by Alex Benepe | January 30th, 2012
IQA Referee Cameron Kim discusses plans for the referee development team to aid, train, and improve referees and raise the standards of reffing everywhere. Read more below, and apply to join his team by following the link at the bottom of the article.
Photo by Rachel McConnell at VCU
The International Quidditch Association has grown exponentially for the past five years, from a “World Cup” with two teams in 2007 to nearly 100 teams in 2011. There are quidditch teams in 44 US States and at least twelve other countries. In 2011, for the first time, the IQA sponsored regional tournaments across the United States and Canada, and with growing demand from other countries regional locations will only increase in 2012-2013. To meet this growing supply, players and spectators alike have been demanding more careful treatment of the rules of quidditch, which is where the referees come into action.
My name is Cameron Kim, and I am the Director of Referee Development for the IQA. Last year, I approached Alex and the previous Director of Gameplay, Jared Kowalczyk, about starting a referee program in time for World Cup V. We discussed our plans to standardize referee protocols and procedures, as well as formulate an official training program and certification program so that any registered IQA official could referee an IQA-sanctioned match. With the assistance of Chris Beesley, the IQA Head Referee, we developed the first Referee Guidebook, which can be found in the IQA Handbook 5. In the Guidebook, we detail the protocols we expect officials to follow, as well as provide advice to referees on all sections of the Rulebook. Since then, we’ve seen marked improvement in the treatment of the match by officials, but this is only the beginning.
The year 2012 is going to be a landmark year for the IQA Referee Program. The vision of the IQA Referee Development Program is to take the lead in the administration, education, and advancement of officials at all levels of game play. In order to do this, we are following a mission statement with four parts:
- Aid the development of quidditch officials
In general, quidditch officials have not been given the same level of respect as snitch runners or players. Through programs to recruit and train referees to the highest standards, they will be recognized as vital members of the quidditch match, and win the respect of players and spectators through a thorough understanding of the rules and solid referee principles.
- Provide resources for educating officials to safely control matches
Safety is extremely important. As quidditch becomes more and more competitive, officials need to be trained to properly handle these situations and learn how to respond quickly and accurately. Currently, we are working on developing qualifications tests and online training modules that prospective referees can access from home to learn about how to properly officiate a quidditch match, then take a test to become certified to officiate in any IQA-sanctioned match.
- Establish a uniform code of conduct and procedures for quidditch officials
Referees need to be uniformly trained to prevent any confusion on the pitch which may jeopardize the safety of the players, snitch runner, or spectators. We want for a referee from Florida to be able to officiate a match in Washington or the United Kingdom without players having to learn the intricacies of that one official. Training will be the main way to establish uniformity in procedures around the world. In addition, we want our officials to be held to the highest ethical standards, and as such, creating a Code of Conduct and Ethics is high on our list.
- Foster the development of quidditch around the world
As referees, we are responsible for 14 players at a time, as well as a snitch runner. We must protect the safety of all individuals on a pitch at all times, and through good officiating, we can help spread the game of quidditch to all people of all ages as a professionally-run, attractive, safe game.
Chris and I are only two people with many goals and a lot of hard work ahead of us, and we need help to accomplish those goals. Currently, Chris and I have established a Referee Development Team made up of two members from each region, including two international members, to explore the goals of the Referee Program. But still, fourteen people is not enough, and we need more people in the states, regions, and schools to be the implementers of the directives set by the Referee Program. We are looking for any current officials who want to help and aid in the implementation of training, such as instructors and assessors, all around the world. We are looking for people in every region to lead referee programs and organize our officials. Finally, and more importantly, we are looking for people who are interested in being the referees, as they will ultimately decide the fate of the Referee Program.
Our organization is dynamic and we are here to support the needs of the quidditch community. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at Cameron.firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like to assist with the organization somehow, please also e-mail me or apply to the referee program. We’d love to have you on board to help the program soar to new heights!