British Wrestling Association Hosts Two-Day Referee Conference

By United World Wrestling Press

MANCHESTER, United Kingdom – The British Wrestling Association (BWA) recently hosted an inaugural Referee Conference in Manchester, UK on April 9-10. This seminar was done in conjunction with the UWW Development Department and conducted by Mr. Carlos Garcia (ESP). The course had 16 participants from the BWA and included four current UWW referees and 12 national referees, with four of them being new. 

“With some of our UWW Officials seeking upgrades in the near future, the conference provided a fantastic opportunity to learn from Carlos Garcia who was a key feature in making the whole weekend a success. The conference was incredibly well received by our officials, and it is our intention to make this an annual activity following UWW's annual publication of rule changes," said Craig Anthony, CEO of the British Wrestling Association.

GBRParticipants of the British Wrestling Association's (BWA) two-day course go through a practical training session. (Photo: David Morgan)

The goal of the course was to provide training on the new rules and focus on some of the more challenging areas for referees. The referees participated in theoretical and practical sessions during the two-day course that included the work in the following areas:  the new 2022 rule changes, takedown and control, out of bound situations, risk vs no risk, passivity, fleeing the mat/hold, referee mechanics, positioning during a bout, and mat chairman responsibilities.

“All participants showed great interest and commitment during the course. They asked many great questions and collaborated with the other participants.  All in all, it was very pleasant to work with them” said Carlos Garcia.

"British Wrestling's inaugural Referee Conference was an important step in our continued growth and efforts to build back better from the Coronavirus pandemic. After such a long time off the mat for many of our domestic referees, it was important for us to schedule an update on rule changes as well as to continue their development and raise officiating standards as a key part of the competition experience,” said Craig Anthony.  This seminar is part of their 2021-'25 strategic plan to “Develop the wrestling workforce to deliver the best combat sport experience in the UK.” 

This is just one of the many activities that have helped BWA grow over the past few years. “Since British Wrestling started its new strategic plan 2021-'25, everybody seems to be fully committed to further developing wrestling in the UK.  And you can see it and feel it in the way everybody performs and collaborates with the same goal:  compete at the highest level,” said Carlos Garcia.

Photos were taken by David Morgan (On the Mat | Flickr/On The Mat (@onthematuk) • Instagram)


Turkey hosts first UWW women's referee course

By United World Wrestling Press

ANTALYA, Turkey (May 14) --- On May 11, 2022 in beautiful Antalya Turkey, a precedent was set for all UWW Women referees. For the 1st time in United World Wrestling history, HIS-story became HER-story.  Women from 16 different countries have come together with 1 goal in mind; the advancement and recognition of Women officials within this heralded organization.

The Women's Referee Course, which consisted of two courses and three competition days, was preparation for the upcoming Commonwealth Games, and the 2024 & 2028 Olympic Games. 28 women referees from around the world were selected to participate in this first-of-its-kind educational program. 

On the first day of the course, UWW Bureau member Lucio CANEVA attended the opening ceremony and spoke to attendance. He thanked the referees for their support. He also explained why women referees are important for wrestling and all bureau members support this program.

Instructors Antonio SILVESTRI, Ibrahim CICIOGLU and Edit DOZSA collectively contributed to ensuring a successful platform for each woman that took part. Their combined knowledge only helped to propel the confidence of all the participants whether it was about rules or team-building activities and exercises. 

Dozsa, a pioneer of women's refereeing, was fully aware and empathic of the unique struggles women face in a male-dominated sport. Having been selected for the 2008 Olympic Games, Dozsa was able to bring the women together and give them an open forum to voice their individual experiences and struggles, without contradiction or judgments. The idea was for the women to learn how to empower one another. She provided tools and support that have enabled the women to grow and learn with each other over the years.

Participants from Turkey's women's wrestling course join together for a photo. (Photo: United World Wrestling)

The group at the course was experienced and talented. While some referees had wrestled, others were carrying the family torch. Regardless of experience, each member agreed that wrestling is in their blood and has forever changed their lives, for the better.

"Being a female official has many obstacles and nothing is easy about this job," Dozsa said. "We continue to sacrifice to be a part of this wrestling culture we all love so much. This course has given us renewed hope and an optimistic outlook for the future of women referees all over the world. We came in as 28 individuals and left as 1 empowered sisterhood."

The first two days of the course were dedicated to the theoretical aspect of refereeing and important rules were discussed and explained by instructors. A practice session was organized on the second day. All the questions of the attendees were answered by the instructors who also showed critical situations like referee mechanism, out of bounds situations, takedown and control, illegal wrestling and fouls.

During the last three days of the course, referees attended the International Champions tournament for the age group in all styles. They had a chance to officiate throughout the competition in both styles which was an experience for them as well.

The course was the first step for the women referees toward their Olympic hopes. The instructors thanked UWW president Nenad LALOVIC and all the bureau members for their support. They also expressed their gratitude toward the Sports and Development Departments for their collaboration and the Turkish Wrestling Federation for their attributions.