2 November 2016
The 15th national Days of refereeing were held from 25 to 31 october. This year, handball played a strong part in the event, culminating in the « Referees’ Rendez-Vous », a training camp for the referees selected for the World Championship.
Each year since 2002, La Poste, which historically supports the referees in France, sets up in late october the national Days of refereeing, a week to highlight the referees and their function. Among the four partner sports (with football, rugby and basketball), handball particulary mark the occasion this year, in the run-up to the 2017 Men’s World Championship in France. Thus, matchday 6 of the Lidl Starligue, matchday 7 of the Proligue and the round of 16 of the League Cup were all dedicated to the promotion of the referees.
« Before each game, Days of refereeing were presented on the field, but the event was also promoted in the arenas, with t-shirts, banners and flags. As every year, the point is to shed some light on the referees, who are playing a leading role in the handball game », says François Garcia, president of the central Committee of refereeing of the French handball federation. But the high point of this animated week was the « Referees’ Rendez-Vous », where the referees who will participate to the 2017 World Championship started their preparation for the competition.
An industrious and friendly week-end
« When approaching a major international competition, the IHF refereeing committee always sets up a training camp, explains François Garcia. Usually this camp is held three days before the start of the competition, but this time, they changed the equation by anticipating things a little bit. » So, the camp was held from 28 to 30 october, in Pontault-Combault. « We hosted 16 pairs of international referees. During this training camp, they attended to lectures and to video projections. There was also a substantive work on the new handball rules and on the physical preparation of the referees. All of the participants went through written, video and physical tests, with a certain performance level required. »
The week-end was also peppered with interventions from external figures. « We had Didier Dinart, coach of the French team, Hassan Moustafa, the IHF’s president, but also an intervention from a specialist of mental preparation, which was very much appreciated », adds François Garcia. 15 of the 16 pairs who took part in this training camp (one pair failed the physical test) will referee during the World Championship in january. By then, they will have the time to digest the dense contents of this industrious and friendly week-end.