Across Australia, many sports have difficulty recruiting and retaining officials. Basketball is no exception.
At the time the green shirt program was introduced, the number of officials in Australian sport had dropped by 26% within a four year period. Some sports had indicated they were losing more than 50% of new recruits in one season.
Australian grassroots sport faces a crisis with the continuing decline in the number of officials being recruited or staying in the system. Harassment, abuse and lack of respect for officials have been identified as major causes of the declining number of people officiating.
What is the Green Shirt program:
The Green Shirt program is a nationally recognized program developed as a way to easily identify and protect the learner official. Simply put it means that if you see officials wearing a green referee shirt it is important to understand they are beginners and and are “learning on the job”.
What to do if you have a Green Shirt on your Game:
Be supportive of the Green Shirt and role model positive behavior
Supporters should only cheer and support the team.
Refrain from any direct communication with a Green Shirt referee
Communication can to be directed to the Striped Shirt (Black & White) official, Mentor/Trainer or Venue Supervisor at an appropriate time, away from the Green Shirt.
Should and appropriate time not present itself during the game, or at all on game day, questions should be sent to your appropriate contact point for escalation.
The HBA supports a zero tolerance policy towards any behavior that is deemed contrary to expectations. Unacceptable behavior or language directed at Green Shirt should expect to be dealt with accordingly.
Referee Numbers and Retention
The HBA continues to experience a referee shortage and can ill afford to be losing referees due to abuse related burn out. The average age of HBA officials is 16.5 years.
How can you help?
Sign up to the next Referee Beginner School:
Be understanding and supportive of all officials – No officials = No game
Communicate with officials in a polite and appropriate manner at all times