The Umpire workshop was held in parallel with the National Indoor Finals in Lisbon, Portugal, and the participants had a very active role in the competition. 9 umpires attended, 3 of them under 19 years old and 1 UM. Whenever necessary the appointed judges for the competition attended group sessions as well, since part of the topics involved umpire-judge cooperation.
This workshop was due to take place at the Pavilhão of Boavista (Lisbon). Due to extremely bad weather, this hall became unsuitable for the event and the final venue of the seminar was the Pavilhão of Alvide Secondary School (Cascais).
The conductor of this seminar was Juan Manuel Requena, a FIH Umpire Manager who brought with him a rich background of Top Level Indoor hockey and recent experience as the UM at the European Indoor Championship I. His main goal for the seminar was simple and proved to be equally effective: Making Friends!
Participants started making friends during prep talk with teams. The tournament director also gave a hand in Making Friends in his prep talk with teams before the start of the tournament and throughout the rest of the event. The main goal was to anticipate and prevent situations that would hinder players and the game.
The classroom workshops were dynamic, with lots of questions and a lively discussion. While the experienced umpires were more interactive, the younger ones also posed questions and got involved. During the seminar, we had the usual pre and post match meetings between appointed umpires and Juanma. Each participant had a chance to umpire 1 or 2 matches per day and younger umpires had specific tasks in which they were trained to watch and analyse their colleagues’ performances.
During those two hard working days there were some topics that brought everyone together, such as hitting the ball against the opponent’s stick and goalkeeper substitutions. There was also a strong focus on advantages and control of the match.
Joana Gonçalves, Portuguese Hockey president was very happy with the engagement that participants had with the seminar and how Juanma Requena helped umpires to learn and perform better. Patrícia Castro, Portugal’s officials’ manager said the seminar was a success and that Juanma approach was ideal for our umpires.
The feedback received from participants was that the seminar was very useful and Juanma Requena’s approach served as motivation for continuing to umpire in the future. After all, hockey is also about making friends. EHF would like to thank Juanma Requena for conducting this seminar, as well as the Portuguese Hockey Federation and Andre Olivera for organising everything, and to Rui Figueiredo and all the umpires who participated.