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41 CEV members attend historic Referee Commission Presidents’ Seminar

CEV President André Meyer together with members of the European Refereeing Commission and the Presidents of 41 national Referee Commissions who attended the seminar held in Luxembourg City
Luxembourg, November 29, 2014 - The FIVB/CEV Development Centre of the Grand Duchy’s capital played host on Friday and Saturday to a seminar organised by CEV’s European Refereeing Commission (ERC) specifically addressed to the Presidents of the National Federations’ Referee Commissions. The seminar – the first of that kind in history – was attended by representatives of 41 of the 55 CEV members.

CEV President André Meyer opened the first session on Friday evening, setting the tone for a busy weekend with many key topics on the agenda.

“There are two reasons to be proud,” Mr. Meyer said, “the first being the FIVB/CEV Development Centre opened last year here in Luxembourg playing host to its first international seminar of this calibre, in turn fulfilling one of its key stated goals as a ‘hub’ for Volleyball excellence located at the very heart of Europe. 

"Secondly, it is the first time that the people responsible for Volleyball and Beach Volleyball refereeing in our member countries are coming together to discuss a series of actions which our Volleyball family wants to implement in order to raise the quality and consistency of refereeing to unprecedented heights. We know that Europe already stands out for the quality of its officials and we want to make sure that our referees keep on improving and are provided with the right educational tools so that our sport remains a benchmark in terms of transparency and fair play.”

ERC President Dr. Jan Rek was the main lecturer of the first session where he briefed all attendees on the current state of Volleyball and Beach Volleyball refereeing in Europe and provided an overview of the current activities and future plans drafted by the ERC. Thanks to the partnership with Triagonal, Europe’s Volleyball referees (and in 2015 Beach Volleyball referees in addition) have become familiar with the use of e-learning as a modern and innovative tool to review the rules of the game and to prepare to officiate at matches of European competitions in the best possible way. E-learning will be used also to improve the referees’ knowledge and command of the English language so that they all possess the speaking and listening skills that are necessary for a smooth and flawless interaction with players, coaches and also with their own colleagues.

The programme of the seminar included a variety of topics with Zorica Bjelic (SRB) introducing the audience to the ERC project focussing on the education and development of young talented referees whereby the European Refereeing Commission is currently laying the foundations for the next generation of top Volleyball and Beach Volleyball referees to emerge and contribute to the further development of the sport.

ERC member Patrick Rachard (FRA) drew everyone’s attention to the efforts that are being made in order to support National Federations in FIVB categories 1 and 2 in the development of their respective referees, with a focus also on those NFs that belong to the Small Countries Division, the ultimate goal of this action being that each National Federation has at least one international referee. Whilst a lot of work is ongoing at the grass-roots level of Volleyball refereeing, Europe is also emphasising the importance of elite referees with an excellence programme – presented by ERC Secretary Fred Kröger (GER) – designed to cement the role of European referees on the international arena.

Prof. Dr. Manfred Holzgraefe, President of the European Medical Commission (EMC), outlined the current FIVB criteria set for international referees who – in order to perform their task as well as possible and to better the image of the sport – are asked to meet a series of medical, physical and psychological parameters. Such actions have been implemented in order to make sure that referees can live up to their role and deliver a good job, knowing that their physical and psychological condition are instrumental to a smooth run of the game.

Finally, as Europe’s Volleyball family always strives for excellence and wants to help better the sport, much emphasis was put also on the key role that technology plays in driving the further development of both Volleyball and Beach Volleyball. The wireless communication system, the video challenge as well as the latest additions – tablets overseeing the running of Volleyball match connected via Bluetooth with the e-score sheet and the LiteScore boards – were all topics that the attendees were briefed on as most of these tools have already been used in some of the top European competitions organised in 2013 and 2014.

“I hope that with this seminar we have laid the cornerstone for our referees’ community to continue to grow, as the European Volleyball Confederation is working hard in order to share expertise and know-how with everyone who is involved in the management of our sport,” Meyer said. 

“We now expect all attendees will travel back home and share the information they were provided with their respective referees. We are united and committed to work together to grow the next generation of Volleyball and Beach Volleyball referees by combining knowledge and command of the rules of the game with passion and with the desire to explore new ways to further grow our sport.”


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