Referees brush up on skills

Dozens of basketball referees were put through their paces yesterday ahead of this week’s Australian Junior Country Basketball Championships in Albury.

Referee commissioner Albert Joseph was on hand to ensure each referee knew the laws of the game before they were thrust into the tournament.

“We’ve got 60 referees and 25 referee coaches here this week, and we want all of them to be at their best,” he said.

“They’ve come from all around Australia just for this.”

The referees started their training clinic on Saturday and will finish up later this morning before the championships start this afternoon.

Joseph said the referees were getting plenty of theoretical basketball knowledge as well as on court experience during the clinic.

“They’ve been broken into groups depending on which age group they will referee and have been having sessions both in the classroom and on the court to enhance their skills,” he said.

“They need to know the rules, interpret the rules, and apply the rules all within a very short time.”

“They also need to understand what the players and coaches are trying to achieve.”

“We’re trying to ensure everything will be fair and within the spirit of the game.”

Joseph has been the Referee Commissioner of the Junior Country Basketball Championships for the past 10 years, and has also been involved in many international competitions.

“It’s a really enjoyable experience,” he said.

The Australian Junior Country Basketball Championships started in 1985 and is now in its 28th year.

660 players will compete in the under-14, 16 and 18 events at the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre and Wodonga Sports and Leisure Centre, with 66 teams taking part from Australia, New Zealand and Oceania, with the finals on Saturday.

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