Key Changes in the QBL Accelerated Referee Program This 2019
The QBL is the highest standard of basketball Queensland has to offer, excluding our National League teams, so it follows that it is refereed by the best officials in the state. As a junior referee coming through the ranks, or even a senior referee looking to take that last step or two upwards, it can be daunting to aspire to become a QBL referee and imagine reaching that level. One program that can help is the QBL Accelerated Referee Program. This program will enter its second year in 2019, and with applications closing at the end of November, here’s a look at some of the key changes that will occur next year:
U18 State Championship Meeting and Testing
After a review of the 2018 program, a need was identified for an additional whole-of-program face-to-face session. By commencing the 2019 program in late 2018, this will allow successful applicants to share a session that will include physical testing, around the dates of the U18 State Championships. Attendance at these Championships is a requirement of participation in the program. The physical testing will provide members with a baseline for their physical progression during the QBL pre-season.
Pre-Season Camp Weekend
The feedback from the 2018 group indicated that the pre-season camp on the Sunshine Coast was by far the most beneficial aspect of the program. This weekend included a talk from the head of NBL Referees, Scott Butler, live viewing and participation in QBL pre-season pre and post-match sessions, nightly reflection and most crucially, participation in games. This camp will be repeated in line with a pre-season carnival once again in 2019.
Weekly video reviews of games from the previous season, as well as self-reflection and reviews of local games or pre-season matches, ensured members were exposed to the level of contact, communication and movement required at a QBL level. Comparison to the coordinator review of the same game or each other’s reviews allowed members to have a clear understanding of what aspects they needed to gain greater knowledge and development in.
Working in combination with Acceleration Australia, program members had a weekly program tailored towards pre-season physical development, inclusive of a face-to-face session each week. Activity tracking on the OwnUrGoal app (which is owned and developed by Basketball Queensland) also contributed to an understanding of the level of load a referee should be undertaking in their preseason.
Written Theory Content and Testing
A weekly rules quiz ensured members were pushing themselves and each other to higher standards of rule knowledge, whilst articles and clips posted every week for the discussion facilitated not only growth in theory understanding but growth in the ability to communicate ideas without personal conflict.
Mentoring and Meetings with QBL Officials
Each member of the Accelerated Referee Program was linked with a current QBL official in a mentoring capacity, and face-to-face discussion sessions on topics such as video review techniques, first-year QBL experiences and preparation at the elite level.
In 2019, the demographics of the group will change slightly – with a significant number of officials making the jump to QBL in 2018, the group will accept an increased number of development members. This will enhance not only our incoming QBL officials for 2019 but the ability of our SBL panel and our officials in our top junior competitions. As the competition standards of basketball in Queensland increase, so too must our referees. With a bright start in 2018 and the high promise of applications to date in 2019, the program looks to continue to take strides into the future.