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Water Polo Referee Training at Water Polo Academy

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LABertocci
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Instructor Corps

Postby LABertocci » Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:59 pm

I just wanted to make a public statement of praise for the Instructor Corps of Water Polo Academy. I will use this post below to reinforce the praise:
STUDENT - Take a situation where a perimeter player is sunk by a defender (and it looks just like one of the examples he knows to be a foul). The official calls the immediate minor foul. The defending player then swims to cover the center and the player whom he just fouled now is no longer a shooting threat. A textbook call right??
INSTRUCTOR - This is a SPECTACULAR example of understanding the spatial (as opposed to temporal from xxx above) aspects of this rule. Well done.
This student has just gone through the Introductory - Minor Fouls - Major Fouls sequence taught by Russ Thompson, Don Holbrook, and Mark Maretzki respectively. This is a level of sophisticated understanding of the game that (not that long ago) was beyond that of all but a small handful of seasoned international referees. By the efforts of these three gentlemen (specifically in the case of this student) we have relatively inexperienced referees with extremely sophisticated understanding of the game.

Bravo to Russ, Don, and Mark.
Loren A. Bertocci
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Re: Instructor Corps

Postby Russ Thompson » Sat Nov 22, 2008 7:57 pm

It seems to me that until WPA the information that was available, on deck, to 4 or 5 officials, was unavailable to the rest of the officials in the U.S. There is no substitute for practical experience, but the academics has to come first. In teaching the last Water Polo Academy Class I found that the students are literally starving for information. They want to know what the 'best practices' of an official should be. There are lots of officials that understand best practices and how the rules should be applied, but for every one that knows, there are many more that do not.

Doc Hunkler speaks of transparency and I totally agree with an organization that enforces rules being transparent. But transparency, to me, is not a list of points of emphasis or interpretations. It is a totally transparent curriculum and education. Want to know what USAWP is teaching it's officials? Log in to WPA and read for yourself. It is all there in black and white for the world to see.

My students have progressed and have done well. The next important step is to get these people on deck and to NOT undermine their education over petty differences of opinion.

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LABertocci
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Re: Instructor Corps

Postby LABertocci » Sat Nov 22, 2008 10:12 pm

Might I add something?

:-)

One of the things I insisted on, from the beginning, was that USAWP coaches have access to ALL THIS CONTENT, at no more than the cost we absorb in having a eLearning host ($10 per seat), so that coaches can sit and learn EXACTLY what is being taught. Over a year ago, we implemented this policy.

So far, how many coaches, of any stripe, have taken advantage of this?

Zero.

0

Niente.

Transparency goes both ways.
Loren A. Bertocci
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Re: Instructor Corps

Postby Doc » Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:33 am

:roll: I was wondering how many referees, of the black and white stripe, have taken a coaching course at the Water Polo Academy?

:oops: Also I took the course you sent me on the "advantage rule" by email but maybe courses by email don't count or possibly retired coaches don't count or ... ?

Doc

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Re: Instructor Corps

Postby Russ Thompson » Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:55 am

I started teaching 2 months ago and during those two months I had a class of 15 and a class of 8. This is equivalent to the number of officials at 4 or 5 tournaments or put another way, it is most of a women's or men's season. Loren can provide details about all students, but this is just my class.

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Re: Instructor Corps

Postby LABertocci » Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:11 am

In the last year, 390 people have taken at least one referee course and 351 referees have taken more than one of the referee courses. Of the 390, 47 have coach-referee membership status and 11 have coach (only) status. Referees were required to take at least two courses last year but 233 (more than half of them) took more than two courses (thus taking training above and beyond what was required). Roughly 30 (my record keeping is a replacement type so am not sure of this number) re-took online what they had already done (by requirement) in person, again not a requirement. Thus, roughly 260 of the 390 took more courses than they were required to take.

I do not track the coach course enrollments (Joanie does), but I know we no longer even offer them because no coaches sign up to take them. I would guess (Joanie would have the correct data) that fewer than 20 coaches have taken any coach courses during the same time 390 referees took courses.

With regard to referees taking coach courses, we are now offering (as part of the curriculum) technical tactical courses (based on Dante's content and taught by Dante). As soon as possible, we plan to interface the PACE clinic content in with the referee training curriculum so that referee re-certification can be done via a referee attending the coach training components of the PACE clinics.
Loren A. Bertocci
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Re: Instructor Corps

Postby mkoganov » Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:03 pm

Doc wrote::roll: I was wondering how many referees, of the black and white stripe, have taken a coaching course at the Water Polo Academy?

:oops: Also I took the course you sent me on the "advantage rule" by email but maybe courses by email don't count or possibly retired coaches don't count or ... ?

Doc
Dear Doc,

With all due respect to the coaches and their hard work, this is their JOB to adjust to the game called and NOT vice versa. They have to know what the referees have been taught and NOT vice versa. This is a matter of fact that all rule changes and interpretations starting from educating and training of referee's corp. And then coaches should adjust and find new solutions. This is how it works in all sports (soccer, basketball, hockey, etc.)
There is a problem in US with coaches, there is not enough qualify coaches. And this is because vast majority of them are not willing to get out of their microscopic universe and learn something new, to see how things done in the rest of the world.

I'll give you some facts to think about. It was World Championships in Montreal taking place in 2005. Do you know how many US coaches I've noticed in the stands except those who were involved with national teams? 3(Three)!!!! I’ve been participating in at least two referees’ clinics per year during last 11-12 collegiate years. How many coaches attended those clinics? One or two each time the most. Whether it is ignorance, lack of professionalism, arrogance, or something else, I'll leave it up to you to make that guess.
Another example with WPA proves that coaches are absolutely ignorant to the staff that referees are being taught.

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Re: Instructor Corps

Postby Doc » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:04 pm

Mark,

You said, "... this is their(the coaches) JOB to adjust to the game called and NOT vice versa." When I was coaching there were many referees that were so inconsistent that it was almost impossible to adjust to them. In point of fact I used to spend almost as much time scouting referees as I did scouting other teams we were going to play. Just think if those referees were more consistent or if there had been discussions among the referees, coaches, and players about how things SHOULD be called I could have spent more time coaching my players instead of trying to guess what my referee was going to call next. I also had some excellent referees do my games as well. I always said I would rather have a referee that is consistent than one that is good. If a coach cannot adjust to a consistent referee then I agree it is the coach's fault and not the referee's fault.

You also said, "And this is because vast majority of them are not willing to get out of their microscopic universe and learn something new, to see how things done in the rest of the world." At one time I might of thought that statement was true but since Joan and I have been running the WPP website I have seen statistics that say about 8,000 users a month have been reading water polo articles on our website. One of the reasons there are so many referees taking the referee courses at the Water Polo Academy is because the courses are required to become a certified USAWP referee. If the coach's courses were required for a coaching certificate then you would see many more coaches taking the coaching courses.

Finally, you said, "I'll give you some facts to think about. It was World Championships in Montreal taking place in 2005. Do you know how many US coaches I've noticed in the stands except those who were involved with national teams? 3(Three)!!!!" I will give you something to ponder as well, "How many Canadian and US referees did you see watching the referees at that same championship".

Doc

PS: Mark I haven't seen you in a while so I hope you are doing well. I also hope you and your family have a happy holiday.

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LABertocci
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Re: Instructor Corps

Postby LABertocci » Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:34 pm

LABertocci wrote:Referees were required to take at least two courses last year but 233 (more than half of them) took more than two courses (thus taking training above and beyond what was required). Roughly 30 (my record keeping is a replacement type so am not sure of this number) re-took online what they had already done (by requirement) in person, again not a requirement. Thus, roughly 260 of the 390 took more courses than they were required to take.
Loren A. Bertocci
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Re: Instructor Corps

Postby THX-7.3 » Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:45 pm

Doc wrote:
"I always said I would rather have a referee that is consistent than one that is good."
I like consistency too, but there are many ways to define "consistency"
To a very large extent, of course, we associate truth with convenience - with what most closely accords with self-interest and personal well-being or promises best to avoid awkward effort or unwelcome dislocation of life. -John Kenneth Galbraith

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Re: Instructor Corps

Postby LABertocci » Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:45 pm

What we have had, unfortunately, is consistently BAD... or at least incorrect.

I am puzzled about the direction of this thread... Mark made a correct observation, and in that I was there in Montreal with him, and at the house WE (and it was a "we," because all the $$ passed through my hands) rented, we had twice as many referees (sleeping in our house each on their own nickel) as the number of coaches Mark noticed... it seems a silly argument.

We are missing the point.

The point is that everywhere in the world other than the USA coaches do not for an instant imagine that it is their job to judge/grade/employ/train referees. Why? Coaches are very good at lots of things but training referees is not one of them.

I fail to see the value of this tired old argument.

For the record, the 2009 World Championships is in Rome Italy. I already have more than THREE referees who have contacted me about sharing our (paid for by Joanie and my $$) apartment... so that they can go watch and learn.

All of you can do the math.
Loren A. Bertocci
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Re: Instructor Corps

Postby Russ Thompson » Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:42 pm

The officials are not required to do anything more than the minimum, yet they have enrolled in more classes than is needed or required by a very significant margin, so the 'they are required' argument doesn't wash. The fact is that some coaches couldn't care less about the referees until it is time to play a game, then they care a lot. Imagine if the athletes and coaches treated practice the same way.

I agree with Mark.

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Re: Instructor Corps

Postby Thesita » Mon Nov 24, 2008 3:45 am

I took classes under Bertocci and Maretzki and it was great. I have a minor point though. I am really a coach that took the classes to be a better coach. I have not reffed a paid game in years so in a way maybe some coaches are taking the classes too?

However, I hear many complaints by coaches about calls that have had no training but played in high school and college. Many of the calls I hear them complain to me about are the correct call and it is the coach that is wrong. Not all, but many. I also think the vantage point of the ref is important as compared to a biased coach. I think any coach that is a student of the game should take the classes or read the material. I also think more refs should too. There are some stubborn refs and stubborn coaches caught up in ego or something. We all have 'em.

Thanks for trying to put some consistency into it.

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Re: Instructor Corps

Postby LABertocci » Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:47 am

LABertocci wrote:In the last year ... 47 have coach-referee membership status and 11 have coach (only) status...
Some of the most thoughtful and insightful inputs to the discussion topics have come from the coaches who have taken these courses. In the classes I have taught, EVERY student who is a coach has been both a pleasure to have in the class and the source of some of the most sophisticated insights.
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Re: Instructor Corps

Postby LABertocci » Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:49 am

Thesita wrote: Thanks for trying to put some consistency into it.
It has been a pleasure to do what I can.
Loren A. Bertocci
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