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USA Wrestling hosts FILA Refereeing Department's meeting in Florida, Jan. 4-6



FILA referees, from left to right: Kamel Bouaziz, Ender Buyurkersen, Konstantin Mikhaylov, Marianne Nobs, Cathy Oerter, Rick Tucci, USAW Events Director Pete Isais, Vitaly Tulupov, and Grzegorz Brudzinski.

USA Wrestling hosted the annual FILA Refereeing Department in Fort Myers, Florida on January 4-6, where the international governing body for wrestling drew up its annual officiating report. This is the second straight such meeting hosted by USA Wrestling, as the same meeting was held in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in December 2009.

The referees' category for 2011 were approved by the Department members upon analysis of the referees' participation and work during the international competitions held in 2010. The Olympic referee list was also drawn up and confirmed by the FILA Bureau after the meeting. To be noted, the inclusion of eight young referees further to their exemplary work during the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore, sometimes with a direct update from category III.

In conformity with the FILA regulations, all Olympic referees will have to participate in the 2011 Senior European and World Championships in order to remain eligible for selection to officiate the 2012 London Olympic Games. The category-I referees wishing to apply for the Olympic category will again be assessed during the 2011 Continental Championships. The final round of qualifications for the 60 referees who will officiate at the London Olympic Games will take place on the occasion of the Senior European Championship, which are to be held in Belgrade, Serbia from March 6th-11th, 2012.

Those in attendance were FILA President Raphael Martinetti, Ik-Jong Kim (Korea), FILA Bureau member and Instructor, and by the eight Instructors who could be present in Florida: Kamel Bouaziz (Tunisia), Grzegorz Brudzinski (Poland), Ender Buyukersen (Turkey), Konstantin Mikhaylov (Uzbekistan), Marianne Nobs (Switzerland), Karri Toivola (Finland), Vitaly Tulupov (Russia), and USWOA President Rick Tucci (USA).

The Refereeing Department also drew up the 2011 Course Calendar by considering a fair continental distribution of the courses. The calendar can be found on FILA’s recently redesigned website, www.fila-wrestling.com. The information necessary for the referees' work in 2011 will be published in the Official Bulletin that will soon reach all National Federations.

Following the meeting, some of the delegates were able to tour the Art of the Olympians Museum (AOTO) and Al Oerter Center for Excellence, a museum dedicated to demonstrating the relationship between art and sport. Al Oerter was one of the greatest Olympic athletes of all time, as he won four gold medals in the discus in 1956, 1960, 1964, and 1968. The delegates were led on a tour and addressed by AOTO Board Member Cathy Oerter, the widow of Al Oerter.

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