As a herald of the new season, Europe's leading referees are meeting in Switzerland this week to prepare for impending assignments in UEFA's club and national team competitions.
Europe's leading match officials are in Switzerland this week for the 2011 edition of the summer gathering for top UEFA referees. The annual get-together, which serves as preparation for the new season's assignments in the UEFA club and national team competitions, takes place both in Geneva and at UEFA's Nyon headquarters.
Running from Monday to Wednesday, it will provide a total of 99 elite, elite development or first category referees with instruction and guidance to assist them in their crucial roles this term, as well as with a test of their physical conditioning.
From the opening address to be given by the chairman of the UEFA Referees Committee, Ángel María Villar Llona, to a presentation by UEFA's chief refereeing officer Pierluigi Collina, the referees will receive advice from Referees Committee members and professional experts.
A busy agenda will include discussions on the referee communication system, handball, offside, teamwork between officials and unsporting behaviour, plus a review of last season and a presentation of guidelines for the 2011/12 campaign.
The delegates, comprising 23 referees from the elite category, 11 from elite development and 65 from the first category, will also be split into working groups before receiving feedback in plenary sessions.
In addition, given the demands on officials to maintain an optimal physical condition in order to cope with the pace of the modern game, the referees will undertake a fitness test lasting 90 minutes and have their fitness assessed.