Margalingam passes away

Last Updated 28 February 2013, 16:57 IST

Parthasarathi Margalingam, one of India’s most respected volleyball referees and an authority on the rules of the game, passed away here on Wednesday night. He was 70.

Margalingam functioned at various levels as referee, referees’ instructor and member of the referees’ committee at the national and continental scenes, earning praise for the way in which he applied the rules and also for the manner in which he passed on his knowledge to the younger lot, eager to learn the finer points of the sport.
Margalingam represented Karnataka in volleyball and basketball before turning to officiating in 1969 because of an ankle injury. But he continued to represent his employers ITI in league matches.

He retired from ITI as deputy manager, EDP, in 1997.Margalingam became a national referee in 1971 and an international referee in 1980, after attending an international course in Chennai that proved to be a turning point in his career.

“I still remember that day,” said Stanley Levillard, vice-president of the Karnataka Volleyball Association and Margalingam’s long-time associate. “I was supposed to go for that course but instead I thought it will be better if he went because he was really good at what he did and also he was younger than me.”

Margalingam then went on to make a mark as a referee  and officiated in the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi. Even though he continued to climb up the ranks, becoming the FIVB Referees Instructor and part of the Asian Volleyball Confederation’s Referees’ committee, Margalingam remained grounded and spent a lot of time training referees in Bangalore on the rules of the sport.

“He knew each and every rule by-heart. To referees like us, he is god. He could make all the rules seem so simple even though they were not. We would not have been able to understand half of those rules but for Margalingam sir,” said national referee Anandan of the man who also served as the chairman, Referees’ Board, of the Karnataka Volleyball Association.

Levillard, who worked with Margalingam for over five decades, said: “He was a very disciplined man. He was one of those people who paid a lot of attention to detail and one of those rare people who loved understanding and teaching rules. He was well-versed in all the rules and he was always keeping up to date with the new rules. But the problem in India was that no one else was as interested...”

KVA and Volleyball Federation of India have condoled his demise.

(Published 28 February 2013, 16:57 IST)

Follow us on