As part of our continuing effort to service and educate our membership, each Thursday the U.S. Soccer Communications Center will send out an informative article from one of its departments. Once a week, we will post an article/paper/essay that will hopefully enhance your enjoyment and knowledge of the game of soccer - on and off the field.
Today, we introduce you to Brian Hall, who will be one of 72 referees at the FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan.
USA’s BRIAN HALL ONE OF 72 REFEREES PREPARING FOR WORLD CUP IN KOREA/JAPAN
Hall Will Submit Updates, Commentary to ussoccer.com During the World Cup
With the World Cup less than one month away, the U.S. Men’s National Team gathered this week for a training camp in Cary, N.C. But Bruce Arena’s squad will not be the only U.S. representatives in Korea/Japan this summer.
Brian Hall, of Gilroy, California, was appointed by FIFA as one of 36 referees (along with 36 referee assistants) that will officiate at the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan from May 31 to June 30. The appointment of Hall, who has been a FIFA official since 1992, extends an impressive streak for U.S. officials - the United States has been represented by an official at six consecutive World Cup tournaments. Hall will also celebrate his 41st birthday during the tournament on June 5.
“I am extremely excited and honored to be a part of World Cup 2002,” said Hall. “To be selected to be a part of the biggest sporting event in the world is in many ways the ultimate compliment and the ultimate reward. Representing the United States at the World Cup will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of my career as a referee.”
As part of his preparation for the 2002 FIFA World Cup, U.S. Soccer referee Hall joined the 71 other referees selected for World Cup duty in a special FIFA Referee Fitness Program in Seoul, Korea, from March 21 – 23. The project included fitness tests and also set up fitness training schedules for the referees to follow until they return to Korea/Japan in mid-May.
Using a modern scientific approach, the FIFA Referee Fitness Program is a first for FIFA. It will be pivotal in ensuring that every referee and assistant referee arrives in Korea and Japan in peak condition for the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
In Seoul, each referee and each assistant referee was given a daily training schedule, a heart monitor and a watch. Upon returning to their respective countries, the referees began their prescribed training regimen.
The referees wear the monitors and watches in each workout, as well as during matches they referee. The watches store information that the monitor produces, and every two weeks Hall and the other referees send that information back to Belgium, where the leaders of the fitness program analyze the results and make alterations to the referee’s training regimens.
The three-day fitness forum in Seoul concluded with fitness tests on the final day. The testing mirrored the National Referee tests: a 12-minute run, two 200-yard sprints and two 50-yard sprints. Each of the 72 referees passed the tests without problems.
“The most difficult part was the night before the tests, because everyone was a little nervous,” said Hall. “We’ve all passed these tests many times before, but never right before the World Cup. You don’t want to pull a muscle or come up lame right before the biggest tournament of your life.”
This fitness program will continue until the referees leave for Korea in mid-May.
While in Korea/Japan for the World Cup, Brian Hall will be submitting periodic updates to ussoccer.com, the premier destination for U.S. World Cup Team information during the FIFA World Cup. In May, ussoccer.com will launch a “World Cup Plus” section that will feature expert analysis, daily updates, World Cup history, and much more information on the U.S. Team and the World Cup tournament. Quote sheets, player features, training camp notes, tournament & game recaps, as well as player and staff chats, player diaries and game analysis – it will all be available in a continuous stream of exclusive content available for U.S. Soccer fans and media at www.ussoccer.com.