|The participants of the 2010-11 Candidate Clinic for FIBA Referees in Europe had to undergo physical and medical tests before the theoretical exams|
The second stage of the 2010-11 FIBA Europe Candidate Clinic for FIBA Referees concluded on Saturday, with the title game of the prestigious U16 Turk Telekom Tournament in Gaziantep, Turkey.
The candidates completed physical and medical tests earlier in the week and their theory examinations on Thursday, while Friday and Saturday saw the Semi-Final and Final rounds of the 12-team tournament along with the placement games, all officiated by the aspiring international referees.
Turkey could not complete the tournament unbeaten, losing a close game to China in the final, but the FIBA Europe Referee Department was satisfied with the officiating in the tournament.
"We were honoured to be able to come here at the invitation of the Turkish Federation and be able to use these games to observe and evaluate the referees," commented Richard Stokes, from the FIBA Europe Referee and Competition Departments.
"However it was equally important that the games were officiated well and that the referees allowed the skill of the players to decide the outcome of the games - as in any basketball contest.
"As we hoped, because of the level of competition, we have a good picture of the candidates' abilities and we were satisfied with the level of officiating here.
"The referees who qualify from Gaziantep are now at the bottom step of another ladder. The one that could allow them to officiate at all levels in FIBA competitions.
"If we look back the first clinics that (FIBA Europe Referee Co-ordinator) Miguel Betancor and I were involved in since 2005, we have seen a number of such candidates rise to the top of club and national team competitions. I am sure that some of these referees will have the possibility to climb the same ladder," concluded Stokes.
With the recent recommendation by the FIBA Europe Technical Commission to have all FIBA Europe Competitions with Three Person Officiating (3PO), some of the referees that qualify from Gaziantep will have the chance to prove their ability once again, this summer.
All FIBA Europe Youth Competitions this summer will have 3PO and all FIBA Europe Club and National Team Competitions will have 3PO from the 2011-12 season onwards.
Whatever the level of competition, it looks to be a busy 12 months ahead for FIBA referees in Europe.