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Refresher Course for Women's Class-1 Referees held online

14 July 2020

Refresher Course for Women's Class-1 Referees held online

On Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 July, a two day refresher course for Women's Class-1 Referees was held online.

Under a normal circumstance, this session was supposed to be a practical training course to go over the first half of the Nadeshiko League. However, affected by COVID-19, the league was postponed until mid-July, thus making this session a refresher course to prepare for the upcoming season.

A total of 41 referees attended the course, where they utilised actual match footages to brush up on the technical aspects of the game. These online courses will continue to be held periodically to strengthen the overall quality of the referees.

Instructor's Comment

FUKANO Etsuko, Instructor
This was the final refresher course ahead of the season opener of the Nadeshiko League, and we took an approach to brush up the technical aspect. Affected by the pandemic, the referees have been away from actual match experience for nearly half a year, so I constructed the course to stimulate their game intuition. During the 75 minute course, we discussed 24 scenes to go over decision makings, reading plays, protecting the players’ safety, the importance of the game flow, and team strategies. To make this experience as real as possible, I tried to come up with situations that would make the participants use their head. In a real match, the referees are required to make hundreds of decisions while enduring physical fatigues. However, the referees have the experience they have built up to this point, so I hope that they enter the matches with confidence, embrace the joy to be on the pitch with the players, and blow the final whistle without any accident.

Participants' Comments

KIRIHARA Junko, Women's Football Class-1 Referee (Kanagawa)
In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, courses were held online, where we observed match footages to discuss decisions made in past matches and took lectures regarding physical conditions and regulation changes. With the new season around the corner, we went over decisions surrounding fouls and offsides, as the participating referees shared their opinions with instructor Fukano giving explanations to aid their perspectives. In today’s session, we revisited the criteria of fouls and disciplinary actions, which felt like the final touch ahead of the new season.

I personally have not refereed a match since mid-March, and this was the first time in my career where I was not able to get myself involved in a match for such extensive period. Therefore, I entered the refresher course with the intention to give my utmost efforts to prepare myself before the season and to wipe away any anxieties I had from this unprecedented situation. Excessive anxiety can lead to unstable mindset, which can be a major obstacle for a referee to make fair judgments. This course serves a role to eliminate those anxieties and to give the referees the opportunity to showcase what they have worked over the years. I am thankful for this course, as it gave me a positive mindset ahead of the season and motivated me to prepare myself in the best way possible within this current situation.

ATSUJI Rio, Women's Football Class-1 Referee (Kagoshima)
With the new season of the Nadeshiko League around the corner, we made decisions on 24 scenes picked out from real matches to expand our imagination. In order to make decisions on 24 separate scenes within a 75 minute time span, it requires quick decision making skills and high level of concentration, which is similar to what we face in a real match. By revisiting and organising our perspective on fairplay, our understanding towards the players’ intention, how the contact occurred, and the distance and positioning of the occurrence, it allowed us to polish up on the technical aspect of our abilities. Also, by hearing other referees’ opinions, we were able to spend a very productive time which allowed us to broaden our perspective. Although the courses were held online, I feel that every participant was able to heighten their motivation ahead of the new season. We are still in the midst of a pandemic, but we will give our best efforts to prepare ourselves to manage the game in our best abilities.

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