Five Rookie Referees Talk About Their QBL 2019 Experiences
With the QBL19 Finals starting the weekend, we caught up with 5 QBL Rookie Referees, who are refereeing their first QBL season. We chatted with them about how the experience has been, the things they’ve learnt, how they got into refereeing and advice for referees wanting to take their refereeing to the next level.
How long have you been refereeing? About 8 years
How did you first get into refereeing? My Mother! She was a referee in Adelaide, so when we moved to Brisbane, I decided to take it up. I still remember my first referee course with Barry McLeod out at BBI!
How have you enjoyed refereeing in the QBL so far? What has been your favourite part about refereeing at this new level? So far, it’s been a great experience! It’s a step up from SBL but a learning curve at the same time. My favourite part about the season so far would have to be, other officials I’ve had the opportunity to officiate with. The panel has a wealth of knowledge and experience so it’s great to be able to harness that and learn from some of the best in the State, if not the Country.
What have you learnt so far from your first season refereeing QBL? That it’s very important to remain fit and recover properly – most weekends you are on two games, sometimes three, so if you don’t remain fit and healthy you can end up pretty sore come Monday morning or even worse, injured! More importantly though, I’ve learnt that you must build rapport with players and coaches and harness those relationships; communication is the hallmark of a successful referee.
Any advice for referees who are wanting to referee at a higher level? My advice for referees who are wanting to officiate at a higher level is to stick with it and not over-complicate things. Sometimes it can feel as though you have been put in the deep end, particularly when you first join the Senior Leagues in SBL. But it’s always good to remember that you are where you are for a reason and if you stick by the basics, don’t over-complicate situations and remain persistent, you’ll do just fine!
How long have you been refereeing? I’ve been refereeing for five to six years now. I did my first representative game after around a year of refereeing juniors at club.
How did you first get into refereeing? I originally started refereeing because I wanted the cash for tuck shop at school, but after my first State Championships, I was more interested in meeting new people and maintaining the friendships I’d made through basketball.
How have you enjoyed referring at a QBL so far? What has been your favourite part about referring at this new level? My favourite part about refereeing the QBL has been having the opportunity to referee some of the best players in the state and referee with some of the best referees in the country.
What are you learnt so far from your first season refereeing QBL? Don’t take things so personally. The players and coaches are here to win their games, so yes, people’s emotions will be on edge and they may react to my calls with that emotion. If you acknowledge their frustration (within reason) they’ll more often respect you more for it.
Any advice for referees who are wanting to referee at a higher level? Surround yourself with other people who are going to support and encourage you in your journey. I was involved in this year’s Accelerated Referee Program (ARP) and was given the opportunity to interact with some of the most supportive, compassionate group of people who I now consider some of my closest friends.
How long have you been refereeing?
I’ve been Refereeing for about 8 years in total. I started when I was around 12 but stopped when I was 15 or so, as I started a new job. And then picked it back up again at 19. I am now 23.
How did you first get into refereeing? I first got into refereeing for a little bit of pocket money on the side, plus I was at basketball all day anyway so why not make some money.
How have you enjoyed referring at a QBL so far? What has been your favourite part about referring at this new level? I’ve loved refereeing at the QBL so far. Firstly, it’s a massive step forward in a dream I’ve had for quite a while to achieve my FIBA badge and travel the world refereeing the sport, I’ve put so much effort into. My favourite part has been the crowd and the atmosphere, I’ve always loved the feeling of the whole crowd getting really excited or loud over a close game, it gives me goose-bumps every time. The feeling and the efforts of the players and coaches playing their heart out helps me be sure that every decision I make is so imperative to the game.
What are you learnt so far from your first season refereeing QBL? Probably the most important things I’ve learnt is understanding what the game needs. What the crowd sees and what you need to call. In lower level games we need to call things because they are there. Moving up the ranks and into QBL, we need to determine what has an effect on the game e.g. was that player affected by that foul or did they gain an advantage by the defence making a bad decision to foul, therefore, play on.
Another thing would be with the crowd and the noise understanding that not everyone can actually hear you when you speak, and you need to choose the voice you use at certain times, so you don’t lose your voice after each game. haha.
Any advice for referees who are wanting to referee at a higher level? Tons of advice! In my experience I’ve been knocked back countless times for things that I believed I was ready for; I did what most people do and dropped my head and took time off from basketball because I thought I was no good. I’d eventually come back but leaving for that amount of time or pretending that basketball isn’t your #1 priority anymore just stunts your refereeing career. My advice is, don’t drop your head just because you get knocked back, the people that knock you back are helping you. If you get knocked back, get up and try and try again. I found that the best way to improve is to first fail. Keep at it, don’t give up 🙂
How long have you been refereeing? 3. 5 years
How did you first get into refereeing? I got into refereeing in Bundaberg where I use to live and began my basketball career there. As a player and an active member in the community, I tried to be involved with everything, so when I saw that there is a course for refereeing, I signed up and jumped on court. It was also the lack of referees that we had, which encouraged me to help out in our association.
What have you enjoyed about refereeing at the QBL so far? I’ve done 4 games in the QBL so far and each one has presented new situations that challenged me to dig deep into my understanding of the game. Learning and developing my refereeing ability has been my favourite part of the games, but it’s the off-court experience with wonderful friends that truly make it an unforgettable journey. I have been fortunate enough to see my friends rise up the ranks alongside myself, so we are able to share stories and grow with each other’s company.
What have you learnt so far? In terms of calling the game, I’ve learnt that the athletes are a lot more physically capable of playing through contact and that they’re smart about their decisions on the court. How they approach the referees and ask questions, really makes you think about the appropriate response.
Any advice for referees who are wanting to referee at a higher level? The advice that I will give is advice that was given to me by one of my favourite referee coaches, Terry Doherty, “always be classy and make the correct decision!” This applies for both on and off the court. It is a lesson that works for refereeing under 8’s or refereeing the Olympics, subsequently, these actions bring respect to you as a human being.
How long have you been refereeing? I began refereeing in 2014 and got sent to my first State Championships in 2015.
How did you first get into refereeing? I first began refereeing because I suffered an injury while playing the game, which impeded my agility and speed. I had always wanted to referee anyway, so this gave me the opportunity to try it whilst also still being involved in basketball.
How have you enjoyed referring at QBL so far? What has been your favourite part about referring at this new level? Refereeing QBL has always been a goal of mine, so to be given the opportunity this season to do 4 games was surreal. It’s also been a very daunting experience because it’s a completely new ball-park and I’m the little fish out there. However, one of my favourite parts of this experience has been to step outside my comfort zone and pushing myself to work harder whilst refereeing alongside very talented, experienced and like-minded referees.
What are you learnt so far from your first season refereeing QBL? This season has taught me many lessons and presented me with different obstacles to overcome. However, the most challenging would be to have confidence in my decision making and believing in myself on the court. Stepping into a more elite league means the players are smarter and more physically capable to play through contact, which in turn means a lot more of the decisions we make as referees on the court are bound to be questioned. So, this season I really relied on trusting myself and utilising my partner to help us stay level-headed.
Any advice for referees who are wanting to referee at a higher level? My advice would be to set your goals high and no matter who says you cannot reach it, work that bit harder to prove them wrong. I would also encourage referees to take advantage of every opportunity you’re presented. Being a part of ARP really helped me transition from SBL to QBL and provided me the tools necessary to develop as a referee.