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Beach Referees Hit the Sand at Portobello

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If you want to run your first Beach Volleyball Referees Course, you want to employ the best. Scotland did just that on Saturday 5th July 2008 at Portobello Swim Centre.

Athens 2004

England’s Jeff Brehaut has refereed two Olympic Finals in Beach Volleyball, and through contact with Colin Paterson, the SVA Beach Commission President, he agreed to come up to Portobello to present the first Beach Referee Course ever held in Scotland.  This course was offered free to all particpiants, which was a major incentive.

Jeff Brehaut

“Beach Volleyball is the fastest developing Olympic sport. It demands respect, excites spectators and is the ultimate experience."

Jeff presented a series of slideshows covering the main rules needed to get started in Beach refereeing, including scoring (which is a bit different from Volleyball). Volleyball and Beach are different forms of the same great game – and there are differences, which Jeff was able to highlight.Main points covered were the issues of ball handling: three basic rules on how to hit the ball are crucial in understanding the way the game is played. Jeff was also able to dispel the misconceptions on the so called “deep dish” sets, so keenly utilised by some of the beach players. These were defined as illegal; despite what the lower level players may think, the deep dish set is being forced out of existence at the top level.At the end of the theory session, the group sashayed down to the beach – only to find that the greying skies had in fact turned leaden and were producing a soaking slanting rain. Nevertheless, the valiant band set up their net and began to play and referee. Umbrella shrouded locals and tourists came and photographed the lunacy, until eventually sense prevailed and everyone headed for their transport home.

On the basis of this course, a Beach refereeing structure will be set up – so watch this space. All in all a really successful day was had by all and we are eagerly awaiting our SVA Beach Volleyball Referee Grade 4 certificates!

Sandy Steel

President - SVA Referees Commission