In line with Rugby Europe’s officiating strategy, a number of Level 3 courses took place during February, as the association continue to look to expand the pathway available to referees across Europe.
The course was attended by 39 participants from 22 Rugby Europe Unions, all of which were Level 2 match officials.
In the initial session, Joël Dumé, Referees Manager at Rugby Europe outlined the objectives of the Referees strategy: To further develop a group of Elite referees, leading to increased accuracy and consistency throughout Rugby Europe competitions, to support a better practise in officiating within all Unions, and to motivate and inspire the participants involved.
He was assisted by Paulo Duarte, Philippe Marguin, Johnny Meersman and Domenico Sironi, all World Rugby Educators, to present some technical topics in the sessions. These focused on the breakdown, foul play, spaces, line-outs, mauls and scrums.
The sessions were very interactive, with good levels of discussion and questions from the participants throughout the course.
Following the course, Johnny Meersman, who was an Educator from Belgium said, “This was the first time that we have organised this course online and it was a good challenge for the educators.”
“The referee's were all keen to participate and exchange with their peers in this difficult period where many are deprived from their passion during this Covid-19 pandemic.”
It was clear that the courses were also enjoyed as much by the participants as the educators.
Maria Latos, a referee from Germany said, "By reviewing the current guidelines, practicing the processes with clips and discussing them with referees from all over Europe. I think the course not only helped us in our personal development but also contributes to further increase the accuracy and consistency in our decision making as group on the pitch."
Benoit Daussy, who is a referee from Denmark added, “The presentations made by all the educators were of great level and the proposed format (video conferences) was great for the interaction between participants. I particularly enjoyed the technical discussions on the different topics (scrums, lineouts, breakdowns, etc.). The examples provided by means of videos were great and were super pertinent.
Spanish referee Andoni Susperregi concluded, “Providing or receiving feedback has been very easy in both directions. The information given in the presentations has been easy to digest, useful and interactive.
The thing I liked the most was to be able to discuss different topics in small groups. This has given me the opportunity to meet people from other European Unions, as well as providing us the platform to share and listen our concerns regarding the subjects.”
Rugby Europe intend to run the second part of the course in Marcoussis later this season. In the meantime, the match officials have been given tasks to practise what they learned during the webinar.
Image by Walter Degirolmo/FERugby