2014 Italian Nationals
The Italian Nationals 2014
by David Shead
Italian nationals It's an easy flight from the UK to Italy but (I am writing this on the plane back) much harder to come back from because it is so nice, and coming to this championships was no exception the weather was hot, countryside is beautiful the hotel first class, the championship well organized, the wrestlers very sporting, the referees lovely to work with, you might think I had a good time? But it was better than just good it was fabulous, Claudio Rizza has a very good experienced team of women who look very professional all in their uniforms running the competition, I know I have said that before but you can't watch this competition without noticing, it is exceptional and is something I would like to see at the Europeans and World's, it is also a bonus that Claudio’s team are extremely beautiful, but I must stop their before I get carried away and demand the pilot turn the plane around and take me back. Fulvio (Italy's head referee) has done a good job of training his referees they are getting very good now and more and more are coming for training, they had a total of 12 refereeing that is a good number, and 10 more at different levels just for my training seminar, so this is going very well, (and all countries remember you should all be doing a refereeing seminar like this, this year) and their where no protests, of course the wrestlers did not always agree with the referees calls, they sometimes made objections to the referees but they excepted the referees answer whether
They Agreed with it or not this is partly because they are good sportsmen and partly because they have a good relationship and respect between the referees and competitor's, which is very important but hard to achieve, because you will not get Trust and respect if you don't have good referees and when you don't have Trust good people will not want to referee, so it is something the leaders of the federation must work on with their head referee to build on over time, and clearly it is going very well in Italy, in almost every country I go to you could measure the amount of trust and respect by the number of good referees they have because one goes hand in hand with the other, so it goes without saying that the referees did a great job here.
There where 170 competitor's which is down from the last 2 years this maybe because it was in a smaller town.
The top competitors are really very good, it is a wonder they do not win more medals internationally. In the masters class I was refereeing Davide Bertoli (who is both a Italian champion and a senior Referee) I set him up in one match, then a few minutes later he was back at my table for another so I started to set him up, I was expecting the same as the first time, but he had changed his style so much I had to double check it was him, being able to change your style like this shows good training and experience I am not surprised he is one of their top Armwrestlers. I also love the way the passionate even fiery Italian temperament is channeled into the sport of armwrestling resulting in fiery matches yet with good sportsmanship, it was excellent. I can't wait to go back.
EAF Assistant Director of Referees
2014 Norwegian Nationals
The Norwegian Nationals 2014
by David Shead,
I Arrived to a very sunny Norway and a long drive through their beautiful countryside before arriving at the purpose built sports venue and hotel complex all in one landscaped tree lined location it was more like a park than a sports hall and a very good start to the championships.
I had arrived in the afternoon the day before the competition so the wrestlers where still setting out the stage and building their own winners podium, their where a grate deal of youngsters around the complex as their was a large hand ball competition going on in another part of the complex, this added to the sporting atmosphere that was here.
The competition had been organized by the Skien Armwrestling Club, most clubs in Norway have a lot of experience in organizing competitions, if they didn’t they would not be awarded the license to organize their Nationals, it was also overseen by David Eilertsen so as I have come to expect in Norway it was run to perfection.
As this was already the 2nd Nationals they had run to the new rules their where no surprises and all competitors are kept up to date by being sent a copy of the rules and any changes that are made each year, so the competitors are well informed and the Referees had already done both seminars and the previous Nationals to the new rules, so their where no problems, at all competitions much depends on the referees doing a good job, this can make or break a competition, but heir where no worries here, the referees all did a good job and derisive my congratulations on their work.
They had made their own very nice Armwrestling video with inspirational music that got everyone excited and ready for the wrestling, they where not disappointed, The wrestling was exciting as you would expect at a nationals with some new faces and very strong battles, the women’s classes where hotly contested, some of this is down to experienced competitors like Erika Nygaard originally from Sweden who brings a wealth of knowledge to the table with her from her experience of competing and training in Sweden, who have one of the best women’s teams in the world, she can often be found coaching at the practice tables when she is not competing herself, or helping run the competition as she is also one of the referees.
It all went perfectly, finished on time, then of to get ready for the banquet they had arranged with some exceptionally good food.
Well done to David Eilertsen, the Skien Armwrestling Club and all the referees.
EAF Assistant Director of Referees
2014 Bulgarian Nationals
Bulgarian National Championship 2014
21-23 March 2014, Sozopol, Bulgaria
by David Shead
As Bulgaria is my favorite place to ski I went a week early and had a great week skiing in Bansko, then stayed on to do the Bulgarian nationals. I was travelling to the nationals with the Blagoevgrad team named after their town just outside Sofia.
There was a little confusion as to which town I was meeting them in but very soon we were on our way on a six hour road trip across Bulgaria in a large bus, as the team had 25 competitors with quite a lot of youngsters that were being trained by their team captain, Kiril, as well as some other very good world class competitors, so I was looking forward to seeing how well they did.
As we arrived in the city of Sozopol. We had some magnificent views across the black sea, it was so calm it looked like you could walk on it. The venue was on a thin strip of land running about 1/2 a kilometre into the sea, so you could see the sea from both the front and back of the venue it was all very beautiful, it would be a very nice place to visit for a summer holiday. The venue was a theatre style design with tiered seating making it good for spectators to see. We ran the competition on three tables starting with one for the disabled. They have a large number of seeing impaired in Bulgaria so it was a busy class.
In the senior classes the level is very high as they have more than one world champion, and their skills feed right through to the inter club championships that they are all keen to win, making it a very competitive championship indeed with all the competitors helping each other trying to win more points for their club.
Their head referee is Hristo Delidzhakov, who is also a WAF master referee as well as a world champion arm wrestler, we also had two referee’s come over from Romania their head referee Victor Barbu, and senior referee Eduard Dimiean, so along with the Bulgarian referee’s we were well equipped to handle the refereeing with the new rules, we also had WAF and EAF general secretary Mircea Simionescu-Simicel who came over from Romania to help with the technical side of things, so with WAF and EAF chairman Assen Hadjitodorov over seeing it, it all it went very smoothly.
This is a very good example of what can be achieved with people from different countries coming together and passing on their skills while running an excellent championships.
EAF Assistant Director of Referee's
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