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Bracing up for the season with a referees clinic

263   //    12 Sep 2015, 14:15 IST
Miquel during one of the theory sessions

A good competition can be good, only when its pre-requisites of good referees and judges along with good competitors can be met.  Therefore, with the onset of the football season at Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA), Rural Development Trust (RDT) held a referees clinic, to ensure the matches in the upcoming Anantapur Football League are well monitored and fairly judged.

The referees clinic has been set up after the much awaited annual coaching camps by Spanish Clubs, CF Sant Vicenti, and Sant Cugat FC, as well as the Mandal Coach Training programs. RDT has been striving to provide the sport its much needed competitive environment, and in such a competitive environment, referees play a key role, which is why RDT has focused on a three day comprehensive referee training program.

The program encompassed the entire routine that a referee is expected to follow. It encouraged all the mandal teams to nominate their best few players and staff to participate in this clinic. The clinic entailed a training program that tested these nominees about their knowledge of the game and helped them improve their skills while ensuring they understood the importance of their role as referees.

The clinics began on the 9th of September 2015, as early as 6 am, with 16 mandal nominees and 9 of the senior most ASA Football academy boys. After a quick introduction, these future referees were tested with a short questionnaire to gauge their understanding of the game.

The hour and a half long test ended at about 8:30, after which the referees broke for a quick breakfast and a little rest. They got back to class at 10 am for a theory session presided by ASA’s Miquel Llado up until 12:30 pm. The evening session saw the referees participating in a practical session from 4:30 pm till 6:30 pm.

The next two days followed a similar pattern with the first, early morning session being a practical session, the second session covering theory, where the referees were briefed on the comprehensive laws of football, coupled with a few videos to analyze situations and the last, evening session being a longer practical session.

The referees also got a chance to experience firsthand an actual full-time game, coupled with a few situational plays during 45-minute game to test the understanding of the referees.

The last day ended with yet another theory and practical test, to allow the ASA team to ensure that the referees were well prepared for the upcoming football season. Clinic coordinator Miquel Llado explained “We were constantly testing these referees by making them come up with various situations that they would come across in a game. They were constantly thinking in a manner that they are not used to and in doing so we hope that they have learned and understood the power and control a referee must command both on and off the field”