With the junior representative seasons now upon us, it is really important for referees to be prepared and ready for the games that lie ahead. The following tips are good ways that referees can be ready for BQJBC, QNJBC or CDC, as well as looking forward to the 2017 Junior State Championships.
1. Be prepared
“To fail to prepare is to prepare to fail.”
Most representative teams have been training since July or August for their first rounds of competition this month. As referees, we should be officiating in the local competition regularly, making sure that our fitness is up to scratch and that our rule knowledge is good as well.
Is your uniform and kit ready? Things that need to be checked would be: referee shirts, trousers/slacks, belt, shoes, and whistles. Does everything fit and is it in good condition? Speak to your Association Referee Coordinator if you need help on obtaining new equipment, as chances are they’ll have someone else in the association who needs new gear as well/
Do you know the rules? Have there been any changes since last season? The good news is that our FIBA Basketball Rules remain unchanged (last revised in 2014) and the BQJBC & QNJBC rules have only minor amendments for the 2016-17 season. Having said that, does your Association Referee Coordinator have a rules exam that you can take?
Finally, does your Association Referee Coordinator know your availability? One of the toughest jobs for coordinators is doing the roster on a weekly basis, however, if you are proactive about this you can make their job easier – and you might get better games as a result!
2. Set some goals
It’s one thing to be a referee and do local competition week-in, week-out and representative competition through the summer, however, referees who set some goals and then review them on a regular basis progress better (and further and quicker) than those who don’t. Use the SMART principle (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-based) and talk to your Association Referee Coordinator or another senior referee at your association about refining these goals.
3. Get some feedback
Whilst it’s great to make it into representative competition basketball as a referee, chances are that you will still have some areas to improve with your officiating. Across the course of your season, referee educators will provide you with advice on how you are refereeing. Take notes, ask questions, and then keep a list of the things that you are doing well and the things that you need to improve on. Over the course of a season, you will find that your improvement will be based on how quickly you put your “points to improve” into action.
4. Go out and perform!
Finally, do your best every time that you’re out on the court. Even in the games that are unexciting and what some might call “boring”, use it as an opportunity to practice all of the basic skills that your referee educators and coordinators will be talking about – correct mechanics, correct signals, working with your partner, and “taking care of business”. Referees who continue to put in 100% on the “easy” games get noticed, compared with those who might take the opportunity to slack off. Coaches and players also appreciate the effort that you make, which in turn can make your life as a referee easier.
Best of luck to all referees who are out on the court for the 2016-17 BQJBC, CDC & QNJBC seasons – we look forward to seeing you out on the floor serving our teams