Davydov: “We will try to further improve our level”

01 Aug 2014 12:42

Alexander Davydov,
head of the HMBIA marshal committee

I greet everyone on behalf of the HMBIA marshal committee! A short time after BotN completion, after a detailed analysis of the event, I decided to give a small report about past and future points. Firstly, I would like to speak about the conditions in which we worked.

Marshal Committee, like any refereeing system in any sport, is subjected to constant criticism. And the criticism is mainly based on personal perception, emotions. Typically, that personal perception is of loosers, whose discontent is based on a desire to blame someone else. We listen to everyone, but take into account only constructive comments that help us to work better for you, dear participants. We shall never forget the slogan: “A key objective of a marshal is to prevent injuries among participants.”

We received a lot of comments that the previous “Battle of the Nations” (2013, Aigues-Mortes, France) involved too many marshals from Russia. I must say that, in fact, they were from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, but participants from other countries often do not distinguish between us. So, we decided to make the marshal team more international. The decision had both positive and negative points. The main disadvantage is that due to certain historical features, the most experienced referees are from Russia, Poland, Ukraine and Belarus, i.e. from the countries showing the highest results at the event and which were initiators of “Battle of the Nations.” Thus, we understood that involving referees from other countries we would “weaken” the panel of referees. But, at the same time, we got a positive point, as we made the group international (we were joined by representatives of France, Germany, Great Britain, Moldova, Estonia and other countries). This is an irreversible trend, if we are talking about an international sport, referees should be from different countries, too. We are working to improve our own level, hold seminars and meetings, constantly communicate via the Internet. But we desperately need support of HMBIA leaders in countries hosting competitions, they have to invite more experienced marshals from other countries, raise the level of their marshals. It will create more comfortable environment for participants and ease the lives of organizers. Experienced marshals can help to understand the tournament grid, explain the rules, organize teams of novice referees and explain the key principles.

We were criticized for our work with the technical and authentic requirements. The Authenticity Committee dealt with that at “Battle of the Nations”-2014. The first experience was controversial, but now they know the direction for further work. Those guys are like customs. Everything that happens beyond the lists is in their jurisdiction, namely preliminary communication with participants, technical inspection, authentic inspection. As soon as a participant is on the lists, referees start working. I am sure that you will be able to see that in full at the next events.

At this “Battle of the Nations”, we took a decision that knight marshal should not be from the country which is on the lists at the moment. In fact, our work isn’t affected by the “issue of citizenship”. People acting as chief judges are fully aware of the necessary degree of objectivity and cope with everything well, so our decision is rather a psychological concession to participants.

At this competition I was often approached by some captains who had personal complaints concerning certain referees. And most often we came to an agreement that it was a person’s point of view rather than actual mistakes in refereeing.

Work of marshals toughened at “Battle of the Nations”-2014. Championship marshals were given instructions to monitor violations very intently and use any possibilities to avoid injuries, that’s why there were many rebukes and penalties. I understand well that the yellow card is not a pleasant thing, and every fighter thinks that it is given only to him, while others remain unpunished. As far as I understood, the men expected to get cards only for real injuries, not the slightest violations. This approach has to be changed. It is this attitude and a maximum tension that I associate refereeing mistake in the match Russia-1 vs Belarus-1 with. Hard work, harsh behavior of the participating teams and the general atmosphere were prerequisites of that situation. Quick appeal and replay of video materials are the guarantee of objective decision, and such decision was made then. Answered appeals are the indication of the work of referees. Only one claim was answered within the Championship, though there were about twenty of them.

Of course, I would like the referees have no additional work, the event pass without injuries, the men treat each other with respect… Will we ever see such a situation? I am not sure. But in any case, we will continue to improve our level as much as possible, will try to avoid mistakes and situations that arise from refereeing and create discomfort to the participants.

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1st-4th July
Oradea Fortress, Romania