International event on sport officiating



International event on sport officiating

On the 11th of November 2020 the International Event on Sport Officiating was held online gathering 250 participants from 39 countries. The event was organised as the final conference of the ONSIDE project ( to present the main project outputs related to enhancing the skills of sport officials in Europe, and to discuss the legacy of the project after it finishes in December.

The International Federation for Sport Officials (IFSO) were partners in the delivery of the event and delivered sessions about the progress and role of the new federation and priority areas for action in the sector.

The first half of the event was dedicated to the EU funded ONSIDE project and began with Ben Gittus (EOSE) and Julia Lee (Sports Officials UK) presenting the rationale for the project and the main results from the research phase of the project. This was followed by Geoff Carroll (EOSE) presenting the brand new European occupational standards for sport officials which describe for the first time the standard of competent performance sport officials need to be successful in their role, covering generic skills common to all sports. Finally in this session Janie Frampton (Sports Officials UK) presented the education components of the ONSIDE project including the e-learning modules developed with the project partners and Handbook of Training Modules created to help those responsible for developing officials to develop new fit-for-purpose training courses to meet the new standards.

Interactive polls managed as part of the event showed 90% of participants considered the development of the ONSIDE e-learning modules for the development of the skills of current and future sport officials useful or very useful; and 88% considered the development of the ONSIDE standards for the development of the skills of current and future sport officials useful or very useful.

The second half of the event was dedicated to IFSO and began with Patrick Vajda (AFCAM & IFSO) and Jan Vlasblom (Dutch National Olympic Committee) presenting the members, goals and projects of IFSO. Next, Janie Frampton and Charlotte Girard Fabre (IFSO) discussed gender equality in sport officiating including the new Erasmus+ funded WINS project to begin in 2021 with a focus on gender issues in sport officiating. Claude Stricker and Rijul Sharda, both representing AISTS, presented on the selection criteria of sport officials by international sport federations, a study conducted for IFSO. Finally Patrick Vajda and Eric Saintrond (FISU) discussed the ONSIDE legacy and future of IFSO.

From the interactive polls 84% agreed with the idea of a common core of training for referees in all sports facilitated by IFSO; 95% agreed IFSO should create a global reference library of good practice examples coming from all the International Federations to share ideas and solutions to a range of issues and challenges in female/ women’s sport officiating; and 90% agreed that IFSO can play a leading role in the global development of sport officiating,

The event finished with a lively panel discussion with Patrick Vajda, Claude Stricker and Janie Frampton debating issues from impact of Covid 19 on officiating to hints and tips in recruitment of officials.

In addition to the polls, further interaction with participants was achieved using the chat box and Q&A functions of the software. 97% of participants felt the event met their expectations.

The event was expertly moderated and hosted by David Ferguson, Executive Director of the Observatory for Sport in Scotland.


EOSE – European Observatoire of Sport and Employment

A new wave for the sport and active leisure sector

Ensuring the right skills in the right place

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