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Referees and Marshals

          In the beginning, there was boredom. Then there was finger jousting, and it was good. The finger jousters of the world prospered, and the matches were plentiful. Leisure jousters from across the lands enjoyed their entertaining and energy expending matches. These games were played out of the love of the sport, socialization, and physical exercise. That was until the competitor was born. Now a new age was approaching: an age where finger jousting wasn't just about fun; it was about victory.

          These competitors wanted to win at all costs. They trained night and day, perfected their techniques, and made finger jousting the biggest part of their lives. When two serious competitors entered the ring, neither wanted to leave without a win and a medal. For a while, competition was going well until the argument was brought into the arena. This caused problems for competitor, spectator, and tournament director alike since a victor could often not be decided. They needed a person or a group of persons that could arbitrate over the match and make sure that matches were fair yet still competitive. To do this they sent forth the existing mediator.

          The mediator's job was to guard the spoils and help solve arguments in spoils and leisure matches. Unfortunately, with his/her limited power and knowledge, the mediator had to evolve into what is now the referee. Referees were hand selected and trained professionally. Now referees are under the guidance of the WFJF, but our modern referee is not much different than the referee of old. They both have the bare basics: the rules, a stopwatch, and a whistle. However, our modern referees have learned from the lessons of the past to improve the sport's future.

          The modern referee is trained to work in groups whenever possible; that way there is a system of checks and balances. These groups are called referee teams. There are three different referee teams, and their variant is determined by the number of referees. The simplest is with one referee (1RT) officiating both competitors, watching the lances, and administrating the match. The second is with two referees (2RT) where each referee has a specific jouster, they both watch the lances, and they co-administrate the match. The best referee team has three referees (3RT). Two of the three referees watch a single person. The third is a special referee position called a marshal. The marshals job is to watch the lances and administrate the match; he/she is usually the most senior and experienced of th team. However, the marshal can be overruled jointly by the other two referees.

          Referees have to be unemotional, committed, and prepared to do their jobs. They have to be good role models and bring honor and justice to the WFJF. Many of these referees are former competitive finger jousters; some are even champions and leisurely challenge competitors. The referee is an honorable position and will always be appreciated in the world of finger jousting.

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