Hungry Jack's NBL
Referee program to be held at BWB Asia
In a new initiative aimed at developing the talent pathways of referees in Australia and New Zealand, the NBL Referees team is hosting a first-of-its-kind training course for 14 selected officials during this week’s Basketball Without Borders Asia Camp. The NBL’s new Head of Referees, Scott Butler, said the course had been established in response to the increasing average age of the current NBL referee group and the need to develop more talent across Australia and New Zealand to ensure the sustained and continuous improvement of the quality of refereeing in the southern hemisphere. “The camp is focusing on the identification and development of the talent for the NBL with an eye on the international environment as well. Most of these people from Australia and New Zealand referee in the WNBL or NZ National League and/or work in their respective State Leagues. Each person has been identified by their State as a high performing referee who has the requisite talent potentially to be part of the NBL,” Butler said. A critical component of educating the younger generation of referees is to ensure the quality of refereeing improves across all Leagues not just the NBL. “The 14 participants will be tested and assessed against our expectations of NBL referees. Those selected to attend this camp are part of a larger group of around 50 who appear to have the right mix of skills, talent and resilience to work in the NBL. “The gap between the NBL and the other leagues in Australia (and New Zealand) continues to increase every year so the NBL needs to provide the platform for these people to understand what the requirements are so that they are developing in the feeder leagues with the right attributes and professional behaviours with an aim of moving into the NBL within two to four years.” All selected participants are currently refereeing at WNBL, NZNBL, state and junior level, and this week’s camp will provide them with the opportunity to train alongside NBA and NBL elite. The program will focus on a combination of theoretical and physical training to highlight the standard and expectations required for NBL referees. While practical sessions within the BWB Asia Camps will form a large component, the tuition will extend to pre-game practices, communication techniques, conflict management and psychological and resilience training. Participants will also be educated on nutrition along with strength and conditioning programs. Esteemed Australian referees Bill Mildenhall, Vaughan Mayberry, Michael Aylen, Chris Reid and Ray Hunt will be involved with the program.