Referees Don’t Take Anything For Granted

16 July 2011

Referees

FIBA Europe Instructor Rui Valente
FIBA Europe Instructor Rui Valente reviewing some specific calls of the last game day

Athletes need to practice if they want to become better.

A basketball player spends countless hours running, working out in the weight room and of course in the gym, alone or with his teammates.

Even the biggest talents will tell you that without practice they would not be anywhere close to where they are.

As they say: practice makes perfect.

It is exactly this practice that the referees at the U20 European Championship Women have to go through every day.

First, there is running. In order to being able to keep pace with the athletes, referees need to be in great shape.

But more important to their performance are the daily meetings with their FIBA Europe referee instructors.

In long night shifts, the instructors prepare clips with good and bad calls, to give feedback to the referees while the impressions of the games are still fresh.

"The morning meetings really help us referees a lot" states Snehal Bendke, a FIBA referee from India, who is a guest referee from the FIBA Asia zone this summer.

"Especially for me, coming from a different background, the meetings help a lot to be able to adapt to the European style of play and to work better with my European colleagues" she explains.

While having refereed in the first Indian Division and several FIBA Asia championships, this is her first European experience and she clearly enjoys it.

"Everybody has been really cooperative and I totally feel as part of the group."

Snehal Bendke & Milan Mazic
Snehal Bendke & Milan Mazic at the daily morning meeting in Novi Sad

She is not the only newcomer though, since one of the aims is to make long-time FIBA referees and freshmen work together like a perfect unit.

"I am a FIBA referee for 11 years" says Milan Mazic, one of the experienced referees in the group, "but I still have to come here ready to learn."

"This might not be the same level of games as with the seniors, but as a referee you cannot act like your level is higher than the one of the players, otherwise you destroy the game."

"All of us have to constantly learn. We are a group of mixed age and nationalities but still have to perform the same standard" he concludes.

While the players are getting ready for the final stages of the U20 European Championship Women, so do the referees, knowing that it is only the next step in their constant development.


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