At each fight, a referee :
A squash competition would not exist without referee : We asked 5 questions to Marko Podgoršek (SVN) - WSF Referee and "Tournament Referee" for this event :
1. Marko, that will be the second time you come to referee the Open International de squash de Nantes. You were present at the very first edition in 2015 where the glass court was at Le Lieu Unique. What do you remember about this edition ?
The obvious things to remember are the stunningly beautifull city of Nantes and the amazing venue , Le Lieu Unique. But the thing which amazed me the most were the spectators! First thing about them was that the venue was practically sold out from the start of the event, which is amazing. But even more important than that was their attitude. They saluted every player, win or lose, with a huge round of applause and sincere admiration for their efforts.
2. You're going to be the "Tournament Referee" of this 3rd edition under the naves, what role do you will have in the refereeing team ?
My role as the Tournamen Referee will be to assign referees to matches and to liaise with PSA during the event. Besides that it is my responsibility to assist in solving any problems regarding refereeing, should they occur.
3. A new system of refereeing is gradually installed on the PSA World Tour : Central referee + video referee. This system will be applied in Nantes for this 3rd edition. What do you think of this evolution on the professional circuit ?
I have refereed quite a few matches as a Central referee with Video referee and I have to say I really liked it. It makes it easier for the Central Referee to controll the match, yet on the other hand gives a lot more significance to the role of Video Referee, compared to 3-referee system. Yes, there's a lot more pressure being alone in the Centre, but a good Video Referee makes a lot of difference.
4. You are Slovenian, squash is not very widespread in the country... Explain to us a little bit : What made you become one of the best referee in the world in squash ?
Unexpected sequence of events, actually. Back in the day every country which participated at the European Team Championship had to provide one referee, regardless of his/her standard. Being just shy of making the team I was sent as a referee to ETC in Vienna, where I overheard Italian referees discussing a refereeing course with an English assessor. I took part in that course, subsequently got invited by the Italian Squash Federation to the World Junior Championships in Milan later that year and so it began...
5. We're a little bit curious. WSF referee, is it your real job ? Is it possible to be a squash referee at full-time ? Or do you have a professional activity in parallel ?
There aren't any professional squash referees. We get our expenses covered and with some extras, but to make a living on that is absolutely impossible. So all referees are either allready retired or have careers back home. So not a single one of us does it for the money - we all do it for the love of squash, travelling and meeting amazing people allower the world.