WTF President Stresses Fairer Judging and Refereeing at WTF IR Training Camp in Jeonju, Korea
“The success of judging and refereeing at major taekwondo competitions is crucial in order for taekwondo to retain its status as an official Olympic sport,” WTF President Choue said.
He made the remarks for participants in the referee selection training camp, which kicked off on July 29 for a seven-day run. The camp drew a total of 187 referees from 57 countries.
“The WTF has devoted much of its energy and time in working to ensure the fairest judgment and refereeing possible through stepped-up referee education programs,” WTF President Choue said. “The WTF is also striving to introduce an electronic protector system.”
He continued to say, “We have seen much improvement in the WTF’s operation and management of international referees at major WTF-promoted taekwondo events, including the 2007 Beijing WTF World Taekwondo Championships.”
Dr. Choue said, “To bring about fairer judgment and refereeing, the WTF adopted several measures at the 2007 World Taekwondo Championships. Among them were the introduction of the WTF-produced referee selection program and the evaluation of referees by coaches of national teams at the competition venue. Strong disciplinary action was also taken on the spot at a competition when undesirable incidents related to judging and refereeing took place.”
Despite such improvements, however, he said, we still have to work hard to further improve our refereeing and judging.
“We should not allow a referee’s ‘intentional’ or ‘unintentional’ mistake to change the color of an athlete’s medal at the Olympic Games. We have to minimize referees’ human error in judging and refereeing,” he said.
“As WTF referees, you have the responsibility to uphold the integrity of our sport through fair and transparent refereeing. This is a code that both you and myself should abide by in our mutual task of bringing the spirit of fair play to our sport,” Dr. Choue said. “The martial art sport of taekwondo assigns great value to manners and discipline among practitioners.”
He said, “Fairer judging and refereeing will help bring a more orderly environment to the taekwondo competition sites, in which athletes and coaches will accept the competition results and follow proper protest procedures, if necessary.” “For the For the sake of our athletes and for the sake of taekwondo’s future, it is our responsibility to ensure that only the best athletes become worthy champions.”
“That is the reason why we have organized this training camp,” Dr. Choue said. “Following this training, we will rank all participating referees and then send a certain number of highly ranked referees to the World Taekwondo Qualification Tournament for the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games scheduled for Sept. 28-30 this year in Manchester, United Kingdom, and the WTF’s five continental Olympic qualification tournaments.”
The WTF is scheduled to finalize the 29 referees for the Beijing Olympic Games in February 2008.
As part of our efforts to select the most qualified Olympic referees, WTF President said, we conducted basic medical checkups and fitness tests on all participating referees on July 31 for the first time ever in its referee program.
“Once again, I would like to stress that the future of taekwondo largely depends on your fair judging and refereeing. A successful refereeing and judging at taekwondo competitions will help ensure that taekwondo is included among the IOC’s 25 core sports for the Summer Olympic Games,” he said.
“In this regard, the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games should be the most exemplary event for taekwondo ever in terms of refereeing and judgment,” WTF President Choue said. “I wish each of you the very best result from this training camp and ask for your continued support for the further development of taekwondo and the WTF.”