|Richard Stokes at the pre-season clinic for referees and commissioners in Kyiv|
Head of the FIBA Europe Referee Department, Richard Stokes, visited Kyiv, Ukraine last week to assist in a pre-season clinic for approximately 60 referees and commissioners who officiate Ukrainian competitions.
Following on from recent work that was undertaken in Slovenia with Europe's best referees, Stokes was able to pass on a lot of what was learned at EuroBasket to help these officials prepare for the upcoming season.
He commented, "Whilst we were satisfied with officiating in Slovenia, we were also exposed to a number of different situations that affected both referees and commissioners.
"We are now in a position to pass this on to the other officials around Europe as well as reviewing others aspects of the game, to make sure we are continually moving forward with the development of the rules and the officials.
"Of course, with the Ukrainian national team making the EuroBasket quarter finals, it gives a great platform for basketball in this country for EuroBasket 2015.
"There are already plans in place for the infrastructure which will hopefully mean bigger crowds and more interest in the longer term.
"The officials from Ukraine have always been present on the European and world stage, but part of the work we are doing here is to also prepare the next generation."
The clinic covered mechanics and rules, plus there were presentations from the coaching side of the game to give officials an insight into the movement of players and the tactics of coaches.
Stokes added, "This [the movement of players] is a really important aspect of officiating, we must be able to understand what the players and coaches are trying to do throughout the game. We must also be able to recognise quickly any changes in tempo or style so that we are in tune with the game."