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World Rugby Level 1 Referee Course.

Ankara, Turkey

25th Ė 27th May 2018

By Colin Brett

The opportunity to deliver some refereeing knowledge is always a good way to spend a weekend.  It makes the occasion even more special when there is an opportunity to develop refereeing knowledge within a developing nation.  Ankara, Turkey was the venue and it was an honour to spend the weekend with some excellent rugby people looking to contribute to the game in Turkey by developing new skills in the art of refereeing as part of the Turkish Airlines Penguins.

The course took place on Friday 25th May at Hallechette University.  It was great to see 15 people attending the course all of whom come from a playing background or already referee.  The weather was ideal for the course, and we made for the pitch and started having some fun straight away, challenging everyone during some touch rugby with managing offside lines through good positioning.  My next aim was to progress their knowledge by identifying positive pictures at the breakdown, and set piece, and restarts, helping them understand the process of a referee at each of these areas of the game.

There was a lot of interest during the course on Friday by the troops, to understand specific management skills on specific areas of the game.  So, on Saturday we went back to the University to do a couple of workshops, specifically on high tackles and managing player behaviour throughout the game.  Later that afternoon there was an opportunity to watch a game and do some coaching with the appointed referee.  The weather had a dramatic change minutes before the start of the game with heavy rain and local thunderstorms.  Fair credit to the referee he worked very hard on his positioning and management of the offside lines, and contributed to a very good game of rugby.

The final game of the season was taking place on Sunday at Meta University, so when the offer came to arrive early at Meta and do some coaching with their womenís team, I jumped at the chance and enjoyed coaching some tackle and offload sessions.  Obviously as a referee, the opportunity is always there to transfer some law knowledge at the tackle, hopefully they gained some new skills that will benefit them in future game.  The final game kicked-off late afternoon in very hot temperatures making the conditions very challenging for the players and referee.  It took all of 20 seconds for the first try to arrive and the game continued at a great pace throughout, with 116 points being scored between both teams.  At the end of the game Meta were crowned champions for the season receiving the trophy from the Federation President.

I had the pleasure of meeting some outstanding people during my time in Ankara (special mention to Alperen & Fede for looking after me), itís amazing the enthusiasm for the game and their will to progress the game in Turkey.  The commitment of everyone throughout the course and the workshops is a testament to all involved in the Turkish Rugby Federation, and itís always a pleasure to be part of such a great sport no matter where in the world.

Special thanks to Turkish Airlines who managed my travel from the UK to Turkey and who are the partner of Penguin Rugby to help develop rugby in Turkey.

Grove Tsumani Synapse