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BWB Asia referees program a success

A referees training course held during Basketball without Borders Asia was deemed a great success by the NBL’s Head of Referees, Scott Butler. Aimed at developing the talent pathways of referees in Australia and New Zealand, the NBL Referees team hosted a first-of-its-kind training course for 14 selected officials during the camp in Melbourne. “We wanted to provide the pathway for our next generation to learn from some of the greats of our game. We achieved this through the involvement of our Olympic and World Championship referees providing insight to the often unseen world of elite refereeing,” Butler said. “We focused on emotional engagement and encouraged them to think about the role they play in the delivery of a competitive, and often, highly emotional environment. We challenged the group with experiences outside the typical education program, asking them to contribute to their own learning and development through deeper and more precise critical analysis.” A critical component of the course was around how the individual referees works within a team environment and that officials need to deliver a performance as a team for every game. The course provided a good opportunity for Butler and his senior colleagues to to identify the next generation of potential elite referees and he believes there were some in the group. “The referees at the start of the program were not overly interactive. My focus in this area was to bring them ‘out of hiding’ by challenging them personally and professionally. There was significant growth in the group by the mid-point of the program and in the final days everyone was fully engaged,” he said. “Whilst a specific objective was to identify NBL quality referees who are ready now it was just as important to provide the framework for success at the elite level. We achieved this element and the personal and professional growth of participants from the beginning to the end was tangible.” “We now have a group who understand the requirements of the elite level and can work on their own game back in their State or Country (with several New Zealand referees present) with the explicit knowledge given to them at the camp. They can also share this experience with others,” Butler said.    
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