Courses get beach handball officials and coaches ready for the job
The EHF Beach Handball Champions Cup 2023 hosted action off and on the court. While some of Europe’s best beach handball players donned their kit for the tournament, candidate delegates, referees and coaches were undertaking their own challenge and followed courses for one week.
Alongside all qualified officials, four candidate delegates, four referee pairs, and numerous coaches arrived in Porto Santo on 8 October for a week of hard work to take courses, all in English, developing their skills and the breadth of knowledge in beach handball.
Diversity played a big factor, with candidates coming from all around Europe and more than half of the referee and delegate candidates being female.
Delegates and referees had a packed schedule. Alongside officiating matches and getting hands-on experience, the delegates course addressed a theoretical approach of beach handball, game administration, cooperation between referee and delegates, off-court officiating, and a test on the rules of the game and regulations of the competitions.
Diana Kurcinova gained lots of experience as she was the delegate at the men’s final game in the tournament.
“I think it’s a great experience. As a player I didn’t know how things worked backstage before. Now I know all what is behind a match, it’s very interesting,” Diana Kurcinova said.
“I learned everything a delegate has to do, as a player I didn’t realise how much work there was there. Now I have the full picture. I hope that I can come to many matches and tournaments and get as much experience as possible.”
The referee candidates similarly covered a comprehensive list: a theoretical approach of beach handball, game analysis, mastering top referee skills and two tests – one on the rules of the game and a physical test.
Refereeing some key matches, Spanish referee pair Jorge Batanero Geraldo and Marcos Dominguez Morian also officiated the men’s final game of the Champions Cup.
“I went on this course to improve my refereeing, it’s been a great experience, I would really like to apply what I’ve learned in other tournaments,” Jorge Batanero Geraldo said.
The venue, the setup and the surroundings around the course are amazing. I found the course very exciting. I think in a sport like beach handball, it is very important that you share experiences between coaches and challenge each other’s theories, how to defend, how to attack, how to deal with the transition phase: It is very important for us beach handball coaches on the highest level to have someone to challenge and be challenged by.
Denmark assistant coach and HEI coach Martin Hjortshøj, alongside coaching the Rødby Beach Boys to victory as the Danes won with exceptional tactical strategy in their play, took on his level 3.
To accomplish their level 3, coaches were educated in: defence strategies in connection with goalkeeper cooperation, offensive strategies of top teams, evaluation and control of training through performance parameter, medical aspects, psychology, defensive block tactics, transition from defence to fastbreak, substitution strategies, short distance saving, and players’ selection criteria.
Coaches then faced an examination – a test and discussion of project work, an individual examination based on PWs, and a common discussion – by the end of the tournament they hoped to be awarded their qualification.
The depth and knowledge acquired in these sessions should ensure that beach handball is spread and developed effectively.
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