Badminton Life

Future Referees Attend Prague Course

Referees and line judges get a bad rap quite often, mostly from players. However, it is a thankless job and what few people realise is that they get it right most of the time.

Still, European referees were determined to improve their ability to make the right calls by attending the 2008 Badminton Europe International Referees Course, held in late June.

The course was for national level referees who one day hope to work at the elite level. The camp was conducted by experienced international referees Torsten Berg, of Denmark and Frenchwoman Isabelle Jobard. Both referees are accredited by the Badminton World Federation (BWF).

The course was held in the Czech Republic capital of Prague, where the participants received help on their technical skills in addition to their technology skills.

As part of the course, the referees must also become experts at Tournament Software. This is the software that is used for scoring at all badminton events sanctioned by the BWF as well as Badminton Europe Circuit and European Championships.

The Tournament Software class was taught by Ben Lageweg of the Netherlands. The software is among the most important technical aspects of running a tournament.

Many members of the media, who may be unable to travel to a tournament, rely on Tournament Software for up-to-date results so they can publish them online or make the deadline for next day's newspapers.

It is hoped that the budding referees, having now completed the course, will have gained sufficient knowledge and skills to work as trainee referees at events run by Badminton Europe and eventually becoming fully fledged referees.

Also taking part in the course were two guest referees from Africa, H. Hyderkhan, of Mauritius, and South Africa's J. De Klerk.

The European referees, according to the Badminton Europe website, were as follows: Nanko Tchorchopov (Bulgaria), Jana Honnerov¨¢ (Czech Republic), Elaine Senior (England), Alan Nottingham (England), Jochen Heumos (Germany), J¨¢nos Ecser (Hungary), Nir Sade (Israel), Jaswinder Bedi (Scotland) and Ari Vartiainen (Finland).

The final assessment by the course instructors were that all participants displayed a very high standard and they are one day expected to reach the highest level of refereeing standards in badminton.

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