180 referees from across the state attended Football Queensland’s State Referees Conference at the University of Queensland’s St Lucia campus on Sunday, as match officials prepare for the upcoming season.
The conference welcomed guests including FFA Elite Referee Coach Michael Fabian, FIFA instructor Krystyna Szokolai, former Hyundai A-League referee and Professional Football Referees Association President Strebre Delovski and Football Queensland State Referee Coach Ted Kearney.
The State Referees Conference covered a wide array of topics related to refereeing both within Australia and on a global scale, including updated Laws of the Game, player control, match management and hand ball.
“It was great to see such a significant turnout, with referees from grassroots right through to professional level football, eager to listen and share their opinions on the Laws of the Game,” Kearney said.
“With the game in a constant state of growth throughout Queensland and Australia, it is important for referees to gather with not only some elite members of the respective refereeing football community, but also share with one another in order to grow further.”
Outlining key aims of referees for the 2019 season was a major goal of the State Referees Conference, with significant focus on head-based offences, injuries and improving the overall speed in which the game is played.
“Ensuring referees are vigilant with head clashes for the 2019 season and beyond will see incidents where players are jumping for the ball and make contact with the head sanctioned to avoid serious injury and eliminate such from our game,” Kearney said.
Another focus for the 2019 season and beyond is to continually improve communication with players, developing a workable process before administering sanctions and utilising captains as the main point of contact for the referee.
Football Queensland would like to thank the University of Queensland for hosting the 2019 State Referees Conference, all special guests for sharing their time, expertise and support of the event.
Words: Jacob Cocciolone
Images: David Maskell