Referees News 2013
In attendance Dale Gamble, Billy Brennan, Brian Noble, Vince Parker, Steve Coupland, Tony Dent, Peter Bibby and Gary Hoyle.
Flights, Transfers and Hotel bookings all went to plan, then onto the Referees' briefing.
At the briefing slight rule changes to kumite and Kata were explained in depth - all of these will be explained at the forthcoming EKF referees' courses.
The Tatami deployment was issued which can take a while with there being about 160 officials over 4 areas.
Billy got the role of assistant tatami manager, and the rest of us were deployed to our respective areas. I also was put on the appeals jury , which I seem to get quite regularly now in Europe. This role not only involves the dispute of wrong or right decisions, but also Referees / Judges levels of sanctions (loss of qualifications) if a protest is upheld.
Thursday - First day of the competition
The stadium looked impressive, with everything tidy, well spaced out, all spectators in the stands in the colour of the Hungarian flag and booths for the coaches and assistant match supervisors. All the English officials were kept busy and chosen for some important matches, and when a Hungarian competitor was on a area the noise was incredible... drums... chanting... a fantastic atmosphere!!
Team event day, Peter, Gary and Tony did not get much work as the Tatami chiefs used more highly qualified officials because of the rotation in Team matches, but it"s a learning curve and to gain more experience towards the goal of the exams in a month"s time in Montenegro at the regions.
It was good to see Steve getting plenty of work on his tatami , and Brian always seemed to be involved, if not on the area but across the other side as assistant match supervisor. After the opening ceremony, there was a referees de-briefing where some officials were picked for the medal finals , to be broadcast on live TV, (which would have commentary by Billy and Ticky Donovan), glad to say myself, Steve and Brian were chosen in the 36. Also that night referees achievement pins for time served to the European karate Federation were handed out to a some officials , there were 3 referees from England receiving this award, Steve 10 years bronze, Brian and myself 15 years silver. There are not many officials that make it, and if I look back over the years, there has been lot"s of personnel changes in that time, to referee in Europe with the added pressure, constant assessments, to maintain your qualification alone is a achievement, "because you are only as good as your last match"...Well done Steve and Brian.
I was asked by my colleagues and board members to make sure I put the next item in...
Sometimes you have good days, sometimes you have bad days,....this was a good day!!!
Finals Day, on the raised Tatami, in the centre of the stadium with the live TV broadcasts, enter stage left....
Steve was involved in 7 medal finals, myself a staggering 23... yes!! 23 medal bouts from refereeing to Judging - it was incredible!!.. combined total of 30.
I could not believe it, I just kept getting picked, I was completely in the zone!! These sort of days rarely happen, and has got to be the best refereeing days of my life...
There was only 9 medals finals, but we still managed to be involved in 5, Brian was picked for 1, myself 1 and Steve 3.
We might have had a few "4-1"s" , (of which I topped the list), but we had a fantastic tournament.