Yesterday, Boccia New Zealand announced that New Zealander Paul Coffey had been appointed the Head Referee for the Asia & Oceania Boccia Teams / Pairs Championships scheduled for June 10 to 14 in Hong Kong at the Ma On Shan Sports Centre.
Outgoing New Zealand Boccia Director Luke Morriss said of Coffey’s selection, “Paul has an excellent reputation and is internationally regarded as one of the world’s top boccia referees. He has also recently been appointed to the international referees committee due to his vast officiating experience and history of successfully training new officials. We are extremely fortunate to have him in our ranks for local competitions as well.”
Dunede local Coffey has been an international referee since 2003, when Christchurch hosted the World Cup. He has been a volunteer in the sport since the mid 1990s, and has traveled the globe to officiate in the sport, going as far afield as Greece, Canada, Hong Kong, China, England, Australia and South Korea.
This competition is an important one for Asian and Oceania based boccia players as it is part of the qualifying path to the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio. The top finishing teams and pairs at competition automatically earn a qualifying spot for their country to Rio. The highest ranked athletes on the BISFed Boccia Individual World Ranking List as of April 30, 2016 obtain a qualification slot provided that their NPC has not obtained a qualification slot in the corresponding Team or Pairs event. The spots will be allocated based on availability of classification spots.