The Pro Kabaddi League hasn’t only focussed on developing a robust player pool through various initiatives such as Future Kabaddi Heroes but it has also built a fantastic group of technical officials over the last nine years. Like the players look at the Pro Kabaddi League as an aspirational career, the technical officials have also been able to look upon the league as a suitable career option.
Identifying the need for a high-level of refereeing for a world-class competition, the Technical Director of the Pro Kabaddi League Mr. E Prasad Rao explained how Mashal Sports created the PKL Referee Training Camps. “Prior to Season 1, we conducted a coaching course to help the technical officials get used to the innovative rule changes such as 30-second raids and do-or-die raids implemented in the Pro Kabaddi League. We selected around 30 officials among the persons who carried out the course. Over 100 people attended the workshop, which was conducted for about a week. This was PKL's first technical officials workshop,” he said.
Rao further spoke about the changes in the training programs for referees over the course of the last nine seasons. "We are planning to appoint a total of 42 officials for Season 10, while we had a total of 35 officials in Season 1. The training program for technical officials has changed over the years with technological advancements in the game. We've had to learn how to use the multiple cameras available to us," he shared.
Continuing to build the technical officials group and identifying fresh talent, the Pro Kabaddi League organised a Referee Training Camp in Kolhapur ahead of the milestone 10th season, which is set to begin in December. The camp, which witnessed around 38 officials prepare for Season 10, was conducted by Mr. E Prasad Rao from 18 to 29 November 2023.
Speaking about the officials' preparations for the 10th season, Rao said, "We conducted three online workshops before the referee training camp in Kolhapur. The referees were put into two groups - new officials and PKL experienced officials. We identified about ten talented referees through these workshops. These referees will officiate in PKL for the first time this year."
When asked about the schedule in the training camp, the Technical Director added: "From 6:30-8:30 am, the officials underwent a physical activity to develop their speed, agility and reaction time. Between 10 am - 1 pm, the officials attended a theory session, where match situations were analysed. Then, the last session of the day was held between 5-7:30 pm wherein the officials underwent practical practice by officiating in games between club teams."
The Telugu Titans go up against Gujarat Giants in the opening match of the Pro Kabaddi League Season 10 in Ahmedabad on 2nd December 2023.
Season 10 of the Pro Kabaddi League will be broadcast live on the Star Sports Network and for free on the Disney+Hotstar mobile app!