OFC Futsal Referee Course to benefit Futsal Champions League

Oceania futsal referees participate in group activity during the Futsal Referee Seminar in its New Zealand headquarters. Photo: OFC

As part of the Oceania Football Confederation’s referee development strategy, OFC is conduction a Futsal Referee Seminar at its New Zealand headquarters, with the aim of raising officiating standards at the upcoming OFC Futsal Champions League tournament which will take place between 5 and 8 December in Auckland.

The main objective of the four-day workshop is to prepare all 14 participating referees, who will also officiate during this week’s tournament, to ensure consistency in their interpretation and application of the laws.

Head of Oceania Referee Department Kevin Stoltenkamp firmly believes the course will also provide OFC referees with a fantastic opportunity to work in a close team environment with their more experienced FIFA counterparts.

“We identified our FIFA referees and future FIFA referees as part of OFC’s Development programme, and we are working with AFC (Asian Football Confederation) that allowed one of their top instructors Adrian Tamplin to come over and also bring two Australian FIFA referees to be involved in the course,” he said.

“We are working on our teamwork because there are four officials involved in every game and it’s an opportunity for the Tahitian, New Caledonian, Vanuatu, Solomons and New Zealand referees to work together.

“The course is providing an opportunity for the FIFA officials to work together with the OFC officials and act as a mentor for them, added Stoltenkamp.

Guest AFC Futsal Referee Instructor Adrian Tamplin echoed these sentiments by also stressing the importance of teamwork.

“I’m trying to get the referees to work in teams because when they are on the court and they don’t have a team environment it becomes a little bit unruly with one decision against another decision,” he explained.

“It’s also important that they are able to use the comms correctly and getting the whole team involved in the match not just the two referees running.

“Getting the third referee involved in bench work giving information back to the referees and the timekeeper of course doing his job with stop-starting the clock,” added Tamplin.

The participating referees, including three from New Zealand and the Solomon Islands as well as two from New Caledonia and Vanuatu and two guest referees from Australia are also asked to complete various practical and theoretical exercises that will help them to lift their standards.

“After focussing on teamwork, every afternoon we go to the Barfoot and Thompson venue and we have a practical session as preparation for the tournament,” said Stoltenkamp.

“Then we come back and work on the laws of the game just to make sure that we are up to speed with all the latest.

“We look at different situations and scenarios to create consistency in our interpretation and application of the laws,” he added.

Tamplin is hoping the course will also help the participants to educate their fellow referees and promote the game of futsal when they return home.

“I have various exercises where I’ve gone through four key elements, our mission, our goal, our responsibilities and our vision for the game of futsal,” the AFC Instructor explained.

“I made them think outside the square and write down all the details of how they going to achieve this during this week but also when they go back to their countries, this is most important so they can educate referees in the particular countries they come from.

“The most important thing is that they take something back and they can understand they are not just referees they are actually displaying futsal, they are encouraging people to play futsal which in the islands can be very popular,” Tamplin added.

OFC Referee Development Officer Neil Poloso is delighted with the way the course is going, and optimistic about some positive outcomes already visible during the this week’s inaugural OFC Futsal Champions League tournament.

“We are very happy with the support of AFC and Adrian coming to support me to deliver this training course for the referees, and at the end of this seminar we are expecting a very, very good performance from our referees in the matches that come,” he enthused.

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