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Top refs boost confidence in course

Twenty-nine participants from Honiara, Malaita, Western Province and Makira Province participated in the course which was run by the FIFA Referee Assistance Program team for Oceania and supervised by Massimo Raveino, Neil Poloso and Kader Touati. The FIFA RAP team was assisted by local referee instructors.
The course was run as a follow up to a similar program held in 2010. For this year the objectives of the course were to introduce some of the new analysis techniques for decision making on the field and assess the fitness levels of local match officials. The program spanned 5 days in which referees underwent theory lessons, practical sessions and a full fitness test which was conducted midweek at Lawson Tama stadium.
The participants also covered a deeper analysis of challenges, interpretation of their severity and the appropriate disciplinary action. Match management and referee techniques were other important components of the course and they were aimed at helping referees to apply better control during matches and interlink with their assistants. Referee techniques sessions helped local match officials to improve their signalling and communication with players and assistant referees. The multimedia and visual materials that were used to drive home the concepts were the latest with some footage coming from the recent FIFA U17 World Cup held in Mexico.
According to Poloso the aim of the FIFA RAP team is to introduce and enforce the importance of consistency with regards to decision making about challenges.
“Consistency in making decisions about challenges is an important focus for us. We need our referees to apply the same decision to the same fouls and this is one area we worked really hard on during the course,” Poloso explained.
Speaking at the closing ceremony Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) general secretary, Eddie Ngava, thanked the referees for their hard work during the course and encouraged them to strive for excellence in their practice.
“The elite course has been requested by SIFF to ensure that local referees officiating in top level competitions are able to deliver high quality refereeing. I am sure that this course has empowered all of you who have attended to support the growth of football in Solomon Islands,” Ngava said.
“Thank you also to Massimo, Neil and Kader for your effort during the week. I am sure that the referees have benefitted greatly from the training you have imparted here.”
Member of the FIFA RAP team, Poloso, encouraged the participants to use their knowledge to guide other young referees in their development.
“You must share your knowledge with referees in your provinces and localities. Not only are you referees but you are also development tools,” Poloso said.
One of the participants, Charles Tatahu, shared during the closing ceremony that the course has helped referees to build their confidence in their roles and he called on other participants to fully utilise their knowledge.
“The most important thing we have taken from this course is confidence in our ability to perform refereeing roles in competitions that we have in Solomon Islands. Our value as advocates of football in our communities has also been raised and I ask us all to step forward and take a more active role in the development of football in Solomon Islands,” Tatahu said.
The continued involvement of local instructors has been one of the highlights of the course. Previously, all elite courses were delivered by overseas instructors. Recently, Solomon Islands referees have taken up more of the instructor roles for local courses and some have also been appointed as support instructors for regional courses and competitions.
The FIFA RAP team will continue working with local referees in the future to achieve the goals of the FIFA refereeing program. A similar course is expected in 2012.

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