Focus is also on referees at the IHF Coaches & Referees Education Week

08 Jun. 2023

Focus is also on referees at the IHF Coaches & Referees Education Week

The second of the 2023 IHF Education Weeks courses, the IHF Coaches & Referees Education Week, will take place online between 10 and 16 June 2023, with a total of 12 lectures by handball experts from all around the world who will be presenting different topics related to coaching and refereeing matters of indoor handball.

One conclusion that has been firm over the last few years is that handball is rapidly changing, with higher quality, higher speed and more entertaining sport overall, which has definitely created some new trends on both sides of the ball in handball.

The IHF Coaches & Referees Education Week aims to address those changes specifically, trying to identify the new trends in refereeing.

Therefore, the IHF have invited top referees and delegates worldwide to analyse the trends. Four of these webinars are specifically tailored to cater to the referees' needs.

11 June at 15:00 CEST 
Development of Refereeing – Tendencies related to simulations and punishments, presented by Per Morten Sødal, Chairperson of IHF Playing Rules and Referees Commission (PRC)

Handball has been growing rapidly, and the game has changed over the last decade due to its rhythm and speed. And so did the requirements for the referees over this period, emphasising how punishments are being awarded, as well as "Hollywood actions", such as simulations.

How are punishments now awarded in handball and what are the clearest situations when they need to be used?
What are the latest tendencies in refereeing and what did change over the last years?
What is being done to minimise "Hollywood actions" and simulations in handball?

Per Morten Sødal has spent over two decades as a referee and became a delegate, now featuring as the Chairperson of IHF Playing Rules and Referees Commission (PRC) of the IHF. He has also been an IHF Lecturer since 2018, holding lectures both in person in plenty of countries and online.

13 June at 15:00 CEST 
Pivot Play, presented by Per Morten Sødal, Chairperson of IHF Playing Rules and Referees Commission (PRC) and Glenn Solberg, Sweden men's national team coach  

The line player has been one of the most important players on the court in the last years, becoming increasingly crucial for teams, both in attack and defence. However, using more and more passes for the line player has created contacts on the court between defenders and the line player, improving the number of attacking fouls. Per Morten Sødal and Glenn Solberg, the Sweden men's national team coach, will jointly present the latest trends for using the line player.

How has handball changed over the past years with the use of the line player?
What are the situations which are the most seen in handball in terms of using the line player?

Glenn Solberg spent a lifetime on the court, first as a player, featuring for HSG Nordhorn, FC Barcelona, SG Flensburg-Handewitt or Drammen HK, scoring 250 goals in 122 games for Norway's national team. In 2020, he took over Sweden's national team as a coach, securing the silver medal at the 2021 IHF Men's World Championship, the title at the EHF EURO 2022 and the fourth place at the 2023 IHF Men's World Championship.

15 June at 13:00 CEST
Wing Situations from the Referees' Perspective, presented by Bojan Lah and David Sok, IHF referees

What are the most important scenarios to be watched for when analysing the wing play from the eyes of the referee? When can the defender be penalised with a 2' suspension if they make a foul, and when can said defender be disqualified, seeing the red card? Of course, everything happens at high speed. Therefore the room for mistakes is small.

What are the most common problems when deciding sanctions over the wing play?
What are the main areas to look to see whether tougher decisions need to be made?

Bojan Lah and David Sok have been international referees for over a decade, taking part at two editions of the Olympic Games – Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020 – and several other IHF Men's and Women's World Championship editions, starting with Serbia 2013. They were the referees to lead the women's final at Tokyo 2020, won by France.

16 June at 13:00 CEST 
Offensive Foul Versus 7-Metre, presented by Angel Sabroso, former IHF Referee, and Martin Gjeding, IHF delegate

With the speed of handball growing bigger and bigger, referees need to be more and more focused and pay more and more attention to contacts near the line. Is it a penalty, or is it an offensive foul? There is only a split second when the decision needs to be made. Therefore the room for error is slow. 

What are the main areas where referees can look for to help them take a correct decision?
What are the conditions for an offensive foul and when are the conditions met for a penalty?

Angel Sabroso has been a referee between 1994 and 2021, spending 17 years at the top in the Spanish league and being part of the referees' corps in six editions of the IHF Men's World Championship and three editions of the Olympic Games, including two finals at the World Championship (2011, 2021) and the men's final at the Olympic Games at Rio 2016.

Martin Gjeding spent over two decades being a referee, with top achievements, including the 2017 IHF Men's World Championship final and the 2009 IHF Women's World Championship final. Now, Gjeding is an IHF Delegate and an IHF Lecturer, continuing to fulfil his passion for handball.