Besides the internationally experienced persons in charge of the tournament management this regards also the top executives directly next to the fencing bouts. Around 50 German and international referees judge the battles of the “White Bear”. They decide if touchés are valid or invalid, use the complex rules of fencing at their fingertips and this way interpret the regarding situations. In very rare cases they issue warnings (yellow card), penalties (red card) or even disqualifications (black card).
In order to control battles with a certain level as at the “White Bear”, the referees need to have gained at least the highest national referee certificate (CN) successfully.
Regarding this the fencing event is an ideal stepping stone for referees to gain new experiences and to recommend themselves to the officials of the referees commission of the German Fencing Association for further services or even the admission to the closest circle of “GFA-referees”. As the “White Bear” is also a tournament for the under 23 year olds of the EFC (European Fencing Confederation), this can also be an important part on the way to the newly created C licence of the EFC.
Therefore year for year famous representatives of this “guild” are standing in their “work clothes” – dark suit with buttoned shirt and tie – at the bouts. Even very experienced referees like to return to the “Bear”. It is not the generous “payment” that is tempting but the special flair and the “Berlin air” that ensures the right atmosphere. Different from most of the other tournaments the referees are well taken care of and personally almost family looked after.
2018 the highest referee and responsible for the direction and the assignment of the referees at the “White Bear” is again Sven Uentzelmann. Born in Bremen he is a member of the GFA teaching team and of the GFA referees, holds an international licence of the pentathlon world union UIPM and trains coaches and referees for several associations. Besides assignments at World and European championships, the Olympic Games were a highlight of his experiences. He has been loyal to the “Bear” for 26 years now and was first taking part as sportsmen and trainer, then as referee and now as the referee person in charge.
Who wants to apply as referee for the “White Bear” is welcome to use this contact E-mail address: contact[at]bearfencing-berlin.de.
Who is interested in a referee training or a further education can get more information from the training warden of the Berlin Fencing Association, Karsten May: lehrwart[at]berliner-fechterbund.de