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Practical Training Course for Women's Class-1 Referees takes place ahead of the opening of the WE League

26 April 2021

Practical Training Course for Women's Class-1 Referees takes place ahead of the opening of the WE League

Ahead of the kick-off of the WE League in September, practical training sessions were held for women's football class-1 referees on Saturday 10, Sunday 11, Saturday 17, and Sunday 18 April at Prince Takamado Memorial JFA YUME Field.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, courses targeting the women’s football class-1 referees had not been held for 14 months, and this particular course was held outdoors to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The WE League is scheduled to implement the same communication system (CCS) utilised at the J.League (J1/J2). With the support of football teams of Yachiyo Shoin High School, Kashiwa Minami High School, and Yachiyo High School, the participants were given the opportunity to test the CCS in a practical format.

In order to prepare the referees, these courses will be held repeatedly ahead of the kick-off of the WE League.


FUKANO Etsuko, Referee Instructor
I had been involved in the periodic online courses ahead of the kick-off of the WE League, but this was my first real life course in nearly 14 months. We feel very fortunate to be given the opportunity to hold the course at JFA YUME Field, which is a spectacular facility, and with the help of three high school teams from Chiba prefecture. The course was held by following strict measures to prevent the spread of the infection, as there was no indoor lecture, and the number of people using the locker room was limited. Even with the strict limitations, it was great to see everyone on the pitch. This will be the first time for the women's class-1 referees to use the CCS and the signal beep. These are very useful tools for the referees, but we need sufficient trainings to be able to utilise them. Although we had been given lectures on the usage of these tools, we were finally given the opportunity to test them in real life. Despite knowing hot to use them, there were many new findings as we tested them on the pitch. There were incidents where we were too caught up with the conversation relayed through the CCS, that we forgot to raise the flag or press the signal beep. We feel like we have gained so much from this four-day course. Ahead of the league’s kick-off, we will continue to learn and prepare ourselves as a team. I am getting excited just thinking about standing on the pitch of Japan’s first ever professional women’s league.

KIRIHARA Junko, Women's Class-1 Referee
With the support of high school football teams from Chiba prefecture, we were able to conduct a training course to go over the usage of the CCS ahead of the kick-off of the WE League. On the first day, we went over the contents of the online course held prior to the practical training course and focused on using our voices to referee a match. Through the feed backs given by my peers and instructors, I was able to brush up on how to convey a message and clarify what I need to improve to become a better referee. This practical training session has allowed me to realise that the CCS is just a supplementary system to assist the referee. This course has made it feel like the league is about to start and it was great to hear from the players that “the presence of a referee makes a huge difference.” In order to meet the expectations of those who feel that way, we must deepen our understanding of football and improve our refereeing skills so that we can bring out the fun of football and shed light on the WE League.

IWAKI Mariko, Women's Class-1 Referee
While many events and activities have been restricted or cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic, we feel very fortunate and grateful to be given the opportunity to hold this training course. We would like to thank the instructors, JFA referee department, high school teams who supported this course, and everybody from JFA YUME Field. Through this practical training course, we were able to gain real life experience with the CCS, receive lectures from the instructors, and hold discussions with our peers to gain new knowledge and perspectives. In addition, this course reaffirmed that regardless of what tools we use, the fundamental refereeing skills are still very important. In order to create an attractive professional league, we will give our best efforts to fulfil our duties.

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