Eastern Jamaica refs begin training ahead of return of schoolboy footballWednesday, October 27, 2021
By Everard Owen
PORT ANTONIO, Portland — Referees in eastern Jamaica (St Mary, Portland and St Thomas) on Saturday morning began their physical preparation under the supervision of referee instructors Ricardo Morgan and Lewin Purser at Carder Park, Portland, in anticipation for the restart of schoolboy football in Jamaica.
Schoolboy and parish football have been suspended since the start of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The session was arranged by the Jamaica Football Federation referees department headed by Victor Stewart, the head of refereeing.
The session, which lasted for over two hours, was intense with physical fitness drills, communication between referee and assistant referees, and interpretation and application of the adjusted laws such as hand ball and penalty.
The referees were grateful for the training and anticipate taking up their whistles and flags in the near future.
Andre Smith of St Mary said, “It's good to be back in training sessions and learning new training drills, I'm elated that football will restart and we start officiating.”
Kevin Brown of the St Thomas referees group noted, “The training session was good; we learnt some new drills that will help us to be more alert. We missed the football and the officiating and we are looking forward to the resumption”.
Velecia Robinson of Portland expressed similar sentiments. “The training session was good this morning and will help us to get back in shape, but we also have to work on our own. We are looking forward to the return of football and adjusting to the changes in the law. As a teacher this is good as it will get the students active as not all are academically inclined and those with the necessary skills will be gainfully engaged and staying out of problems. We look forward to the football in Portland and the supporters coming out...”
Instructor Ricardo Morgan was pleased with the training session. “We are pleased with the session this morning and the interest shown in the planned return of the schoolboy league. It is really great to see the eye communication and high participation this morning. Some were a little bit rusty, as you would have anticipated, as there was no competition for nearly two years.
“We will be having a series of sessions like these to get our referee up and abreast with the laws and keeping fit. I would love to see some semblance of normalcy and I encourage all referees to work together and communicate for the development of the sport and proper officiating.”