evening, Referees’ Development Officer Victor Mintoff welcomed all participants and encouraged their full participation throughout the three-day seminar.
Victor Mintoff highlighted the positive changes and new initiatives undertaken by the Referees’ Department to ensure a high level of refereeing in all matches officiated in the Maltese Islands. He stated that such a seminar was being organised at a most appropriate time before the new season to ensure that all match officials in the Junior Categories are well conversant with the uniform application of the Laws of the Game.
Director of Refereeing Adrian Casha thanked the participants for attending this seminar in a large number, which confirms the Junior Referees’ commitment and professional attitude towards refereeing. Adrian Casha spoke about the importance of perseverance and how to manage difficult phases in one’s refereeing career by accepting the fact that refereeing like life has its ups and downs. He encouraged participants to be always prepared both physically and mentally in order to take full benefit of opportunities that come their way. Adrian Casha assured the Junior Referees that the Malta FA supports them in many ways and is very appreciative for the good service they are giving football in Malta and Gozo.
The lectures on the first day were conducted by Adrian Casha and Victor Mintoff. Adrian Casha’s presentation about ‘Handball Considerations’ consisted of the identification of criteria that should be used when awarding a freekick for a handling infringement and appropriate disciplinary sanction to follow if necessary. Victor Mintoff spoke about ‘Dealing with Unsporting Behaviour’. In both presentations latest UEFA teaching resources and DVDs were used.
In the first lecture on Saturday morning, Referees’ Committee Chairman Charles Agius deals with ‘The Pre-Match Talk – Communication and Cooperation’ followed by a session on ‘Determining Offsides’ conducted by Assistant Referee Specialist Philip Agius. Referees’ Committee Secretary Tom A. Restall follows with ‘Amendments to the Laws of the Game’ and ‘Referees’ Responsibilities, Appointments and Match Reports’.
On Saturday Afternoon Recruitment and Retention Officer Alexander Arena takes charge of a group work activity, during which participants work in small groups analysing match incidents. Referees’ Fitness Coach Ronald Zammit then conducts a theoretical and a practical session about ‘Physical Fitness and Refereeing’. Mass at the premises concludes Saturday afternoon.
On Saturday evening, the participants will be taken to watch the Premier League match Qormi vs Hibernians at the National Stadium, during which each participant must identify three positive and three development points in the referee’s performance. On the following morning, the referee of the match alongside his 4th Official and Gjergji Bitri, the Referee Observer appointed for this match, analyse in detail the referee’s performance with the seminar participants. Other lectures on Sunday morning are ‘Management Issues’ and ‘Fouls and Misconduct’ by Instructors Saviour Darmanin and Gaetano De Gabriele respectively.
This seminar, which comes to a close on Sunday at noon with Victor Mintoff’s closing address, is being organised by the Malta FA Referees Department with the collaboration of the Malta Football Referees Association.