International Referee Report
Report Prepared By: Catriona Tweedie
Events Covered By Report: Swatch-FIVB World Tour Event - Gstaad, Switzerland Grand Slam 2006
(Men & Women)
Swatch-FIVB World Tour Event - Stavanger, Norway Grand Slam 2006
(Men & Women)
Dates: June 20-25, 2006 (Switzerland) & June 27-July 2 (Norway)
Swatch-FIVB World Tour Event - Gstaad, Switzerland Grand Slam 2006 (Men & Women)
Referee Delegate: Jeff Brehaut
As Gstaad is a small village near the Swiss Alps, referees land at a larger city, like Geneva and then have a 2 to 2 and a half hour drive.
All referees were in a 4 star hotel in the village in shared rooms, which was a short bus trip or 15 minute walk to the courts. Breakfast and dinner were in the hotel and lunch was near centre court.
Courts Set up:
Centre Court and Court 2 were in the centre of town with all the administration. Courts 4 to 6 were a 5 to 10 minute bus trip. Due to the 2 venues Swiss Volleyball organize a Referee Manager to have an assistant. This worked very well as both were very experienced. The outside courts didnít have the recommended free zone but this should be fixed for next year as they are hosting the World Championships.
Most of the week was warm, mid 20c and sunny.
The event was double elimination. Womenís Country Quota was on the Monday afternoon and Menís Country Quota on the Tuesday afternoon. The Womenís Finals were on the Saturday and Menís Finals on the Sunday. Due to the event being a Grand Slam the number of teams in the Qualification event was capped to 32. (A couple of exceptions were made)
To improve the use of the refereeís website all International Referees need to take a printed copy of their Bios to every event.
The new rule being tested this season was the net touch rule. This was the same as the one trialed during the Australian Tour last summer. During these event players, referees and spectators were surveyed. It didnít cause any issues at this event. We also checked balls for size and shape as well as pressure. It is no longer compulsory for women to have visible names on uniform bottoms.
I refereed 11 as first referee and 7 as second referee. I was the first referee for the Womenís Semi Final between CHN 2 and BRA 1. As this was a televised match on centre court we had to coordinate some replays for the TV and we had a microphone for announcements to the crowd. This proved very useful when I had to reverse a call of giving a player a red card for crossing under the net to check a ball mark which was on a change of ends. After I consulted my second referee I decided that the player from Brazil may have just switched ends too quickly. I was able to explain this to the spectators.
As this was my first experience of refereeing in Europe it was a fantastic experience. I was pleased with my refereeing and the matches I was given. I was also interested in the referee delegate stressing that to be given a high ranking it is about a refereeís ability to handle a variety of situations and implement correct protocols. This means although ball handling is important it isnít as vital as some referees assume.
Swatch-FIVB World Tour Event - Stavanger, Norway Grand Slam 2006 (Men & Women)
Referee Delegate: Jose Casanova
As I was at the previous event I didnít arrive in Stavanger until after the clinic.
After checking into the hotel I went to the courts, a 10 minute walk. This allowed me to check the court set up.
We stayed at a major city hotel in our own rooms. This was a pleasant change. Breakfast was at the hotel, dinner was at the hotel the technical meetings were held at. Lunch was in the VIP area at centre court.
Court Set Up:
The event is held on the docks where cruise ships dock. Centre Court is next to where major cruise liners dock. Courts 5 and 6 were on a barge about 100m along the dock. This was an excellent idea and apparently a change from past years. The only problem was a small number of balls getting wet. The remaining courts were in a line along the side of the road.
The first couple of days were very cold and windy so players and referees were allowed to wear extra clothes. As the days passed it became warmer and calmer to reach temperatures of 18c to 20c for finals day.
To be able to schedule centre court matches and increase TV coverage and ticket sales, the event was pool play. The teams qualifying through the Qualification Tournament would be the 4th ranked team in each pool. This caused a lot of discussion in both Main Draw Technical Meetings. This meant fewer matches early in the tournament but more matches on Friday and Saturday.
Again the net touch rule was trialed. There was discussion at the Technical Meetings when Jose mentioned that everyone seemed to be in favour of the rule change. There were plans made to survey players again at another event this season.
I managed to referee many matches on the courts on the barge which was certainly an experience, especially with big cruise liners so close. As it was my second event in a row and I had adjusted to the time zone I was refereeing with more confidence. I had one interesting match when there was a lot of Spanish being called out from people supporting a Cuban pair. As I donít speak the language and it wasnít being delivered with the players listening I called the Technical delegate as he could understand some Spanish. It stopped straight away.
The change of format had a big impact on the referees. We had many more matches on the Friday and Saturday. This made allocation of matches very difficult for the Referee Delegate. The change did lead to a big increase in live TV coverage and excellent crowds on Centre Court. We also had long days, starting at 10 with matches scheduled to start at 8pm, as it is light very late in the evening. There was an interesting situation when a team was late and then called a medical prior to the start of the match. It highlighted the need to keep to correct timing even if teams not present and then also contact Referee Delegate/Technical Delegate so they make the final decision.
I was first Referee for the Womenís Gold Medal Match. Overall it went well, the hardest part was that it was my first match on centre court and as it was in the evening we had trouble with a big drop in ball pressure due to change in temperature. This caused a slightly late start, not so good with live TV.