With the end of the Second Clinic for National Instructors and Potential Referees last week in Las Palmas, the FIBA Europe Referee Department believes that a strong platform has been formed for the next 12 months to ensure the continuing development of officiating in Europe.
The clinics included speakers, observers and referees from Europe and beyond, but one person not from Europe also played a big role in the months leading up to the meeting.
Former FIBA Referee Geraldo Fontana from Brazil is no stranger to Europe, having assisted in various projects before. However, he was instrumental in assembling a large amount of material that was finally used in the 2010 Teaching Materials, the result of collaboration between FIBA Europe and FIBA Americas.
"This is not the first time we have been involved in this type of project, but the material improved every time. Where such ideas exist with this collaboration, we are ready to help, support and of course participate."
Fontana has just taken up a new role within FIBA Americas that will see him more heavily involved in developing officiating in that zone.
"These materials will definitely assist us in working towards consistency and a greater understanding for the referees of the challenges that exist for them in the modern game."
In closing the meeting FIBA Europe Referee Chief, Miguel Betancor told everyone: "This is an important time for officiating, especially in Europe. We have an opportunity with our instructors and these new materials to raise the level of officiating. With the numerous youth competitions this summer we will have one or two instructors at every tournament and the teaching materials can support their work."
He added, "We are also very pleased to have had Tommy Nunez and Ronnie Nunn (former NBA referees) here this year, along with Michael Schwarz from our Coaching Department. I am sure that their presence improved the level of our clinic and we would like them to be a regular feature in the future. These people are now part of our team to help officiating in Europe."
The 2010 Youth Championships begin on 14th July in Austria at the U20 European Championship Men Division B, and continue through 22nd August when the U16 European Championship Women, Division A and B play their championship games.