Training is essential for basketball players on and off the court as well as for those responsible for officiating games. Ensuring that referees in The Bahamas are trained and compliant with all official basketball rules, the Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF) recently partnered with the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) for a FIBA (International Basketball Federation) Referee Training Course.
The 10-day training session, which accommodated more than 25 participants, was a comprehensive modality mix delivered via Zoom and in-person. Training focused on official FIBA basketball rules and interpretation; levels one to three refereeing; three-person refereeing mechanics; FIBA basketball knowledge; on-court practical and mechanics; and game practical exercises.
RBDF Commander, BBF 2nd Vice President and FIBA National Instructor Freddy Brown explained why the collaboration with the BBF works.
“We generally run the Physical Fitness Instructor’s Training Course every other year and part of that course is for all of our instructors to receive some information about all the sports and to get certified if possible. As the authority of basketball in the country, the BBF was called to conduct this exercise for the RBDF,” he explained.
The referees in training had to complete a fitness test and on-court practicals, referee/coaches training along with a written online test.
Referee training participant Aniska Bonaby was grateful for the training, networking, and opportunity to apply skills learned on the court to become an official referee one day.
“The course was very informative and opened my eyes to new things and opportunities besides just working out. I discovered that you can become a referee for all sorts of sports. Commander Brown informed us that there are opportunities for females in the referee industry. This was timely for me because there are times when you want to branch out and do new things and now the game of basketball as a referee is a possibility,” Bonaby said.
The course, facilitated by Commander Brown and delivered by a team of seasoned FIBA certified trainers including Terez Conliffe, former FIBA referee and recent FIBA Commissioner; Christian Wilmore, FIBA referee and World Cup referee; Rochelle Kemp, FIBA table/statistician; Christine Cunningham, FIBA table/statistician; Norman Humes, former FIBA referee and commissioner and currently FIBA games director; and Eustacia Smith, certified FIBA referee.
BBF President Eugene Horton lauded the partnership with RBDF for the benefit of Bahamians to gain new skills by becoming FIBA certified.
“The federation prides itself on development and training as we believe in skilled individuals on and off the court. We are happy to assist and look forward to further collaborations,” Horton said.
Upon completion of the rigorous training, each participant is required to referee a minimum of two official games using the FIBA three-person refereeing mechanics.