Referee trainers converge on Wellington for national clinic

Referee trainers from around the country will converge on Wellington this morning to take part in a national clinic aimed at enhancing the training of referees to further develop the standard of officiating.

The three-and-a-half-day workshop is being held at the New Zealand Campus of Innovation & Sport in Trentham from Thursday 18 February to Sunday 21 February, and will be the first training activity run by the National Referee Appointments and Development Committee.

Attendees, who work with referees at all levels, will be introduced to new development pathways for referees and referee trainers, which includes a preview of the first of the new online courses currently being developed.

Basketball New Zealand (BBNZ) Chief Executive Iain Potter says the development of the game’s officials is an area the national body is homing in on.

“Referees are a vital part of the basketball experience, they’re obviously essential to the game, and so referee development is also equally vital.

” Unfortunately in 2020, a few things got stalled by COVID, but the committee [NRADC] did a great job of developing a plan for referee development from grassroots through to FIBA level.

“This weekend’s workshop is a very important first step to bring the training group together to expose them to the materials that’ve been developed and to encourage them to see themselves as a taskforce that’s available for all of New Zealand.”

The clinic will be led by a team of instructors, including Peter Rodgers, the National Referee Instructor, Melony O’Connor, the BBNZ Referee Development Manager, and the two other New Zealand referee trainers who have completed the international FIBA Referee Instructor Programme training, Jilly Harris and Ken Coulson.

These new pathways were developed following recommendations made last year by the NRADC after the publication by FIBA of a new referee curriculum at the end of 2019.

Following on from the committee’s recommendations, work has been done behind the scenes to develop the details of the new pathways, including documenting the competencies required for referees and trainers at each stage in the pathways and developing new training courses for each level, the first of which will be for Level 1 referees, which replaces the current community referee course.

The referee trainers attending this clinic will have a role in practical work with the learner referees after they have completed the online course.

Rodgers says this weekend’s gathering is a great chance to introduce the new pathways to the people who will be training referees across the country, as well as looking at the latest material coming from FIBA on refereeing and referee training.

“It’s really important that we are all teaching the same things across the country in the way that FIBA wants refereeing to develop, so getting this group together so everyone can understand where we’re heading is vital for the success of the roll-out of the new pathways.”

Other topics to be covered during the clinic include the principles of teaching and learning, planning learning sessions, evaluating performance, a review of what needs to be taught on mechanics and refereeing techniques, and the rules.