|Bulgarian league referees and commissioners gathered in Samakov for the pre-season national clinic|
National League referees and commissioners from across Bulgaria gathered in the mountains close to Samakov in early October to prepare for the forthcoming season.
The two-day clinic was also attended by FIBA Europe Instructor Richard Stokes who was also able to see a number young referees put through their paces during a non-competition game on the first day.
"It was really pleasing to see that the Bulgarian federation is investing in young officials," Stokes commented.
"Of course they have a lot of experienced officials as well, but they are preparing well for the future".
On the second day a number of club coaches attending the clinic and the Head of FIBA Europe Competitions and Referees Department made a joint presentation to both the officials and the coaches of the men's and women's clubs on the relationship of referees, coaches and players.
"All the participants are under pressure to perform in every game. In the end we are all human and humans make mistakes," Stokes acknowledged.
"The most important aspect is preparing well and reducing the errors as much as possible. This is needed if both referees and teams are to be successful.
"With hard work and effort, respect can be gained on both sides and a good working relationship can exist, even in the highest level of competition."
Stokes also made presentations on 3-Person Officiating and gave video feedback to the officials that worked the game on the first day, using the FIBA Europe Observer Programme.
Stokes explained the benefits of using the software solution which has now become an indispensable tool in referee training all over Europe.
"This technology enables us to give direct feedback after the game if necessary and we can quickly identify key areas for improvement," he said.
"When presented with video clips you can see the reality of your officiating and receive the most objective type of feedback.
The Bulgarian women's national league started on 13th October and the men's competition tips off on 19th October.