|Referees in attendance at the Dubrovnik clinic|
At the beginning of June, 53 of Europe's youngest FIBA referees gathered in the Croatian coastal city of Dubrovnik as part of the annual programme for potential referees and national instructors which is now in its 8th year.
The officials gathered to participate in two identical clinics designed to prepare them for the forthcoming season, where they will be working each week with their own referee coach who will support and mentor them as the season unfolds.
Each coach will have six to seven referees under their care and will work with the officials to maximise their development and progress during the course of club and national team competitions.
Held at the Valamar Hotel in Dubrovnik, the three-day programme included theory and practical officiating sessions, offering a wide variety of learning opportunities for those present.
Head of FIBA Europe's Referee Department Richard Stokes commented, "This programme continues to be a cornerstone of our work in officiating with our FIBA Referees in Europe. Alan Richardson, Davorin Nakic and I felt it was essential that we offered the officials a number of different viewpoints from a practical officiating viewpoint, as well as giving the referees and instructors some additional advice in both physical and mental preparation.
"Therefore our use of sports psychologists, physiologists and officials from other sports, as well as expert speakers from our basketball community formed the basis of these meetings in Dubrovnik."
|FIBA Head of Refereeing Carl Jungebrand|
Stokes then continued by explaining, "Our physiologist Alejandro Vaquera, who is now also working with FIBA, is a regular contributor to these meetings, but we were very lucky to also have former FIFA referee Roberto Rosetti from Italy as one of our speakers, along with sports psychologist Dubravka Martinovic. Both gave excellent presentations on the preparation and necessary qualities that our officials must possess. In addition we welcomed back former NBA referee Ronnie Nunn who has also been a regular both here and in our top competitions such as EuroBasket."
Also present from FIBA were Carl Jungebrand and Lubomir Kotleba. Speaking following the clinic, Jungebrand commented that "It was a good clinic organised within the framework of the ‘Standard Quality Global Connection' - our centralised and co-ordinated referee strategy plan for the next ten years.
"As is a trademark of FIBA Europe referee clinics, the programme was well analysed in advance and well prepared. I believe everybody got something out of it."
Additionally, professional basketball coach Saso Filipovski was on hand in the practical sessions, demonstrating the more technical aspects of player movement and contact that is both coached and employed by players during the game.
"It was my pleasure to be part of the clinic held in the very beautiful city of Dubrovnik," enthused Filipovski.
"It was very productive with very good referee coaches who were systematical in their approach to their teachings and it was great to witness basketball from a different perspective," the coach went on to explain.
|Saso Filipovski helping out at the annual FIBA Europe referee clinic|
"He is very hands on and interactive in his presentations, explaining by personal demonstration his concerns about officiating specific plays from referee versus coach perspectives," commented Alan Richardson in relation to Filipovski adding, "the referees and instructors in both Dubrovnik clinics learnt a great deal from his sessions."
During the course of the programme, all of the attending referees officiated games involving top-level junior teams, and these were also used as a workshop for the national instructors to analyse the performance of the officials, as well as creating a workshop where this analysis could be turned into feedback, which in turn was also assessed by the FIBA Europe Referee Department.
Stokes commented further, "These are intensive clinics where we demand a lot from those present. The days are long, but also valuable and we can for sure learn some skills from other sports such as football.
"Roberto Rosetti gave us an excellent insight into what is required in football, but skills such as teamwork, awareness, communication and game management exist in all forms of officiating. We must be ready and willing to listen and learn from others wherever and whenever possible. If we stop learning, or our officials stop learning, we will go backwards.
"Basketball is developing at a tremendous rate on the court and we have to work hard to keep pace with this. The programme in Dubrovnik is part of this and many officials who have passed through this in the last few years have gone on to Final Fours, EuroBaskets and now World Championships, which is a strong reflection of the work which we are carrying out."