Referee Development - training

Scottish Fencing is keen to move from the current referee education system which is based on qualifications and levels and which tests how well referees know the rules. Ideally a future system would gauge someone’s competency to referee in an event or competition based on the experience they have gathered and on peer review. (this is similar to the philosophy of the current coach education programme).

The focus of a referee education programme will be the phrasing of a fight rather than learning rules. The basic premise is that referees progress from presiding at poules at junior events to Scottish senior finals before then progressing onto the British Fencing referee education system. Referees would move on through a system of gaining and learning from feedback and building on experience.

In addition, our future referee training will link to the coach education programme. This is to ensure that everyone has the same common premise of what constitutes an attack and a legitimate stop hit or parre.

However this is a long term goal which does not address the current demand for referee courses. To meet this need we are going to run a short referee course for foil. There are no qualifications at the end of this course each candidate will leave with an action plan which has clear developmental aims with a guide to what competitions they should be presiding at, what they need to practice and how they can improve their current refereeing skills. (We will run other courses for other weapons later in the year).

Please note this course is not for anyone who has not refereed before – anyone attending is expected to have some knowledge of priority and aged over 16. It is aimed for those wishing to explore whether they wish to pursue a refereeing career. It will also suit those who know about priority from being a fencer or coach and who wish to learn the fundamentals of refereeing such as hand signals. The course will run during the Edinburgh Open. We had hoped it could run on both days so that if you were competing you could attend the course on the second day however this turned out to be impossible for the organisers. The course will now run on the Sunday only.  The course will begin with a quick summary of hand signals, safety checks and so on lead by Mike Thornton. During the competition Mike will observe candidates providing feedback on their performance.

You can book a place on the referee development course here.

Once we receive your application we will send you out some paperwork and a logbook template.

Future courses

Moving forward we would like to set up a short term working group to consider how Scottish Fencing can provide training and support for those who would like to become referees. The board are currently working on terms of reference for this group which we hope to share soon. If this is something you would be interested in supporting please send us a note of interest, detailing the skills, knowledge and/ or experience you can bring to the group. (Note this need not be refereeing skills, having experience of managing change or education would also be beneficial to the group).

As well as looking at how adults can become referees this group will also be tasked with the development of a junior refereeing education programme. As well as having a step by step syllabus Scottish Fencing needs to find ways of supporting young referees. Having a pool of junior referees who can preside over matches between fencers in a younger age group to them could be a great resource for organisers.