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. 


David Shead

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.

David Shead

EAF Assistant Director of Referees