England's referees gain invaluable development from Copenhagen Invitational Tournament

With the focus of the Copenhagen Invitational Tournament clearly on the players involved, the development doesn’t just start and end there. The referees at the tournament also play an important role in the sport, and they’re receiving some invaluable guidance throughout this competition as well.

Eight of England’s officials have made the trip to Denmark for this year’s event, but they make the significant journey in the knowledge that the information they gain and the lessons they learn will be more than worth it.

“This is such a good place for referees as each one of our games is watched by two observers, and it’s great to get that feedback from someone that hasn’t seen you before,” said referee Dominique Eseinune. “We also get to chat at half time so you can try to improve on small things straight away, which is really useful.”

With officials covering multiple games per day, the opportunities for development are as clear as they are frequent. Covering games that involve different countries with different styles of play, overcoming language barriers and improving communication, plus working with new co-officials from different parts of the world are all real benefits for those involved.

“They are long days, but the learning is brilliant”, David Griffin said after refereeing an under 15 game between Sweden and Iceland. “Because there are a lot of different observers, they all have different things they like to work on. Sometimes you’ll have someone talking to you about mechanics, then someone else might discuss communication, it’s great to have that variety of feedback available. Refereeing with people from Italy, the Netherlands, Lithuania and other places, that has also been really beneficial to see how they work and what they do.”

Out of the observers present at the tournament, England's Roger Harrison is a familiar face amongst the crowd. The Midland's based official has a long list of both domestic and international accolades, including refereeing the BBL Cup Final on three occasions. His place at the tournament means that England is involved in teaching as well as learning in Copenhagen.

With so many home grown referees at this year’s tournament, the appetite for development across the officiating community continues to grow. That’s a good sign as the lessons learned in Copenhagen are brought back by those involved and discussed within the wider game.

“In all the games I’ve done so far, I’ve only worked with someone I know from back home once,” said Eseinune. “It’s great to work with new people, and it helps to develop that element of reffing with new officials in a new crew, no matter what the game is, here or back in England.”