A blog post from Paul Timms, Chair of the Sport Referees Department.

Hi everyone,

In this my second blog as the new department chair, I would like to take this opportunity of thanking everyone in British Taekwondo for their patience whilst we as a department have reconfigured, re-recruited and worked through this transitional period, whilst still doing our best to support all competitions in the tournament schedule.

Paul Timms

I would like to welcome Clare Laybourne (Education) and Jo Leach-Flanagan (Admin & Finance) to their new departmental roles within the (newly formed and now complete) Sport Referee Department after deciding to put themselves forward to the recruitment and interview process. Thank you so much for entering the arena and putting your heads above the parapet to assist the team with the planning and delivery of our new departmental plan.

We have already held our first virtual committee meeting as a full department. And our first face-to-face meeting is scheduled for later this month.

For the purposes of transparency and openness the agenda discussed during our first virtual meeting included:
Referee Invitations, the new Fast Track process, PSS Fees & Charges, National Training day & Awards, British Nationals Entry Pack, Course Fees and hosts, The New Roles Focus, the British International, Safeguarding Matters, Computer Operators, Refresher Courses and the Spond App.

We are very fresh, very eager to make a difference and therefore determined to succeed in our new roles and are bringing a lot of inspiring ideas to attract new officials to the department, which should lessen the burden on the existing pool of British Taekwondo sport officials. Again, if you know anyone that has expressed an interest in having a go at refereeing, please do encourage them to come and speak to one of us at the earliest opportunity.

The department has now completed rewriting the pathway plan for officials and have had that process approved by the British Taekwondo board. It is my great privilege to inform you all that becoming a referee has been much simplified. If the holder of a black belt over the age of 18, athlete or coach with reasonable experience wishes to become a referee, then they can apply to become a class 2.0 centre referee straight away without the need to become a corner judge first. Of course, they will be required to complete the class 3.0 materials, but we will train them on corner judging as they begin refereeing. We will vet everyone individually, but in a nutshell you can fast track to centre refereeing and perhaps even class 1 should you be a higher dan holder, possessing the necessary skillset. Refereeing is all about skillset, not time served. Although there is an intrinsic link between ability and activity.

All referees will be assigned a personal mentor and will be assisted in their journey to wherever their goal in refereeing terms is placed, be it domestically and to Nationals, internationally on the G1/2 and ETU circuit or even the WT elite referee pool, Grand Prix’s, World Championships and Olympic Games. Our sole intention is to help you reach your full potential, wherever that lies.

The Event Policy now in its second draft and due out soon, continually improves the event calendar for us and we are getting closer to a document that works for everyone, event hosts, coaches and athletes alike.

We have undertaken a full review of the existing Daedo PSS equipment and will be changing the entire process of cost, hiring and replacement to ensure we have a sustainable asset for use at events in the future, when the current bank of equipment comes to the end of its workable life.

After consultation with event hosts and recognition that there is no alternative but to ensure this remains a viable resource going forward (the alternative being to hire from abroad at a cost of around £5k per event), we will be charging differently, in order to ensure we can replace it every 2/3 years.

The department is close to finalising the new figure and we will publish it as soon as it is approved. This cost will include the hiring of the PSS technician and any associated costs such as, travel and overnight accommodation. Apologies, as I was hoping to bring it to you in this blog update, but as I hope you will appreciate it has to be appropriate.

REMINDER: All our officials are required to take the free online concussion training – it takes less than 15 minutes to complete and is absolutely essential. Although we can monitor who has taken the training, please inform us when you have done so, so we may issue the correct certificate.

Thank you for taking the time to read the blog.

Paul Timms

Chair, Sport Referee Dept.

About British Taekwondo’s Sport Referee Department

The department’s role is to coordinate the development of British Taekwondo’s Sport Referees and is responsible for the strategy and management of the education pathway of our combat sport technical officials.

You can find out more about the Sport Referee Department on our Technical Department and Combat Sport Officials pages.