Intense process underway to select 26 referees, with a 50:50 gender split, for Summer Olympics
SEOUL, Korea (Mar 28, 2023) – As the world’s elite Taekwondo athletes battle through the rankings on the path to Paris 2024, a related process is underway across five continents - the selection of the best and brightest of WT’s international referees, or IRs, to officiate the Olympics.
Over February and March, IR Selection and Training Camps have been held across the globe with the aim of choosing Taekwondo’s 60 best referees.
The camps, are just the first step in what will be the final selection of 26 IRs - 13 male, 13 female – for the Taekwondo competition in Paris.
It is a well-tested formula. This is the fifth series of Olympic Games IR Selection and Training Camps held by WT since the concept was pioneered in advance of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
As per previous camps, a list of qualified IRs who meet WT’s highest standards has been collected from Member National Association, after being reviewed and recommended by ad hoc committee appointed. Four camps have been held for WT’s five Continental Unions.
Though the locations were different, the education and selection methodologies were identical. Each camp lasted three days and consisted of the following tests: Scoring Test (20%); Games Management Test (60%); Competition Rules Test (Written: 10%); Oral English Test (10%).
In an innovation not used in previous Olympic camps, a state-of-the-art motor response device, Motion Tap, was used to systematically and accurately measure referees' agility, and responsiveness.
There is considerable depth of experience. Of the 60 IRs at the four camps, 17 had officiated at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. All the referees will have plentiful opportunities in the coming months to hone their craft. Upcoming top-tier events include the World Taekwondo Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan; the 2023 Grand Prix Series that takes place in, respectively, Italy, China, France and Great Britain; and next year's Continental Olympic Qualification Competitions. Only after the last of these events has finished will the final selection of the 26 Olympic referees be made.