Dutch Floorball Federation has launched two new projects for the floorball referees. These projects are aiming at making refereeing more accessible for everyone and improving the level of refereeing floorball in the country.

In the Netherlands, the top league matches are refereed by the federal referees, while so called club referees are leading the matches in other levels. These club referees are players who get their referee certificate by completing an exam. Unfortunately, the federation has not had enough highly trained referees for refereeing the top league matches. At the same time, there has been an insufficient number of club referees who are willing to voluntarily referee matches. In order to solve this the federation assigns a team that plays before or after the match in question that should be refereed and it is then up to the club to arrange referees for this match. These referees are almost always players of the team who got assigned to referee the match.

Although pretty much every club encourages their players to obtain the club referee certificate and a lot of players do get this certificate, it remains a barrier for them to actually referee matches. This could be because of the difficulty and the high level of the matches that have to be refereed (because of the lack of federal referees). It makes the less experienced club referees feel uncomfortable on the field. The federation also noticed that some matches are not led well enough by club referees, which sometimes leads to dangerous play or to frustration within the playing teams.

As the federation wanted to make it easier for club referees to referee a match, they organised a brainstorming session together with players and referees in January. One of the topics discussed was the difficulty of refereeing as well as the lack of experience of club referee certificate holders. This was the starting point for the new projects.

More confidence and quality with the new support projects

The first project is focused on individual club referees who have already gained a first experience and who want to learn from the federation referees. These referee will lead a match together with a more experienced federal referee. The aim is to get a safe feeling and self-confidence on the field while refereeing a match. The federal referee does this by giving feedback between the periods and after the game. The federal referee can also help in changing some patterns, like the position on the field, communication and intervening when, for example, verbal protests take place. The aim of the federation is for this project to be implemented on a club level, but as not every club has enough well-trained referees, the federation is currently responsible for organising this.

The second project is for referee pairs. The level of experience does not matter. The referee pairs will be observed by a federal referee while whistling a match. The federal referee provides the pairs with qualitative and quantitative feedback between periods and after the game. As the federal referees get a compensation for this work, high quality feedback and quantity is expected. The aim is for this observations to happen several times during the season.

The interested referees can apply for the projects until 30th October. More information and registration form can be found here.

Source and more information: Dutch Floorball Federation

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