Greater Manchester Community Basketball will launch its inaugural ‘Respect Referees Fortnight’ on Monday, 12 March.
We will be urging players, coaches, parents and spectators to create a positive environment for match officials when they take charge of games – Community and National League – at the Manchester Basketball Centre.
It is the latest move in GMCB’s drive to increase the number of referees in Greater Manchester and beyond.
“We’ve chosen mid-March to launch the campaign because it’s the time of year when tensions heighten because the National League season is coming to an end,” said GMCB chief executive Phil Gordos.
“We have numerous teams battling for places in the play-offs and there is a lot at stake.
“Being a referee is a rewarding but sometimes very demanding and I think we need to be mindful of that. The last thing we want to do is add to the pressure or make it so difficult for referees that they chose to stop.”
GMCB has made it a priority to increase the number and quality of referees in Greater Manchester.
In 2017, 26 recruits, many in their teens, achieved their Level 1 qualification after attending courses put on at the ABC by GMCB referees manager Rick Dell.
GMCB has already held one Level 2 course in 2018 and plans to run a Level 1 course some time in May.
“With the support of GMCB, we have managed to drive refereeing standards up,” said Dell. “But with all young referees, it is a long-term investment and they need our support, encouragement and respect.”
GMCB’s work to recruit and train more referees has won the backing of Basketball England.
“Referees are an essential element of any competitive game,” said Simon Unsworth, who leads the national governing body’s officiating programme.
“Rick and GMCB pride themselves in following a professional approach for new recruits, making sure they are well equipped with a uniform but also nurtured so they are eased into the role comfortably.
“We can only commend them for the development work they are doing.”
During the Respect Referees Fortnight, we will also be telling you how you can get into officiating, either through one of our courses here at the ABC or at other venues across the North West.
We will also be profiling a number of referees, some of whom came through our courses here at the ABC.