Jersey Open Tournament Director


 Denis Le Breuilly

Denis is Jersey born and started playing and coaching volleyball when he began teaching, as Head of Geography, at De La Salle College inJersey, his former school. He founded the Jersey Volleyball Association in 1978 and then the Jersey Open. Having acquired considerable experience, as Jersey Open Tournament Director and as an Executive Member of the Jersey Island Games Association, whenJerseyhosted the Island Games in 1987 he was appointed as Director for Volleyball. At other Games he has also been invited by the hostIslandsas Chief Official, responsible for the selection and appointment of referees. The Island Games host approaching 3000 competitors over a considerable range of international sports.

 After founding the Jersey Volleyball Association and refereeing at local level, Denis commenced officiating at ‘mainland’ and European Tournaments in 1982, his first being the Whitefield Tournament. Following eighteen months of tournament refereeing, at a time when there were numerous strong tournaments, he was appointed as 1st Referee for the 1984 Women’s National Cup Final between Hillingdon and Spark. Officiating a National Cup Final without previously having officiated in the National League was a unique achievement unlikely to be repeated. In his first match in 1984 Denis also achieved another distinction, being appointed as 1stReferee for a National Division One match, a level not usually achieved without several years of experience in the lower divisions. He rapidly progressed through the referee grades and as a NationalReferee was appointed to Home Internationals and the World Schools’ Championships inTurkey . Though he started his refereeing career taking two eight/ten hour ferry trips in a weekend, ‘Have whistle, will travel’ as he was once dubbed, has in recent years flown regularly to the mainland to officiate in the National League. Having to cover the cost of his own flights he pays more to referee a match than the expenses claimed from teams!

In 1992 Le Breuilly qualified as an ‘International Sports Organisation for the Disabled’ InternationalRefereeand as well as Open Tournaments inHollandandGermanywas appointed by the ‘World Organisation for Volleyball for the Disabled’ to the World Sitting Championships in The Netherlands and the Paralympics Qualifying Standing Tournament inMontreal. At the latter he was assessed as the top referee and appointed to refereeCanadaversusUSA, who were playing for a place at the Sydney Paralympics. Unfortunately because of work commitments, in his new post as Library and Resources Manager at De La Salle College, he was unable to take up his appointment as a National Technical Officer inSydney. Denis is the only BritishReferee, and possibly only one of a handful in the world, who has officiated International matches under FIVB, Beach, Sitting and Standing Disabled Rules – having also refereed a European Beach Grand Prix.

During the Paralympics inSydneythe General Assembly of the ‘World Organisation for Volleyball for the Disabled’ appointed him as Chairman of the Rules Commission. As part of that role he has been responsible for the adaptation of the Rules for both Sitting and Standing Volleyball, following the major changes which have been introduced by the FIVB in recent years. He is now also a Technical Officer within the WOVD Competitions Department Cup Commission and a former Chairman of the Constitution Working Group.

A measure of Denis’s commitment to volleyball is evident in the fact that following the 2001 Whitefield tournament he drove from Bath, with his wife Pauline, to Sarospatak in eastern Hungarynear the border with the Ukrainefor the European Sitting Championships. It was the only way he could accept the appointment, having already made arrangements to tour the continent in the new family motorhome.  In Hungaryhe was appointed 1st Referee for the Women’s European Cup Final. The European Championships were followed later in the year by appointment to the World Cup for Standing Volleyball (Men) in Slovakia , where he was appointed as 1st Referee for both the semi-final and final. In the semi-final, Paralympic Champions Germany beat World Champions Poland 15-13 in the 5th set after 2hrs 15min. Total points being 108 to 107! After the semi-final the final could have been an anti-climax, but far from it! Hosts Slovakia defeated Germany 18-16 in the 5th after 2hrs 30min, the final set lasting 25 min. Both matches proved among the best in the history of the game.

Refereeing both European and World Cup Finals, in Sitting and Standing Disabled Volleyball respectively, during the same year as being appointed first referee for the National Men’s Cup Final, proved a fitting climax to Le Breuilly’s WOVD International career. Having reached the age limit, he has been forced to retire from international duties. Whilst inSlovakiaLe Breuilly was honoured by the ‘World Organisation for Volleyball for the Disabled’, with a presentation in recognition of his contribution to Disabled Volleyball.

Since retirement as an InternationalReferee, Denis has been able to accept more administrative roles within the EVA/Volleyball England. As a member of the Staff Directorate he is responsible for coordinating the Observation/Evaluation Reports received from StaffReferees and Observers, which are the main evidence on whichRefereegrades are based. He is a member ofRefereeCommission and his main role at the present time is as Director forRefereeDevelopment, including Junior Referee Development. Last year he was appointed by WOVD as a Jury Member andRefereeObserver/Assessor for the Trio World Championships (Standing, Women’s Sitting and Men’s Sitting) in Roermond, The Netherlands, in June. From then until December 2006 he was Acting General Manager for WOVD.

In September 2007 Denis was appointed by the Board of Administration of WOVD as Referee Commission Secretary, which encompasses his role of Chairman of the Rules Commission. He has also been responsible for the re-writing of the WOVD Constitution prior to the next General Assembly in 2008. In November he was appointed as Judge Referee for the Afro Arab Championships held as part of the Pan Arab Games in Cairo, an event attended by the Presidents of twelve Arab Nations. He was appointed Technical Delegate, responsible for the 1st WOVD Intercontinental Cup held inIsmailia,Egypt , last month – an event involving nineteen international teams, more than in the Paralympics. Denis has also been honoured with an appointment to the Beijing Paralympics where he will be a Judge Refere/ Referee Observer and Jury Member.

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