Mirko Palačković “I fell in love with the game”

Mirko Palačković Refereeing is a way.png

 The Slovenian EHF handball referee Mirko Palačković started playing handball by the age of 11. And it’s safe to say it’s been a lasting love affair since then. Today Mirko is 37 and his love for handball doesn’t seem to be fading anytime soon. In this profile piece you will be given the chance to get to know this referee better and truly see a man with a passion for his favourite sport!

Mirko works as a referee for the European Handball Federation, which is the umbrella organization for all the handball in Europe. And why handball, you might ask? Well, except for being an immensely popular sport all over the world the incitement for Mirko was emotional. -I started playing handball when I was 11 years old. I fell in love and it’s a love that hasn't faded since. Back in 2003 I decided to become a referee. That means I will come of age as a referee next year, Mirko says laughingly. 

Love isn’t always easy

Challenges exist in every sport and for every referee. Love, unfortunately, doesn't put a stop to that. To be a referee is an honor and a great responsibility. According to Mirko, you’re not only responsible for ensuring that the game is played right but also to protect the players. The referees are appointed at the matches in order to protect the health of the players and our beautiful game through the rules of the game. Of course, in matches or competitions such as tournaments, we are often exposed to big stress and pressure, as well as the management of difficult situations. To be able to do that, to protect the game as well as you can, preparation and focus is key for any referee. Mirko is an analytical person and uses video to analyze his performance and actions before an important game. Preparations for each match begin soon after the nomination, starting with obtaining video material and preparing video analysis. Maximum focus and rest and mental peace are important on the day of the match.

“Handball is a very dynamic, fast and hard game”

When it heats up and the game starts it’s all hands on deck. We asked Mirko what the most important thing to think about during the game is, and he simply replied that he has no time to think. We don't have time to think too much during the match, because handball is a very dynamic fast and hard game, so the key is the above-mentioned good preparation for the match and most importantly, to maintain maximum focus through 60 minutes and calm nerves.

Can anyone be a referee?

Refereeing is a way of life and, as with everything, you need constantly to learn and consolidate throughout your career path. Of course, you have to be the right person for the job, just as not everyone can be a pilot or a top handball player. Training for physical preparation, mental training and a lot of self-analysis are key, because only in this way can you control and lead this emotional and beautiful game.

The tools to make you better 

As we previously mentioned, Mirko analyzes himself by using video footage from previous games. But that’s not the only tech tool he uses to perform better as a better referee. -I had been using the Spintso REFCOM headset system for more than two years. Certainly the REFCOM headset system is an indispensable part of refereeing equipment in dealing with difficult situations during the handball game. Excellent equipment and system as well as professional service by Spintso experts is highly recommended.

Here at Spintso we do our best to facilitate an easier match for our referees. And watching people as passionate as Mirko makes our job a whole lot easier as well. We thank you for your time Mirko and wish you all the best!

Mirko Palačković “I fell in love with the game”