Basketball

Basketball referees need to up game and rise above

HOOPS! with KAONA MWEMBE
IT IS about time our local referees rose above board and saw to it that the level of complaints of officiating standards reduced to low levels

because no season passes without complaints.
Munali Suns have an appeal to the Midlands Basketball Association executive committee against a decision by match officials to award their Week Seven fixture to opponents of the day Napsa Hurricanes in a match that ended prematurely just under two minutes to full time with scores at 83 – 80 in favour of the ultimate ‘victors.’
Whether Suns deserve a second chance is not something I can determine, it will be adjudicated by the appropriate Midlands Basketball Association authorities but for now referees need to do some reflecting.
This is no indictment against them at all but just a word of appeal that they refrain from being at the butt of complaints and excuses by teams alike.
Dave Libbey, a high school teacher in San Diego and a basketball referee since 1970, listed in an article what he termed seven qualities of a great sports official.
He emphasised that there are plenty of other basic requirements that cannot be overlooked such as physical appearance, knowledge of the rules, mechanics, reliability, and professionalism.
However, the seven qualities he highlighted as those he felt set great sports officials apart from the rest are what is echoed here from his write up.
INTEGRITY – A great sports official is the last guardian of honesty in athletics. He must maintain a complete absence of bias. We can read almost daily of coaches, players and boosters engaging in illegal activities.
Referees and umpires are rarely accused of any kind of dishonest or deceitful conduct. An official holds a position in the world of sports not unlike a judge in a court of law.
HUSTLE – Every great official moves efficiently to be in the right place at the right time as it is the only way to see the entire play and make the correct call.
JUDGMENT – Great judgment is a byproduct of effort and experience. It goes beyond the rulebook and includes an almost instinctive ability to apply the critical principal of “advantage/disadvantage.”
COMMUNICATION – Communication can be accomplished in many ways and in most cases the situation will dictate your appropriate response. Sometimes a simple response to the question, a one word answer or a look can communicate what is needed at a particular time
CONSISTENCY – Great officials are unrelenting in their judgment because they see and call a game better than their colleagues and the key is to make the same call on the same kind of play whether it’s the first minute of the game or the score is tied with one minute left to play.
Inconsistent decisions on similar plays trigger negative behavior and poor sportsmanship among players, and invite criticism from coaches.
COURAGE – Regardless of he situation, personalities involved, pressures from the crowd or possible repercussions, great officials place fairness above all other concerns. They act courageously and according to the dictates of that value.
COMMON SENSE – Plenty of game situations develop that are not specifically covered by rules or mechanics. That is when common sense must take over.
Have a blessed week!
mdkaona@gmail.com

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