What We Wish You (coaches, spectators & competitors) Knew: The Ref’s POV

Photo by: Bianca Marisa Garcia

It’s time! You’ve been amped and are ready to put you’re best foot (choke or throw?) forward. Time on the mats training and rolling is time well spent. And now, well now you’re going to put yourself to the test! The tournament is here – I don’t care which tournament it’s here! Whether you do ibjjf, sub only, NAGA, Grappling Industries, Good Fight, Tap Cancer Out or any of the others (sorry West coasters, I’m over here on the East… I know you have several venues over there ??) I commend you for stepping outside of your comfort zone. It’s important to remember that while we prepare on the mats, the refs are preparing with us but off the mats, learning rule changes and taking referee courses. I’ve written several articles trying to highlight points of view to broaden our thinking and connect us to, and help us better understand, the people we surround ourselves with in the BJJ community.
Without further ado, here are some thing the refs would like us to keep in mind during the highly intense competitive moments.

* We’re human, mistakes happen
* We care about safety first
* Coaches and competitors should give attending a rules course a try
* Make an effort to referee at local events
* Studying for the occasion and putting yourself in a Reffing situation, understanding the referee’s responsibilities will give you a better perspective
* I enjoy being able to view the beauty [of BJJ] and imperfections up close.
* If you view BJJ as art, it’s those imperfections that make the final story more beautiful.
*Forget those surrounding the mat and be in the moment; allow the refs to do what they’re supposed to
* Many organizations require a certain rank in order to become a referee.
* Respect the ref. We’re often ridiculed i.e.: I bet s/he never. fought/played in his life” mentality.
* The refs are most often very qualified.
* Remember that a ref sometimes has a fraction of a second to work through 2 pages of technicalities in order to award or not award points or advantages.
* I can’t speak for all refs, but I hold my refereeing to the utmost ethical standards at all times.
* No matter the belt color or team name, I treat every athlete the same, with care and consideration.
* As for the athletes, if you trust the organization enough to register for the tournament, learn the rules, and trust that the refs have read them multiple times over.
* Remember the ref is human and mistakes can happen from any member of the production or athletes in the competition.
*Assume goodwill. I haven’t met a BJJ ref whom doesn’t love the sport and only wants the best for it.
* The people you see working a tournament are there for the love of Jiu-jitsu; we aren’t making the big bucks. Treat us kindly. We travel far & wide, sometimes on a volunteer basis.
* Without the table workers, the runners, the refs, the coordinators, and coaches or competitors there wouldn’t be a tournament. We work together. We all make it happen.

We’re all here for the love of jiu-jitsu. Respect the art, support each other!

Happy Rolling!
*photo courtesy Bianca Marisa Garcia*

BLACKBELTS FOR BUTTERFLIES Make a difference. Be the difference.

MISSION22 #ijoinedthefight


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here