4 Cities, 13 Days, 254 Referees
The Junior State Championships are over another year, and for our State’s referees it was once again another case of answering the call to officiate some of the best junior players from across Queensland.
The Under 16 Boys State Championships may have kicked off in Mackay on the Tuesday morning, but for the crew of 35 referees and 8 educators their journey commenced the day before, coming together on Monday afternoon for a 2-hour pre-tournament clinic under the watchful eye of Referee Commissioner Gavin Smith. The referees for the Championships were given their instructions for calling the game, updates on mechanics and how to move on the court, as well as fitness testing before the competition got underway. With the standard of playing competition improving every year, it has become more important for referees to be prepared before the first whistle is blown.
Gavin Smith, Referee Commissioner – “We expect our referees to aim to be as fit as the players at this age group. Referees don’t get the luxury of a “sub” and the expectation is that we will be on the spot to see the play all the time – whether it’s a foul, a violation or a ‘no call’.”
Many of the 35 referees at the Under 16 Boys State Championships were members of the State Referee Development Program (SRDP) that has been together since September 2015.
Matthew Skinner, Referee Development Manager – “The SRDP was formed as an underpinning program to our National Panel and there are nearly 40 referees who took part this season from across Queensland. Our SRDP referees are aged between 15 and 24 and are mostly Advanced Grade referees who want to go further towards SBL, QBL and the National Leagues. By giving them training, development and exposure at these State Championships hopefully we will give them an additional kick along towards those goals.”
Across the five days of the Under 16 Boys State Championships the 35 referees officiated 166 games – averaging 9-10 games each – and returned to their home associations on the Saturday evening with some great encounters, more experience and the desire to move ahead as some of our State’s next batch of elite referees.