Largest FIT referee training in history conducted in Asia
The Federation of International Touch (FIT) has reportedly held the largest training of touch rugby referees, or match officials, with 230 referees from 12 Asian National Touch Organisations (NTO) receiving their training on March 21, 2021.
The governing body of touch rugby said in an announcement, that the efforts were “underpinning the region’s growth as one of the game’s developing powerhouse.”
FIT Referees Commission Chair Ian Matthew, and Referees Commission member Chris Dolahenty, facilitated the FIT training course which resulted in Level 1 Referee Courses being awarded to successful participants.
Touch Rugby in Asia
FIT said the massive training was conceived by FIT Member Relations Commission Asia, Bianca Arco. They added that “every FIT member nation in Asia was represented at the course with Malaysia having the largest cohort of 100 new referees.”
The course was facilitated via remote sessions using Zoom. Arco said, “It is a 3-hour theoretical course supplemented with many videos, along with a Q & A portion where participants can clarify rule applications and interpretations for in-game situations. There is a guided participant workbook as well that participants can use to make notes.”
Arco added on the popularity of the sport in the region:
“I’d say now more than ever, people in Asia are hungry for development and healthy competition in and around the region.
I think the acceptance of this otherwise foreign sport is becoming more mainstream and easier to scale up if the structures are in place (e.g., more access to resources= more referees = more structured games = more tournaments = formation of national representative teams) “
They will need some on-field experience before they can start officiating internationally, but it is a very positive sign for the development of the sport to have more referees”.
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