|Richard Stokes opens the 2013 Las Palmas clinics for Instructors and Potential Referees|
Approximately 50 FIBA Referees and National Referee Instructors attended week one of the annual clinics for Instructors and Potential Referees in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria, which finished last weekend.
The annual clinics support the development work undertaken in each of FIBA Europe's 51 member federations and offer tools, advice and discussion on a wide range of aspects connected to officiating.
Guest speakers this year included Carl Jungebrand, the newly appointed Head of Refereeing for FIBA, Business Coaching consultant Juan Ferrer plus a number of other staff and consultants from within the FIBA Europe Referee Department.
Head of the FIBA Europe Referee Department Richard Stokes commented, "We have changed the structure of the meetings this year to allow much more discussion and sharing of ideas from those attending the clinics.
"We need to fully understand exactly how we can help the Instructors in their role as well reviewing the current issues that our officials face in applying the current rules and interpretations. With this, we can ensure that we communicate a clear vision to all referees and instructors and also pass on any concerns or issues to FIBA via the World Technical Commission.
"We have also looked at how we can work with the national referees that attend these clinics and in some part we have decided on a parallel programme for them as their needs can be different to those in international competition, although they of course may have aspirations in the same direction to officiate at that level," Stokes concluded.
Alan Richardson and Davorin Nakic, both consultants to the FIBA Europe Referee Department, were also involved in delivering lectures and facilitating the discussion groups.
Both were very pleased with the new format and the inclusion of additional speakers who have been working with the potential referees in the last few seasons.
Richardson added, "Uli Sledz and Todd Warnick along with our other Referee Coaches have made a valuable contribution in working with our referees. All of our Referee Coaches make a big commitment to support this group, without which we would not be able to see such good officials developing.
"It was especially pleasing to see these people now presenting to a wider audience as we are aiming not only to improve the level of officiating, but also the level of our team that delivers this. We have to coach the referees of course, but also coach the Coaches to ensure we are continually moving forward."
The second clinic in Gran Canaria started on Thursday and will finish on Saturday.