Getting ready for my first Euros as a referee

Joona Somerkivi is a Finnish goalball referee who has been named as one of the 14 referees to judge in the 2017 IBSA Goalball European Championships in Pajulahti.

“The upcoming European Championships in Pajulahti will be my first international championship tournament as a goalball referee. In 2016 I was an ITO (International Techncal Officer) in the B Division Euros. It was great to get to witness top level sports from close range and now my expectations are even higher for the A Division tournament.

I’m planning on getting ready for the tournament by refereeing in the training matches as often as possible. Refereeing is one of those things you can learn only by doing. The rules aren’t difficult, the most challenging thing is making the right decision in the fraction of a second.

Joona Somerkivi

The most important role of a referee is of course to make sure that everything goes by the rule book. But in my opinion right after that comes ensuring that players can concentrate on playing and keeping up the tempo of the game. Referee has succeeded if no one can remember after the game who was holding a whistle. As a ref you need to forget your own ego and keep your emotions out from the game. It isn’t always easy – for example when you have to blow a whistle after an own goal.

I have a strong trust on the organizers of the European Championships in Pajulahti. In Finland we know how to build a well-organized tournament. Staying in schedule and delivering enough information to the participants are the key aspects in this kind of big event. I’m expecting on getting to follow the best goalball in Europe and getting to know goalball people from all around the world.”

There will be total of 22 blog texts published in the Pajulahti 2017 blog, one text every week until the 2017 IBSA Goalball European Championships on 18–22 of September. Each week there will be a different writer. New blog text will be published every Wednesday.