Participants in the SKNFA Youth Referees Course took to the field last week Saturday to do field exercises. Referee Instructors took the participants through several fitness drills and practical sessions in the technical aspect of officiating. Head of the St. Kitts and Nevis Football Association Referees Department Malcom Ramsey, gave a synopsis of what was done in the course so far, which officially opened on Wednesday. “Quite a few of them are new so we took our time with the topics,” Ramsey said. “The usual topics for refereeing courses are challenges, penalty area incidents, tactical fouls, offside and we also have handball situations. So, we went through these topics with them and we also did a (written) test,” he disclosed.
In assessing this cohort of trainees, Mr. Ramsey said they will gain more confidence in the practical applications when they have more opportunities to officiate. “Especially for the younger ones, football refereeing is very difficult’ the concept is very difficult to grasps so its going to take a period of time. I would say though that they have learnt enough to start officiating in the youth leagues and in the slower women games and be competent enough,” he said. He said they would need to officiate a lot of games to develop the level of competence required on a more advanced level.
Several editions of the Youth Referees Course have been done so far. Several notable referees and match officials have come through this course, including those who have officiated at the elite level. These include Shandor Wilkinson, Lenroy Parris and Jaden Rouse who have been on international appointments. “They all came through the youth course system. From about 2016 we have been having these youth development courses. All the officials who are not FIFA, who have had international exposure, would have gone through these courses. It helps with the preparation for international matches, international appointments and to adopt to top level games in St. Kitts and Nevis,” Ramsey said. The Youth Referees Course ended on Monday with a closing ceremony at Football House.
Photo Caption: Participants in the Youth Referees Course go through fitness drills at the Warner Park on Saturday as part of their training.