HBA Update: Referee Update

The Hawthorn Basketball Association (HBA) would like to inform and promote to its members (clubs, teams, players, coaches, parents and officials) the current work being completed by the Board and Management in the area of Referee Development.
Through the creation process and documentation of the HBA Strategic Plan released in November last year, the HBA identified Referee Development as a key priority for the Association moving forward.
The HBA have seen a decline in active referees since 2015, and as such, are now going through a re-building phase. The HBA is endeavouring to work with the local referee community to meet the growing demands of the competition.
The HBA acknowledges that the number of current games with solo referees is not appropriate for the level that we wish to operate as an Association and/or competition, and understand the frustrations currently being felt by all stakeholders of the HBA, in particular the referees and referee supervisors.
As such, the HBA has implemented the following over the last 6 months to address the current concerns and challenges;
– Identified Referee Development and Support as a major priority within the new HBA Strategic Plan (2018-2020);
– Established a HBA Technical Officials Committee (Officials Strategy Group). The Committee have identified aspirational goals and a clear direction moving forward;
– Implemented a restructure of the HBA Administration, including doubling resources (financially and personnel) for referees;
– Increased the knowledge, experience and qualifications within the Association, and engaged with high qualified mentors, educators and trainers. In addition to Phil Thiel, and Sophie Porter, the HBA have secured the services of Troy Earl and Paul Locke, amongst others to provide support and coaching of senior referees;
– Implemented new increased pay rates for referees;
– Implemented several new changes to processes in order to improve the outcomes for referees (including Stadium Scoring ‘Courtside’);
– Created a Referee Development Calendar, which includes multiple Beginners Courses, ‘B’ Grade School and ‘A’ Grade School (all Courses commenced in April, with another Beginners Course scheduled for July). The first 20 referees through the Beginners Course will start to hit the floor this weekend;
– Conducted a Referee Education and Action Day;
– Provided improved support for VJBL Panel Referees (including meeting the VJBL Panel quota for the first time);
– Recently organised a Referee Coach session with FIBA Referee representative and Olympics Referee, Bill Mildenhall, and 400+ game NBL Official, Tim Mills to help up-skill individuals within the HBA referee community to provide better support, mentoring and coaching of our younger referees;
– HBA Administration have provided extra bodies on court (with at least four members of staff officiating games to provide help and support on Game Day);
The HBA would like to take this opportunity to ask all members to remain patient and positive as we continue to help develop and shape the referee community for the long term future and sustainability of the Association. The HBA has a zero tolerance towards referee abuse, as acknowledged within the HBA and Basketball Victoria Codes of Conduct.
The referee community continues to do a professional job each week under duress, and with the support currently being rolled out and the environment that we are trying to create, it will only be a matter of time before the referee community really starts to thrive, as we push to become the best referee community possible.
In finishing, the HBA understands the role referees and referee supervisors play in creating a safe, fun and fair environment for all stakeholders, and as such will endeavour to provide the best support and development opportunities possible for the referee community.
For further information about current referee development initiatives or strategies, please contact Phil Thiel via referees@hawthornbasketball.com.au.