19th April 2018: This week’s #FridayFocus article highlights supporting the growth of umpires in Bulgaria.

Under the EHF’s programme of Supporting National Growth (SNG), Bulgarian Hockey recently ran an umpiring course. The EHF works with each National Association to develop a bespoke strategy which works for them. Click here for more information on our programmes. 

SNG Umpiring Course:

The course, which was run by the EHF, was hosted for umpires from across Southeastern Europe at an indoor competition in SOK Kamchia-Varna, Bulgaria in March this year. The timing was perfect as the aspiring umpires were able to take inspiration from the action on the pitch. It couldn’t get much better as the competition was the Bulgaria National Men’s Indoor Hockey Championship Finals. The best of the best from Bulgaria were showcasing the sport.

The course itself comprised a mixture of active and experienced umpires, as well as a healthy number of young people who were interested in finding out about umpiring. The course came on the back of an exciting Indoor Hockey season across Europe and many of those present on the course had a specific interest in learning more about umpiring the indoor game. In total, there were 10 active umpires and 14 young umpires, aged between 16-18.

There were four parts to the seminar: a theory-based session which looked at specific situations that can occur during competition and problem solving. As is often the case when there is a room full of umpires, this session developed into a lively debate between the course leader, Tomas Holek and the participants. 

Holek, who is EHF Education Committee Member and Czech Republic Umpiring Lead, then introduced the course participants to video analysis of previous matches. This was hugely successful as it was able to relate theory to actual situations, which the participants could look at in close detail. This is a powerful tool to help umpires understand context and make the correct decisions. It also helps umpires understand what the video umpires are looking for in review situations.

Part 3 of the course involved a rules test, which was successfully completed, much to everyone’s delight. 

At the end of the course the umpires were split into groups and given tasks related to decision-making and clear feedback on situations that arise during a game. 

As the course wound down, Tomas Holek said “I have a really good feeling about the progress of the attendees and hope they enjoyed it as much as I did.” 

More information:

Tom Pedersen Smith, Development and Education Manager of the EHF said “ It’s vital that Member Associations continue to develop within their own countries. The Supporting National Growth module is a perfect support mechanism for this. If you have queries on how to get involved click here. “