After bringing the indigenous sport of Kabaddi to the limelight, Mashal Sports have continuously invested in the technical training and development of the vivo Pro Kabaddi League’s officials and tournament referees to continue to advance and enhance the sport and league. The REP (Referee Excellence Programme) launched in 2018, successfully completed its 6th edition with 33 referees joining the workshop conducted virtually due to the ongoing pandemic.

Led by Mr E.P. Rao, the Technical Director of vivo Pro Kabaddi, the workshop covered a variety of subjects ranging from the latest developments in officiating to the use of technology to its optimum level. The programme enables referees to delve deep into the lessons learnt during in past seasons and handling difficult match situations. This transfer of knowledge helps the referees in learning from the experiences of their colleagues.

Living up to their commitment towards the sport and its growth, the five-day programme not only focussed on sessions that directly addressed refereeing betterment, but also revolved around topics such as teamwork, language skills and overall body language to initiate their skill development at a micro-level. Focussing on both, the practical as well as theoretical aspects of the game, the workshop takes a holistic approach towards officiating of the sport. On the penultimate day, and after several daily drills, the referees were also tested on the aspects they learned through the course of the programme. “The Referee Excellence Program is a very good initiative by Mashal Sports. The program has helped enhance my technical skills and knowledge of the sport. It has also made us a lot clearer on the rules and our ability to officiate games under pressure situations. I feel a lot more confident now to stay in control of a game.” said Kripashankar Sharma, the veteran referee who was also a participant in the workshop.

Given their mission to strengthen the sport of Kabaddi, the Referee Excellence Programme was yet another path-breaking move for Mashal Sports, ushering in a new era of skill development that not only caters to the players but also extends to the custodians of the matches.