|20 August 2010|
FIBA Europe added a new dimension for the teams and referees participating in the recent Wheelchair Basketball World Championships 2010, held in Birmingham, Great Britain.
Following his recent attendance as a guest at this summer's FIBA Europe Instructors' clinic in Las Palmas, Spain, Norbert Kucera, President of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) Technical Commission, was keen to utilise the new technology for the wheelchair game.
Two technical staff were duly dispatched to Birmingham to assist him in is work with very positive results.
"The level of knowledge of the technical staff was outstanding and the cooperation was fantastic," commented Kucera. "If all partnerships would work so effective and smooth, we could all be happy.
"Due to other commitments we were able to only cover three full days of our tournament with observation and post-game work, using the Digital Score Sheet (DSS) and Observer Programme. The referees bought into this project and they felt like they were treated with the best and highest quality type of feedback we can offer. The motivation therefore grew and contributed to the success of this tournament.
"It was great that this co-operation with IWBF Europe was possible and we are very grateful to [FIBA Europe Secretary General] Nar Zanolin and [FIBA Europe Referee Co-ordinator] Miguel Betancor for making this happen."
Betancor was also pleased. "This technology is for everyone who wants to develop the game and especially officiating, whether its the running game of the wheelchair game, this technology is easily transferable," he said. "It was great to have Norbert at our last meeting, so that he can share in our ideas and projects first hand."
IWBF Secretary General Ron Coppenrath added: "Some weeks ago I discussed the possibility of utilising this technology with Miguel Betancor. During a visit to Munich we looked in more detail with Richard Stokes from the FIBA Europe Referee Department at the logistics of getting the technical staff to our event and making sure that they were still available for the FIBA Europe events. Richard and I were able to find a space in the calendar that suited everyone and the benefit has been there to see. It also fits well with our own technology projects and I look forward to more cooperation in the future on this scale." The DSS and Observer Programme is being utilised at many of the FIBA Europe Youth Competitions this summer.