With a whopping 37 EuroHockey events to deliver in 2019, the EHF appointments committee has been in overdrive to manage to deliver a full schedule of appointments!
Ray O Connor, Chairman of the Appointments Committee said “In 2019, we will host 37 EuroHockey events all of which need officials and umpires. The tireless work of the Appointments Committee to consider, debate and match the appointments for this number of events is staggering. Thank you to them and indeed to the 500+ officials and umpires who will give of their free time to ensure the fairness of these EuroHockey events.”
As individuals accept their appointments, they will be posted here.
As for the pinnacle of our 2-year cycle, the Belfius EuroHockey Championships, Men and Women will be led by experienced TDs Elisabeth Fuerst (AUT) and Rogier Warris (NED).
We caught up with them in advance of the announcement. Both were thrilled on hearing that they would lead the team for the EHC2019.
Rogier, who still umpires in The Netherlands when not occupied in his day job as Contract manager with Rabobank, wanted to convey to us what an honour it is to be appointed to this role, “I can only compare it to the dream of a little boy who wanted to be called by the Dutch manager to play in the Europeans! It has been a dream of mine to be the TD here and one that I have worked towards for a number of years now. To actually hear that it has happened, wow, I really am honoured and cannot thank the EHF enough for its trust in me.”
Elisabeth said she felt “Very lucky mostly! It is always an honor and a pleasure to be chosen to officiate at a top event like the EuroHockey Championships and to have the opportunity to contribute to our sport this way. The EuroHockey Championships have come a long way in the last decade in terms of transitioning from a hockey tournament to a whole-package sport and entertainment event that appeals to broad audiences, so I am looking forward to being a part of another step forward on this journey, and in particular, I am excited about the event being held in Belgium, where I have attended a number of tournaments over the years which have always made for memorable experiences. Last but not least, I am of course happy to get to share this challenge with my colleague Rogier – even though we’ve met at a number of tournaments, this will be the first opportunity to work together as technical officials if memory serves me right.”
Elisabeth, pictured left at the 2018 EuroHockey Club Cup, Surbiton HC, England.
Whilst Rogier will be primarily responsible for any discipline issues at the men’s event and similarly Elisabeth for the women’s, both TDs have equal responsibility for the overall event.
Could be perceived as a challenge perhaps? But both were dismissive, saying mixed teams of officials and mixed tables are very commonplace in hockey. Rogier sees no difference whatsoever in whether a man or a woman is a judge / TO at a game, “It is our job to ensure the match is delivered correctly, that’s it! Gender doesn’t matter at all.” Elisabeth added that she is very much in favour of mixed panels “They are great opportunities to have the best of both worlds and see men and women learn from each other, complement each others’ strengths and form a better team for it. In particular, I enjoy sharing the TD role and responsibilities with a colleague and have had some very good experiences with this at other joint events.”
On the challenges that the table faces now, Rogier focused on the clock “Moving from 2 x 35 minutes to 4 x 15 minutes and stoppages for corners means that making sure the clock is spot on is even more essential at the table. With the speed of the game, being out by even seconds can be detrimental. So I am very keen on that.”
Elisabeth agreed and added that she never wants her officials to over-rely on what they think they ‘know”. But to be sure that pre-event preparation is excellent and wants the team to be able to recall the correct information and apply it under pressure and oftentimes, with only a split second to decide. “That said” she concluded “a lot of consideration goes into picking the panel of officials for the EuroHockey Championships as the showcase event of the sport in Europe, and the members of the panel of officials are knowledgeable, experienced individuals who have shown their quality and commitment over many years. I am certain, every appointed official will come fully prepared and ready to do our part for a successful and enjoyable event.”
Rogier, pictured right (back row) at the recent EHF TO Seminar
Rogier, chair of the EHF’s working group on Officials is very proud of the work that the EHF is doing in preparing officials for events. He certainly agreed with Elisabeth that pre-event prep is essential. Whilst the EHF can run successful courses, officials have to be prepared to do some groundwork themselves! “It is a challenge to educate all of our officials to a high level and it is something that we are always working on. One of the ways is to send our top TDs to the lower ranked events, something that I love doing! It’s so great to be able to share knowledge and experiences and develop officials, not just from the top playing countries.”
The Belfius EuroHockey Championships will run from 16th – 25th August 2019, click here for more information.