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Joint FISU and United World Wrestling programme trains future generation of referees

Wrestling 3 October 2022

20220923 092801While the 2022 FISU University World Cup Combat Sports has recently concluded, one legacy from the ten day event will be the potential for new wrestling referees able to officiate at future competitions. This comes from a joint programme between FISU and United World Wrestling (UWW) for a new refereeing in wrestling course that was held in Samsun 23-25 September.


Such a programme provides an alternative dual career in sports for student-athletes who wish to remain connected to their sport as they focus on their academic career. Of the nearly 30 applicants for this pilot project, from which 15 were ultimately chosen, around half were women.


“This programme is a great opportunity for student-athletes who wish to focus primarily on their academic and professional career, while maintaining an20220923 092411 active role in the sport that they are passionate about,” said Ibrahim Cicioglu, Professor at Gazi University in Türkiye and FISU Technical Committee Chair for wrestling. “It’s an extension to the traditional dual career system that student athletes typically go through when studying and competing simultaneously.”

The three day session was conducted by UWW Certified Referee Educator, and two time Olympic referee, Carlos Garcia of Spain. The programme saw participants take part in morning classroom activities and on the mat training in the afternoon. Key aspects of the programme included:

  • Role of the referee and core competencies

  • Referee mechanics

  • Referee positioning

  • Controlling the bout

  • Evaluating critical scoring positions

  • Additional training on athlete safeguarding & sustainability

  • Foundational skills needed to become a licensed UWW Referee


“It is important for FISU, for United World Wrestling, international federations, and for the sport overall, because we need staff and officials like referees, masseurs, scouts, and other roles,” added Cicioglu.


FISU Acting President Leonz Eder noted the importance of adding new referees. “We urgently need educated referees who know the rules and understand fair-play on the mat and this project will help us meet that target,” said Eder.


The focus during the Samsun 2022 FISU World Cup Combat Sports was largely on the athletes but competitions do not take place without referees and officials. This joint FISU and UWW programme will ideally help move people down a path to becoming referees and then playing an important role in future wrestling events.


Written by Doug McLean