Dave takes to the field on world cup stage in Malaysia

Touch Football World Cup referees in Malaysia including Dave Field from Coral Cove
Touch Football World Cup referees at the World Cup in Malaysia with Dave Field from Coral Cove second from left.

Representing Australia was a proud moment for Coral Cove resident Dave Field when he officiated at the Touch Football World Cup in Malaysia as a high-performance referee adviser.

Dave is referees director for Queensland Touch Football, a high-performance referee adviser for Touch Football Australia and serves on the international federation’s Referees Commission.

When he's not involved with touch football, Dave is working as Bundaberg Regional Council’s sport and recreation coordinator.

“The World Cup events are treated just like the Olympics with an opening ceremony and lots of hype,” Dave said.

“I was part of a team assessing and evaluating the 127 international referees to determine who would be appointed to the grand final games.

“During the six-day event there were around 500 games with 41 nations attending and the games were played in extreme heat conditions.

“Each day we watched the games and coached the referees on how to achieve the best outcomes.”

Touch football referee Dave Field
Touch football referees official Dave Field wearing his Australian Blazer.

Dave’s involvement with touch football started in 1981 as a representative player and ended in 1993 when injuries forced him to retire. He wanted to continue in the sport and became an official.

His experience as a referee includes games at World Cup level, Trans-Tasman and State of Origin games within Australia and overseas.

“Whether you’re a player or an official, it’s a privilege and an honour to wear the Australian blazer and represent your country,” Dave said.

“It’s a very special moment when you’re standing out in the middle of the field, looking out across the stadium and hearing your national anthem played.”

Dave said he has refereed some interesting games over the years and gets great satisfaction from his involvement in the sport.

“The Trans-Tasman battles in particular are really good. The players are very passionate and competitive which makes for a good game,” he said.

“You see many players come on the field with different expectations and all of them want to win. They try and influence the outcome in different ways.

“The younger referees we coach are reminded that we don’t make the rules but are responsible to enforce them.

“Their job requires snap decisions, which is a valuable skill they are learning as part of the process.”

Dave has made some great friendships through his involvement with touch football. He highly recommends it as a great family and social sport, with the capacity for higher level opportunities.

Touch Football World Cup

Australia won all three open events and the five seniors divisions at Putrajaya.

Australia retained its mantle as the world’s best by winning the Men’s Open division against long-time rivals New Zealand 4-3 in a titanic struggle.