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European Refereeing Commission committed to growing next generation of top referees

The members of the European Refereeing Commission (ERC) portrayed at the end of their annual meeting held at the CEV headquarters in Luxembourg
Luxembourg, January 30, 2016 - The annual meeting of the European Refereeing Commission (ERC) chaired by Luciano Gaspari was held on Friday and Saturday at the CEV headquarters in Luxembourg City.

It was the first ERC meeting organised following the XXXVI CEV General Assembly held last October in Sofia, Bulgaria and a number of new members attended the gathering for the first time.

ERC President Gaspari briefed his colleagues on a number of items discussed earlier this month at the joint meeting of the FIVB Refereeing and Rules of the Games Commissions, which he attended as an observer. Gaspari shared President Aleksandar Boricic's vision with the
ERC members, whose ultimate goal is to promote volleyball and beach volleyball as extensively as possible and to make a real show out of the major events held on European soil.

In order to achieve this goal, the use of technology will be further encouraged following on from the introduction of the wireless headsets and e-scoresheet bench applications / tablets for coaches and referees, not to forget the Video Challenge System. The goal is to improve the general quality of refereeing and the understanding and perception of the game by the audience.

The ERC have set out the primary goal of identifying and growing young, talented referees in order to contribute to their development. In order to achieve this objective, the ERC members will continue their work at CEV competitions to further educate promising referees and make sure they develop their skills and they follow a well-defined plan that will help them gradually move to the top level.

Those acting as Referee Delegates will therefore have a large responsibility in the development of this new generation of elite referees. “It is imperative that we get to know the referees, and we assess not only how they conduct a match and their knowledge of the rules of the game, but we also study their personality and how they interact with other people, both on and off the court. It is also important that we work on the development of a spirit of comradeship, so that referees are encouraged to support and help each other, and not to act as individuals,” Mr Gaspari said after the meeting. “Those of us acting as Referee Delegates have to work as good teachers, explaining what went wrong and why in order to prevent that the same happens in the future.”

The development of the next generation of top volleyball referees implies a high workload for the ERC members, who were tasked with following matches that are being streamed live to assess the performance of a higher number of match officials. On top of this, Referee Delegates will be travelling to the Playoff 6 matches of the 2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League – Men & Women in order to follow the appointed referees and evaluate their performance directly on site, while establishing a personal contact and closer cooperation.

“We have been asked to work on the referees’ mentality and behaviour,” Mr Gaspari added. “Our plan is to work hard in order to improve the performance of all match officials, make sure that the best referees are appointed to officiate at the CEV's major competitions and that referees develop a sense of cohesion and fellowship, mutually supporting each other for the good of the sport.”

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