Compelling Arguments for Why You Should Become a Referee
Officials are essential to any sport. Without referees and score-table officials, structured competition wouldn’t be possible. Despite the essentiality, referees quite often cop a fair amount of ire from coaches, players and spectators. It is usually a job that goes unthanked and without applause. This begs the question – why become a referee? We present a compelling argument for why you should don the stripes and whistle.
One of the first things referees notice when they begin to officiate games is that their knowledge about basketball will be greatly extended. Each game of basketball is completely unique and as a referee you need to determine which rule if any applies in each situation. John Fenwick from Townsville learned in the QBL that not only does he need to consider what happens in the moment, but also how it could impact the game overall.
“We need to determine what has an effect on the game. For example, was that player affected by that foul or did they gain an advantage by the defence making a bad decision to foul?”
Sure, you’ll get calls wrong, you can’t see in slow-motion. But, these learning opportunities will help you grow as a ref.
Furthermore, refereeing is a great way to improve as a player and vice versa. As well as knowledge about the rules, it’ll give you better perspective on both.
Another aspect of being a referee is the connections you form and interactions you have with people. Redlands ref William Leonard says that the knowledge pool is invaluable.
“It’s great to be able to harness that and learn from some of the best in the state, if not the country.”
You’ll get to know players, coaches, parents and spectators and the comradery you share with your fellow referees is very rewarding. After all, they’re the only ones who know what it’s like!
Just like playing basketball, becoming a referee is a good way to stay fit. In recent years there’s been more discussion on recovery and nutrition for referees. The average ref runs around 5 km a game. This is also why comfortable clothes and footwear are just as important to refs as to players.
Referees often find that skills that they develop on the court are transferable across all aspects of life. The more that you referee, the more you’ll find your confidence and communication abilities increase. A referee oversees ten people on the court, plus coaches, score-table and spectators. Managing confrontations is another part of the job which you’ll be constantly improving. But don’t worry, you’ll have your fellow officials to back you up!
Earning Money Working Flexible Hours
This is a good enough reason for a lot of people, especially for younger people looking to earn some more money on the weekend. For Megan Pascoe from Brisbane, this was something that appealed to her while going to school.
“I originally started referring because I wanted the cash for tuck shop! But after my first State Championship I was more interested in meeting people and maintaining the friendships I’d made through basketball.”
The minimum age and minimum pay varies from association to association, but the wage increases with skill level and age.