For the first time FIBA Europe has incorporated a tournament clinic for referees nominated to EuroBasket.
The first phase of the clinic started in Menorca during the three days of the Additional Qualifying Tournament, and continued in each of the cities for the preliminary round, under the guidance of four instructors at each venue.
Daily meetings to review the quality of the officiating are the mainstay of the programme, and all performances of the referees are closely analysed to ensure that not only is there a high level of officiating, but consistency in every game, no matter who the officials may be.
FIBA Europe Referee Department Co-ordinator Miguel Betancor commented, "We were very satisfied with the officiating in the preliminary round, and have made a very good start here in Madrid for the Qualifying Round".
"It is clear that the referees are working hard to apply everything that we discuss. However our role here is to mentor and coach the referees, and to make them the 17th team in the EuroBasket. We must support them, by giving quality feedback every day, and we are using the latest technology such as our Digital Scoresheet and Observer Programme to do just that".
The programme began in Menorca, where the referees received lectures in physical conditioning specific for this tournament, as well as lectures on psychology and of course officiating at the top level in Europe.
"We also combined the use of our new teaching materials which we produce for every international referee, these guys are no different, we need everyone to be on the same page," said Betancor.
"They are already officiating at a high level to be nominated for EuroBasket 2007," he added.
"But we must ensure that the officiating and the management of each game are at the highest level, because we have players and coaches from the highest level, not only in the European, but also on the world stage. European referees have a very good reputation outside of Europe, but it is vital that perform well at 'home' as well".
The programme will continue for the duration of EuroBasket, and a similar programme will be organised for EuroBasket Women in Italy, later this month.