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Referee George Haswell Year in Review

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
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The 2017 rugby season was very enjoyable for me. I had a crack at 3 premier games last year and I relished in the structure and speed of the games at that level, so when I was put into the premier panel for 2017 I was stoked. My game of the year was the final round clash between Rangataua and Tauranga Sports at Ariki Park; 91 points were scored in an open and fast game where the players were able to show what they could do and I was just along for the ride. A perfect game in my eyes. Overall I think the comradery of the referee's group builds stronger and stronger every year and I really enjoy being apart of such a fun and supportive environment. Refereeing has been such an influential part of my adolescence and has ultimately had a huge effect on shaping the kind of person I am today. Already I am waiting for the next season to roll around.

Touch season is looming and for me that means business. We tap off early October so I have been working hard over the last month to ensure I am ready to go. Touch is played at such a fast pace over a short period of time so anaerobic fitness (short, sharp burst of energy) is really important. I am lucky enough to be apart of the Touch New Zealand High-Performance Referee Squad, the squad of 13 come together over Labour weekend along with Touch NZ's national playing contingent for a training camp where our ultimate goal is set on the 2019 Touch World Cup in Malaysia. Both players and referees are working really hard to be the best we can come time for the World Cup. The camp will involve classroom sessions where we look at current trends in the game and analyse them to help us with our communication and positioning; coaches and players will talk to us about player responses, patterns, moves etc and of course we will go through the fitness testing to make sure we meet the standards of an HP referee. In the local area, I will referee a couple of times a week as well as work with our new referees in a coaching capacity. I am also the Provincial Director of Referees for the BOP which involves running training and education sessions around the Bay, coordinating regional tournament, running fitness tests and training days for our national referees and working with them to achieve their goals for the season. We have 3 national tournaments per year, the Secondary Schools (early Dec), the Junior Nationals (mid-Feb) and our Open Nationals (early March). At a personal level, I am aiming to receive a higher national ranking (currently 5) and work towards selection for the Trans Tasman Series in April next year.

So, it's going to be a busy summer for me but I wouldn't have it any other way. I love refereeing, the challenge of each game being different and testing you in a different way and I love the platform it gives me to meet some amazing people and interact with the local community.

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