Chantal Julien is no stranger to basketball at the highest level. The former French national league player has made a name for herself as one of FIBA Europe’s top referees, since qualifying in 1997.
Julien’s resume includes officiating the final of the 2002 World Championship for Women and 2004 Olympic Women’s final. In the 2004/2005 season, Julien will be the only female referee who will be on the active participation list for the FIBA Europe League.
“Chantal will be officiating on the opening night of the FIBA Europe League and has been selected for the Brighton Bears-Dexia Namur game,” said FIBA Europe’s referee co-ordinator Miguel Betancor. “She has been nominated on merit and because she has consistently shown that she is a top level referee.”
Julien has some experience of calling men’s international games and her first taste came during the 1997 Saporta Cup. Since then she has been a regular in FIBA Europe club competitions and has also officiated men’s national team games, most recently Germany v. Hungary in a Eurobasket 2005 qualification match-up.
Men and women games are different. I like to call both of them,” Julien told fibaeurope.com.
I like men’s games because it’s physical and spectacular. Women’s games are pleasant to call because of the quality of play (tactics, teamwork, smarts....) and more and more physical.
There is a lot of contact like the men during high level competitions like the World Championship. Some of the women can dunk. Under the basket, there is often fighting like in men’s games.”
Although calling men’s games provides a new challenge, it is her experience at the 2002 World Championship for Women which Julien calls her most precious.
“The best souvenir I have in my career is the World Championship for Women in China where I called the final with another woman referee.
This tournament was organised in a fantastic country with a different kind of life than in Europe. Asian people are very kind. We were 8 women during this competition and it was the first time in the history of FIBA. I’m proud about that.”