HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN BECOMING A REFEREE?
I accidentally attended the wrong officiating course. I signed up for the table officials’ course to help out my university team with the games. When I turned up, we were told it’s a refereeing course and the table officials’ part was cancelled.
After the course I continued attending the regional development leagues at weekends. I received a lot of support from the officiating community and the regional manager during the RDLs. When I started officiating, the help from more experienced referees made all the difference. The officiating community was very welcoming, and we had a fantastic mentoring programme in flight.
WHAT BENEFITS DOES BEING A REFEREE GIVE YOU?
Refereeing basketball took me to different places around Scotland, Europe and Canada. I think one of the biggest benefits is the opportunity to meet new people with different experiences, of all ages and from all walks of life. The officiating community is very diverse, and you get to know some amazing people you never would have met without officiating basketball. I think friendships I made on the court is probably my #1 reason to keep coming back.
Workwise I think that self-development and continuous improvement in the areas like decision making, communication, people management and working under pressure are the biggest benefits for my professional life. Some of the character-building attributes of officiating can be applied in a professional environment at a workplace and look great on a CV.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO ANYONE WHO IS THINKING ABOUT TAKING THAT STEP TO BECOME A REFEREE?
It gives you a greater understanding of the sport you love and keeps you active and closer to the game. The rules and technicalities of the game and people management skills you acquire make you a better player, a better coach, (and for those who don’t play or coach) a better decision maker. You will train your reaction time, body language, communication and decision-making skills and you will do a lot of running while developing all these skills.
If you like to travel, meet new people and develop your personal skills – refereeing is for you.