Flashback: Friendship for all parties of the game

Photo: Referees Jonas Primdahl (left) and Lasse Wahlstrøm (right) receiving medals for being referees in the U-16 boys A final on Saturday.

Many words have been said and written about the many handball teams participating in Generation Handball 2017. However, we must remember another important party of the game: The referees. You see, friendship is just as important to the referees as it is to the teams. After the U-16 boys A final on Saturday, we had a talk with the referees of the match Jonas Primdahl and Lasse Wahlstrøm.

Friendship and partnership
“It means a lot to our referee partnership that we are also good friends outside the handball court,” said Jonas Primdahl. When asked if they believe that their friendship makes them better referee partners, they were quick to confirm.
Lasse Wahlstrøm elaborated: “We know that we can count on each other.”
The two referees have been referee partners for three years. Right now, they are referees in the Danish second division, and their goal is simply to get as good as possible.

“Honesty is of great importance to us. It means a lot to us both as friends and as referees,” said Jonas Primdahl.
Lasse Wahlstrøm agreed: “We have to be able to work constructively. Otherwise, we will not get better or develop as referees.”
Their friendship creates a safe space for feedback, and during our conversation, their joking comments to each other certified that they have a great partnership and friendship. This is indeed in the spirit of Generation Handball.
Lasse Wahlstrøm continued: “It has to be OK to let each other know if we have made a mistake. Just be honest, speak your mind!”
“Honesty is important. It’s connected to being loyal to each other. That we dare to speak our minds,” added Jonas Primdahl.

Generation Handball as a professional lead up
There is no doubt that Generation Handball with its timing in week 31 is a great lead up for Jonas Primdahl and Lasse Wahlstrøm.

“Like the teams, we also need to get back in the game after the holiday so that we will be ready for the season,” said Lasse Wahlstrøm.
“For example, we were referees in one of the show matches with a national league team vs. a first division team. During the game, our referee colleagues watched, and afterwards, we had a very constructive talk, which is something that helps us develop,” added Jonas Primdahl.

The social aspect is the best thing
To the referees, the social aspect is the best thing about Generation Handball. Like many of the other participants, the 43 referees also stayed at the festival the entire week, which brought all the referees closer as they had plenty of time to talk and get to know each other.

“Normally, you just go to the hall and maybe say a quick hi to your referee colleagues, and then you go home again after the match,” said Jonas Primdahl.
Actually, the referees only meet a few evenings during the year at mandatory courses, which makes the social aspect of Generation Handball very attractive.

“The social aspect is the main reason for why we want to come to Generation Handball,” said Jonas Primdahl. Lasse Wahlstrøm added: “Other than that, it is also funny that we meet teams from other countries.”

Jonas Primdahl has participated as referee all four years of Generation Handball, and when asked if they will participate in Generation Handball 2018, the answer from the two referees – and friends – is clear: “We’ll definitely do everything we can to be here next year! We would love to participate!”