|FIBA Europe Head of Referee Department Richard Stokes was at hand at the pre-season meeting of Ukrainian officals in Kíev to talk about a variety of topis and introduce the new FIBA Europe teaching materials|
With the Ukrainian Superleague already having played three rounds since the start of the season, it has been one of the first leagues in Europe to begin their current championship.
As in most countries, the referees and commissioners attended a pre-season meeting at the University for Physical Education in Kiev in mid-September, only a stone's throw from the stadium that played host the UEFA's Euro competition this summer.
After the Ukrainian Basketball Federation's successful bid for EuroBasket 2015, the federation and the clubs are constantly trying to look for ways to move the sport forward.
Richard Stokes from the FIBA Europe Referee Department was invited to conduct a series of lectures during the officials' pre-season meeting. The federation has made bold plans to improve the infrastructure for 2015 with new arenas that will also be used in the club competitions and so the future of the national leagues seems to be moving forwards.
Stokes commented, "The facilities for the pre-season meeting were ideal, in fact some of the best that I have seen within a university. With multi-media support including 5 large video screens, all of the attendees were able to really get involved in the meetings". As part of his sessions over two days, Stokes covered Mechanics, Game Management, Dealing with Conflict and Communication within his presentations.
"Ukrainian basketball now has a strong presence in the club competitions at the highest levels and with the national teams having qualified for the both EuroBasket competitions in 2013, the future looks bright. Likewise with their officiating there is a lot of younger referees who want to climb the ladder, they have had some excellent role models in recent years with Ukrainian officials going to major championships in Europe and also on the World stage. We have also seen a number of the younger referees at camps and clinics around Europe".
The meeting was led by former FIBA Referee and current FIBA Commissioner, Volodymyr Drabikovsky, who is himself a former referee at EuroBasket level and also included presentations on tactics from the coaches in order to increase the knowledge of the game for the officials. Drabikovsky commented, "We must understand what the players and coaches are trying to do on the court, our game knowledge is very important and we must continue to work on this". Stokes added, "Referees must continually work to see what the current coaching and playing philosophies are and it was great to see this meeting move in that direction with a Coach giving his point of view. This can only help everyone's understanding of the game".