|Referees at a clinic in Austria|
From 5-6 October, FIBA Europe Referee Coach Uli Sledz was present at the pre-Season- clinic for Austrian First and Second Division referees and commissioners which was held in Vienna.
One main focus was set on mechanics. Sledz explained the principles of three-person officiating, covering every position and the areas of responsibility and competence.
"Mechanics and movement according to the game are the main key for taking correct decisions and for being successful as a team on the court," Sledz pointed out.
Sledz, who had recently been at EuroBasket 2013 in Slovenia, used a number of video clips to show the various aspects of positioning and movement of the referees during a game. In a practical assessment in the gym the referees could experience the benefits and challenges of 3PO as Sledz presented guidelines on how to act and to move in specific situations.
"This training in the gym is an invaluable chance for the referees because they can actually ‘feel' where they need to go in order to have the best position to make decisions and not just read it in the mechanics book," commented Sledz.
The second point of emphasis was the conduction of the pre-game conference and the post-game debriefing. Sledz emphasised the importance of a good pre-game conference for a decent team performance.
He advised the 42 referees and commissioners not only about the topics to be covered during the pre-game, but he also stressed the way it should be led and moderated by the crew chief, incorporating their partners and making every referee be an active part of it.
This was illustrated by a role play of Sledz together with different Austrian referees to help the group understand that the style of communication is the main factor for the success of the pre-game.
Sledz also talked about coaching and the debriefing after the game. He highlighted that the members of the crew should be honest with each other in discussing how they felt during the game, reflecting their own performance and giving feedback to the partners about how they saw their work and their participation and input to the game. Finally, he explained how the Coaches should work with the Referees after the game giving feedback, but not interfering and instead encouraging the Referees to talk openly to each other.
Additionally Sledz visited two First Division games in Austria and analysed one of them together with the whole group showing clips which were captured with the FIBA Europe Observer Programme.
"I was very satisfied about the level of participation and the active contribution of the group in Austria, which consisted of very young ambituous referees as well as very experienced referees who have worked at this level for a long time.
"Both of them showed that they were willing to learn and they put in a lot of questions and situations from their own games which we could clarify together. We worked in small groups which led to lively discussions. Every referee could take his share.
"Now it will be fundamental that referees and commissioners take this as a first step and continue working hard and never stop learning," said Sledz in conclusion at the end of the two-day clinic in the University Sports Center of Vienna.