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New: TA Referee Academy

Tournaments Abroad is delighted to announce the start of a new, innovative project for Referee Education that will take place at tournaments starting from next year: the International Referee Academy.

Over the last few years one of the main goals of our network has been to help referees develop their skills to the next level, and we have been thrilled in knowing that many officials have achieved great things after attending our events.

When last summer we started working on the Referee Academy project our idea was to find a way to strenghten our vocation to referee development, in a way that young officials could benefit from it even more. And this is the idea we came up with.

How will the Tournaments Abroad Referee Academy work? read more on the dedicated page.

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Interview: Gordon Johnson, Ibercup Referee Manager.

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I first visited the Ibercup in 2010 for its inaugural tournament which was then known as the Lisboa Cup. At the time it was more of a “Busman’s holiday” for my son Kieran and I. At the time Kieran was a young Level 7 referee and I thought the experience of him officiating abroad would be beneficial for his development as a referee. Having seen how much Kieran benefitted from the experience I have since engaged regularly with the tournament bringing other referees from the LCFA development group across to their tournaments. The Ibercup is a fantastic tournament and great training and networking opportunity for referees of all abilities and levels through which I have met many people I would now class as friends from all over the world.
1) What is the Ibercup to you? how would you describe it in just a few words?
I first visited the Ibercup in 2010 for its inaugural tournament which was then known as the Lisboa Cup. At the time it was more of a “Busman’s holiday” for my son Kieran and I. At the time Kieran was a young Level 7 referee and I thought the experience of him officiating abroad would be beneficial for his development as a referee. Having seen how much Kieran benefitted from the experience I have since engaged regularly with the tournament bringing other referees from the LCFA development group across to their tournaments. The Ibercup is a fantastic tournament and great training and networking opportunity for referees of all abilities and levels through which I have met many people I would now class as friends from all over the world.

2) You were one of the first ever referees to attend the then Lisboa Cup in 2010. How has the tournament developed in your point of view?

The Lisboa Cup in 2010 was a relatively small but well run tournament of two categories, Under 15 Boys and Under 18 Girls. Having seen the benefits of officiating in it for Kieran, mentioned above, I then returned to the 2012 Ibercup tournament with a group of six referees from the LCFA development group. It struck me immediately how much the tournament had grown in the space of just two years, attracting quality academy football teams from around the world. Like all growth events there were and occasionally continue to be “teething” problems behind the scenes but the tournament has a fantastic organising committee and staff who supported by Tournaments Abroad in the provision of match officials continue to strive for excellence and are certainly succeeding in establishing the Ibercup as one of, if not the best, International youth football tournaments.

3) Many say the quality of football at the Ibercup is higher than at other youth tournaments around the World. Would you agree with that?

Without doubt the Ibercup is one of the best tournaments around the world for quality of football.

4) Why would a referee want to attend the Ibercup? what’s in it for them?

The experience of travelling abroad to officiate, working with match officials from other federations and managing teams from different and differing cultures with sometimes drastically different styles of play can only benefit any young referee in their continued professional development should they wish to pursue Refereeing as a career. Aligned to this now is also the experience of being observed by some quality and highly regarded match observers from a number of federations who remain on hand for the duration of the tournament to offer their help, support and guidance for the referees.  On the same note though the experiences above also benefit all referees, some sometimes not as ambitious or talented as others, in offering them the opportunity to experience an International Football Tournament and the camaraderie of meeting fellow referees from around the globe.

5) The Ibercup is now expanding at an incredible rate, in 2017 there will be 8 tournaments in 6 different countries. What is your view on this?

Having seen the Ibercup grow and progress over the nine tournaments I have attended under its banner since 2010 I truly hope that they can continue with their growth whilst maintaining the same high standards that have been set at some of the previous tournaments. I felt that the two 2016 tournaments at Costa Del Sol and Estoril were by far the best I have attended thus far but this has taken six years to achieve so am hoping that with the rapid expansion planned for 2017 none of the quality a achieved thus far is lost.

Has Gordon convinced you? then apply now for the Ibercup and other tournaments from our tournament list.

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New: Tournaments Abroad Referee Levels

Time to announce the first of two new features “Tournaments Abroad” will be introducing in 2017: the new TA referee levels for all officials attending our tournaments.

Over the past few years we’ve been working on developing a level scheme which was both equal and fair to referees coming from many different nations around the World. Why an English referee might in fact be familiar with what “Level 6″ or “Level 5″ mean, how would he compare his level with that of a referee coming from France, Spain, Italy, Canada or any other country of the World? it would be almost impossible.

That’s right, each country has its own way to classify referees, and it is always hard, especially for tournament organizers, to compare different levels and systems to achieve fairness in assigments.

This is why we have decided to introduce the “TA Referee Levels” which we will be using from now on. Each referee will be classified just based on our own system, this will guarantee every assignor of our network a way to understand each official’s level.

The system itself will see levels in two different tiers: the development level (for younger referees) and the ordinary level (for all officials) and, much like in UEFA, referees will attain their new levels once they have reached certain milestones. Furthermore, like in FIFA, each official will earn his own “TA badge” upon reaching Development or Elite level.

Want to know more about this new system? Take a look to the dedicated page.

The TA Referee Levels

Ibercup Revolution

The Ibercup is taking over the world.

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This would be the perfect way to describe the way the Ibercup, the world’s leading youth football tournament series, is expanding, country after country and continent after continent.

In 2017 no less than 8 Ibercups will be organized in countries ranging from Portugal, where everything started, to Japan.

Tournaments Abroad will once again be the exclusive partner of the Ibercup for providing referees. We look forward to welcoming you all to one or more of the following tournaments:

Ibercup Cascais – 11th to 16th April 2017 in Cascais, Portugal

Ibercup USA – 12th to 16th April 2017 in Dallas, Texas, USA

Ibercup Costa del Sol – 27th June to the 1st July 2017 in Estepona, Spain

Ibercup Estoril – 4th to 9th July 2017 in Estoril, Portugal

Ibercup Barcelona – 11th to 15th July 2017 in Lloret de Mar, Spain

Ibercup Scandinavia – 1st to 5th August 2017 in Esbjerg, Denmark

Ibercup Poland – 7th to 12th August 2017 in Opalenica, Poland

Ibercup Japan – 22nd-26th August 2017 in Gotamba, Japan (more details coming soon)

Want to know more about our tournaments? check out the tournament list !

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New Features in 2017

Tournaments Abroad keeps innovating.

This year we are proud to announce the launch of two new features at our tournaments, that will be nothing less than a revolution.

1)  The TA Referee Academy

Tournaments Abroad will introduce a new International Referee Academy to which all referees between the ages of 16 and 23 will be able to apply. How will it work? it’s very simple. We will select 25 referees with whom we will work at two different tournaments during the Summer of 2017 and to whom we will offer assessing, coaching and all other kinds of educational activities. FIFA, UEFA and Premier League instructors will work together with Tournaments Abroad in offering these activities.  More details will be available very soon.

2)  TA Referee Levels

For many years we have been wondering how we could solve one of the major issue we encounter when selecting referees from more than 40 different nations for our tournaments. Levels in each country are different, and often not even comparable. In 2017 Tournaments Abroad will introduce, much like at FIFA and UEFA level, the “TA Referee Levels”. All referees will start at the basic level of “Referee” to then progress as they referee in tournaments, get observed and so on. Their progression as officials will allow them to “earn” TA referee badges for the two higher levels: Development and Elite. Assignments during the various tournaments will also take into account each official’s TA referee level. More details on this new feature will also be available soon.

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