11 Jan 2022

Chairman of Lebanese Teqball Federation Referees Committee looks ahead to bright future

Interview with the Chairman of the Lebanese Teqball Federation Referees Committee Kassem Al Hassan

Chairman of the Lebanese Teqball Federation Referees Committee Kassem Al Hassan is an integral figure in the growth of teqball and para teqball in his country. He first learned about the sport in 2020 and he has not looked back since. In an interview with FITEQ, he shares details of his journey so far and why he thinks the future of teqball is bright in Lebanon.

How did you first hear about teqball?

I first heard about teqball in December 2020, when there was a Christmas teqball tournament in my local town. I had the curiosity to check this sport, so I went to watch it and it turned out to be very interesting!

How did you start your referee training?

The Lebanese Teqball Federation was looking for physical education graduates to participate in online courses to help develop the sport here. I was interested and took the referee course level C by the end of 2020. Following the course, we had a meeting with all the level C holders and prepared for our first local tournament. I was pleased that the federation selected me to lead the referee’s team and it was a great experience for me!

What has been your highlight as a referee so far?

2021 was a great year for teqball, especially in Lebanon. We worked hard to grow the sport throughout the year and we held several National Challenger Series events that helped us to strengthen our experience and enhance our performance.

By the summer of 2021, I was selected to be the referee coordinator, which I consider as a highlight in my career, and I was looking forward to work directly with the FITEQ refereeing team.

After that, I had the chance to officiate at the World Championships in Poland, which was one of the greatest highlights in my life, and thankfully it turned out to be an amazing experience for me and for all the refereeing team.

What is the current status of teqball refereeing in Lebanon?

Currently in Lebanon there are 10 referees with a level B qualification and approximately 40 holding level C. Of course to improve the level of teqball in Lebanon, we need to develop our experience and our knowledge to help improve the overall standard of refereeing.

How has FITEQ helped with the development of the refereeing in Lebanon?

FITEQ has assisted us a great deal with our development. To begin with, they sent the Athlete Development Coordinator
Adam Marosvari to Lebanon to assist with our overall improvement of players, coaches and referees.

After I was selected as the referee coordinator for Lebanon, I started attending the coordinator meeting on a monthly basis that helped us to catch up with the development of other countries. FITEQ provided us access to the online education platform, where you can find rulebooks, event information, and tests, videos for players, coaches and referees.

Also, I have to mention that during the preparation period for the World Championships, FITEQ Chief Referee Norbert Augusztin and his colleague Istvan Vad were available anytime we asked them for help and when we arrived to Poland, they helped us with final preparations and made sure that every single referee was confident and ready to officiate.

Why is the development of refereeing important for the sport?

The main role of referee is to make sure that the rules of the match they are officiating are being followed by all players. Teqball has different types of faults, gestures, calls… so the referee must be active to stay familiar with all of it.

Teqball is also a growing sport. There are new techniques and tactics developing, new playing styles, and players are getting better and better, so it is important referees work on ourselves to develop our knowledge and skills in line with this.

What were your thoughts on the 2021 World Championships?

My Colleague Shady Ghanem and I were invited to the World Championships as referees, and it was one of the greatest events we have ever experienced. The refereeing team was very friendly, the more experienced ones were very calm and helpful to others. The Chief Referee and his team were also very helpful and all the staff worked as one team.

What are your plans in the future?

With the help of the leadership of the Lebanese Teqball Federation, the Referees Committee are looking for new people that are capable of becoming referees. We are going to have training, meetings, theoretical tests, and practical tests on a monthly basis with the whole refereeing team to help them prepare for the next events in Lebanon.

Additionally, we are going to work on keeping Lebanon internationally active and hopefully participate in more international events, training camps, tournaments, so that we are ready to conduct training courses locally and keep building our teqball community!