How many referees in netball skirts

Fröhlich: "Efficient squad planning for referees"

The DFB

Lutz Michael Fröhlich: "We rely on fluctuation in the area of ​​referees"

The squad planning for the elite referees of the German Football Association (DFB) is based on performance aspects. At the age of 47, however, the referee's work on the pitch ends. This means that with Manuel Gräfe, Markus Schmidt and Guido Winkmann, three elite referees will no longer be part of the referees' line-up in the Bundesliga from the 2021/2022 season. in the DFB.de-Interview explained Lutz Michael Fröhlich, Sporting director of the elite referees of the DFB, the position of sporting management on this topic.

DFB.de: Mr Fröhlich, together with your colleagues in the sporting management of the elite referees and the DFB, you have also dealt intensively with the retirement of three Bundesliga referees as part of the squad planning for the 2021/2022 season over the past few weeks. What was your conclusion?

Lutz Michael Fröhlich: In the past few weeks, we have taken two referees' request to extend their assignment as referees on the pitch beyond the age of 47 very seriously and have dealt with it very intensively. In our deliberations and decisions, we also included the thoughts and ideas of the outgoing referees expressed in bilateral discussions. The decision was very difficult for us, but ultimately the aspects of further development in the area of ​​elite referees and strategy in squad planning were decisive for us. We therefore rely on a fluctuation in the field of referees on the pitch, with the utmost appreciation of the merits of the outgoing referees, and want to see how their experience in the field of video assistance and also in the field of referee development in the 3rd League can be used.

DFB.de: What are the reasons for not using elite referees from the age of 47 as referees on the pitch, and how does this decision relate to your squad planning?

Happy: In Germany, efficient management planning has been implemented at the referees for many years, which also includes systematic performance development. Ultimately, in addition to the other performance-related criteria, this is the basis for ensuring that we consistently have a good selection of referees in the elite area who can also lead the most difficult games. We are also very well positioned in international matches with five referees in the two highest categories. In addition, within the team of elite referees, we also have very good referees in the under 40 age group who can make their way to the top.

DFB.de: What is the development of the quality of the elite referees related to?

Happy: The development of the quality of our referees is also essentially related to introducing them to higher tasks in a targeted manner. By joining the Bundesliga, every referee has many years of performance and personality development behind them. On the way to becoming top referees, you will then play a first game and a first year in the Bundesliga and have to continuously develop yourself through your experience in the Bundesliga. A natural exchange is necessary for this process, which must not be exaggerated, but still timely for the development of the next generation. This has ensured over the years that young referees develop into top referees. These include, for example, Markus Merk, Herbert Fandel, Wolfgang Stark, Knut Kircher and many others, but also Manuel Gräfe. An essential part of their successful development was that they got into the Bundesliga at exactly the point in time when older referees, plannable for themselves, stopped.

DFB.de: To what extent can elite referees from the age of 47 continue to bring their experience into refereeing?

Happy: Areas of application include, for example, working as a video assistant, but also in the field of coaching, especially in the 3rd division. The referees who then come to the 2nd Bundesliga are selected directly from this pool. Here it is important that, among other things, the expertise and experience of referees who have recently been actively leading games is also brought in.

DFB.de: How do you rate the age structure of the referees in the Bundesliga?

Happy: We have had a very healthy age structure among referees in the Bundesliga and in the entire elite sector for many years. The squad planning assumes that talented referees come to the Bundesliga at an age of around 27 to 33 years, very rarely at a later age, and there, with continuous performance development in connection with the best physique, a phase of 14 to 20 years as a referee in the Bundesliga and also internationally. We currently have an average age among the referees in the Bundesliga that is 39 or 40 years. With the introduction of the video assistant, it is possible that, with the appropriate services, a phase of a few years as a specialized video assistant can follow.

DFB.de: Does the special situation due to the corona pandemic possibly offer a new basis for assessment in dealing with the age-related retirement of referees on the pitch?

Happy: The 2020/2021 Bundesliga season will most likely be played through. The referees, assistant referees and video assistants were able to continue their activities and carry out their game assignments in the two national leagues and also in the third division as in previous years. This is an enormous privilege compared to all other types of sport and many professional activities that could only be practiced to a limited extent or not at all during this time. The Bundesliga takes place. Competition takes place. It's about championship as well as promotion and relegation. The cup competition is carried out. The setting "without an audience" is certainly a different challenge, and many also miss the atmosphere. But I would like everyone to be grateful in this difficult time for everyone, with many restrictions, for the fact that they can do their job without restrictions and without financial losses and that they are healthy. A dignified farewell that takes into account the merits of the individual is a matter of course and should also take place in the same framework as for the referees who stopped in previous years. We would also like to wish them farewell on the field under different conditions in front of an audience and an atmospheric backdrop. Unfortunately, given the current situation, this is not possible.

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The squad planning for the elite referees of the German Football Association (DFB) is based on performance aspects. At the age of 47, however, the referee's work on the pitch ends. This means that with Manuel Gräfe, Markus Schmidt and Guido Winkmann, three elite referees will no longer be part of the team of referees in the Bundesliga from the 2021/2022 season. in the DFB.de-Interview explained Lutz Michael Fröhlich, Sporting director of the elite referees of the DFB, the position of sporting management on this topic.

DFB.de: Mr Fröhlich, together with your colleagues in the sporting management of the elite referees and the DFB, you have also dealt intensively with the retirement of three Bundesliga referees as part of the squad planning for the 2021/2022 season over the past few weeks. What was your conclusion?

Lutz Michael Fröhlich: In the past few weeks, we have taken two referees' concerns about extending their work as referees on the pitch beyond the age of 47 very seriously and have dealt with it very intensively. In our deliberations and decisions, we also included the thoughts and ideas of the outgoing referees expressed in bilateral discussions. The decision was very difficult for us, but ultimately the aspects of further development in the area of ​​elite referees and strategy in squad planning were decisive for us. We therefore rely on a fluctuation in the field of referees on the pitch, with the utmost appreciation of the merits of the outgoing referees, and want to see how their experience in the field of video assistance and also in the field of referee development in the 3rd League can be used.

DFB.de: What are the reasons for not using elite referees from the age of 47 as referees on the pitch, and how does this decision relate to your squad planning?

Happy: In Germany, efficient management planning has been implemented at the referees for many years, which also includes systematic performance development. Ultimately, in addition to the other performance-related criteria, this is the basis for ensuring that we consistently have a good selection of referees in the elite area who can also lead the most difficult games. We are also very well positioned in international matches with five referees in the two highest categories. In addition, within the team of elite referees, we also have very good referees in the under 40 age group who can make their way to the top.

DFB.de: What is the development of the quality of the elite referees related to?

Happy: The development of the quality of our referees is also essentially related to introducing them to higher tasks in a targeted manner. By joining the Bundesliga, every referee has many years of performance and personality development behind them. On the way to becoming top referees, you will then play a first game and a first year in the Bundesliga and have to continuously develop yourself through your experience in the Bundesliga. A natural exchange is necessary for this process, which must not be exaggerated, but still timely for the development of the next generation. This has ensured over the years that young referees develop into top referees. These include, for example, Markus Merk, Herbert Fandel, Wolfgang Stark, Knut Kircher and many others, but also Manuel Gräfe. An essential part of their successful development was that they came to the Bundesliga at precisely the point in time when older referees, plannable for themselves, stopped.

DFB.de: To what extent can elite referees from the age of 47 continue to bring their experience into refereeing?

Happy: Areas of application include, for example, working as a video assistant, but also in the field of coaching, especially in the 3rd division. The referees who then come to the 2nd Bundesliga are selected directly from this pool. Here it is important that, among other things, the expertise and experience of referees who have recently been actively leading games is also brought in.

DFB.de: How do you rate the age structure of the referees in the Bundesliga?

Happy: We have had a very healthy age structure among referees in the Bundesliga and in the entire elite sector for many years. The squad planning assumes that talented referees will come to the Bundesliga via the 2nd Bundesliga at an age of around 27 to 33, very rarely at a later age, and there, with continuous performance development in connection with the best physique, a phase of 14 to 20 years as a referee in the Bundesliga and also internationally. We currently have an average age among the referees in the Bundesliga that is 39 or 40 years. With the introduction of the video assistant, it is possible that, with appropriate services, a phase of a few years as a specialized video assistant can follow.

DFB.de: Does the special situation due to the corona pandemic possibly offer a new assessment basis for dealing with the age-related retirement of referees on the pitch?

Happy: The 2020/2021 Bundesliga season will most likely be played through. The referees, assistant referees and video assistants were able to continue their activities and carry out their game assignments in the two national leagues and also in the third division as in previous years. This is an enormous privilege compared to all other types of sport and many professional activities that could only be practiced to a limited extent or not at all during this time. The Bundesliga takes place. Competition takes place. It's about championship as well as promotion and relegation. The cup competition is carried out. The setting "without an audience" is certainly a different challenge, and many also miss the atmosphere. But I would like everyone to be grateful in this difficult time for everyone, with many restrictions, for the fact that they can do their job without restrictions and without financial losses and that they are healthy. A dignified farewell that takes into account the merits of the individual is a matter of course and should also take place in the same framework as for the referees who stopped in previous years. We would also like to wish them a farewell on the field under different conditions in front of an audience and an atmospheric backdrop. Unfortunately, given the current situation, this is not possible.

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