September was a busy month for international level volleyball with multiple world and continental tournaments taking place concurrently and in succession around the globe. Three of Ontario’s finest international calibre referees were on assignments in North America calling NORCECA Pan American Cups and an FIVB World Championship.
The OVA’s Referee Committee Regional Referee Chair, Andrew Robb and Referee Operations, Andy Cameron were in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic calling at the NORCECA Women’s and Men’s Pan Am Cups, respectively.
“After an 18-month hiatus, it felt very special being back out onto the court, doing something that I love,” said Robb. “You don’t realize how much you miss the game of volleyball, the competition and working with your fellow colleagues from around the world.”
Cameron echoes those remarks, "It was great to be back refereeing. I hadn't realized how much I missed blowing a whistle."
Region 3 Regional Referee Chair Samara Sevor boarded a plane to Durango, Mexico where she refereed for the FIVB U18 Girls World Championships. NORCECA’s Referee Commission President and longtime OVA referee guru, Guy Bradbury joined Samara in Mexico as a Referee Coach. All three were involved in their respective tournaments’ medal finals, with Samara as R1 for the Girls Gold Medal match, Andrew as R2 in the Women’s Gold Medal Match and Andy as R1 in the Men’s Bronze Medal Match.
"It felt so great to be back on court in that environment again with the crowds and players reffing the game I love,” said Sevor.
As the pandemic caused the entire volleyball world to re-tool regulations and approaches, championship tournaments like these were no exception and COVID protocols were enforced, no matter how minor to ensure a safe playing environment. Frequent COVID tests and mask usage (non-players) were implemented and smaller details such as no changing sides between sets and how players would retrieve their balls were part of the protocol, but once the opening serve was hit, it was just like your regular match of volleyball as you know it.
Check out the links below to see these referees at work!
FIVB U18 Girls World Championships (Durango, Mexico) | Sept. 20-30
Argentina vs Bulgaria (Preliminary Round - Sept. 20)
Peru vs Turkey (Preliminary Round – Sept. 21)
Romania vs Slovakia (Round of 16 – Sept. 26)
Thailand vs Peru (Final Round – Sept. 27)
Russia vs Italy (Gold Medal Final – Sept. 30)
NORCECA Women’s Pan Am Cup (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) | Sept. 11-20
USA vs Mexico (Round Robin – Sept. 13)
USA vs Puerto Rico (Round Robin – Sept. 14)
Cuba vs Mexico (Round Robin – Sept. 15)
Dominican Republic vs USA (Round Robin – Sept. 17)
Mexico vs Dominican Republic (Gold Medal Final – Sept. 19)
NORCECA Men’s Pan Am Cup (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic) | Sept. 1-10
Dominican Republic vs Puerto Rico (Round Robin – Sept. 3)
USA vs Puerto Rico (Round Robin – Sept. 4)
Dominican Republic vs USA (Round Robin – Sept. 5)
Mexico vs Puerto Rico (Round Robin – Sept. 6)
Dominican Republic vs Mexico (Round Robin – Sept. 7)
USA vs Mexico (Semifinals – Sept. 8)
Dominican Republic vs USA (Bronze Medal Final – Sept. 9)