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Good refereeing an important element of development

WHEN international basketball federation advisor to the secretary-general visited the country two months ago, he underlined that without good officiating by referees, the standards of basketball in the country would likewise be poor.
He took a strong position on match officials to apply themselves competently and diligently.
For starters with a basketball referee, it is essential to know the rules and understand how to apply them and this no one would ever question.
Good refereeing speeds up the flow of the game, bearing in mind that the result of the match depends on the tactics and skill of the players.
In contrast, inefficient refereeing spoils the enjoyment of the game for players, technical team members and fans.
The referee’s decisions are always subject to public opinion, which means that they are often criticised and questioned in terms of errors committed but if the game is running smoothly, very few people are even aware of the referee’s presence.
In a nut shell, referees must be committed to the following responsibilities:
1. To see to it that the sporting event takes place in accordance with the rules of the game.
2. To intervene as little as possible and not make themselves the centre of attention.
3. To establish and maintain a good atmosphere so as to make the game as enjoyable as possible.
4. To show an interest in the players.
Our local referees need to know their boundaries and stick to their limits as well as exercise authority and fairness in adjudicating the game.
Last year, there was a match incident where a game was stopped midway and the referee walked of court to consult with a ZBA official on what to do. That was incorrect.
Article 46:9 of the Official Basketball Rules states that The officials’ power shall begin when they arrive on the playing court 20 minutes before the game is scheduled to begin, and end when the game clock signal sounds for the end of the playing time as approved by the officials.
It, therefore, follows that a referee takes charge of the game from the first to the last whistle and it is he or she that makes decisions during the course of the match.
They have the authority and power to make decisions therefore no need to make consultations during the game with league management.
According to guidelines by Basketball Australia in addition to rule enforcing, the referee is required to:
· ensure the playing court and equipment is safe.
· communicate with the score table and statisticians as required.
· manage the emotions of the players and coaches.
Clearly the role of a referee is not an easy task but with the correct application of duty it is manageable.
Local basketball referees cannot exempt themselves from the development agenda which means they too like coaches and players must improve themselves and provide a meaningful service to the game.
The key is personal development which involves a regular study of match officiating and in particular, the official basketball rules.
Have a blessed week!