The Referee. Feedback — Your say.

Hear what many people had to say about my latest post.

→ 1.9k views / 100+ comments ←

Coaches, Players & Fans Feedback

A whole array of people within British Basketball opened up about officiating with many different outlooks.


“It may simply be that player & coaching development are progressing at greater pace than referees”

“Pleasantly surprised when I told a referee that he kept getting the same call wrong and he asked me how I Coach it & for film.”

“No matter what the state of officiating at the moment, it can’t be anywhere near as bad as in the 70’s and 80's!!”

“Referees in this country are a joke. Only a few that I can talk to during the game and get a valid response from. Not to mention some of the made up calls & favouritism when playing particular teams.”

“Think you have just said what everyone in the basketball world in England is thinking… There are some really good officials BUT there are a lot more terrible ones.”

“I’m shocked at how so many referees who have not had the time to mature and develop in local leagues are thrust into EBL games which, as you say benefits no one.”

“Honest piece of writing with far too many ‘truths’ for those coaching with little or no remuneration.”

“I was certain you would get a defensive reaction, rather than a collaborative forward-thinking one. Good article.”

“I have said for years how can refs do games from Div4 to BBL mens & ladies on the same day with only 30 mins between games.”

“Amen. I have been stating this since I returned from coaching overseas. A huge overhaul needed, it’s hurting our game at all levels”

Referees Feedback

What honestly surprised me the most was the amount of the feedback from referees. Credit to them all for wanting to get their points across.


“There are a couple of excellent officials out there who are just as frustrated. They need their praise or else it’s a dark dark subject to discuss and promote.”

“£20 for a game including travel during junior games isn’t worth the stick you receive and lack of constructive feedback or ways to improve!”

“With a development programme, young officials & education need to be a priority. Going to camps learning with more experienced/high level officials”

“There are a number of referees each year that do develop themselves and shouldn’t tarnish everyone with the same brush.”


“Not many opportunities for refs to practice especially compared to teams — players make more mistakes with more practice!”

“Referees are firstly accountable for their role. Many ask and when they get it look at the tape of their game, clip and share for opinion. They are passionate about their ‘job’ and invest in themselves in many different ways.”

“You say that we don’t work on our game and I would beg to differ. Any referee aspiring to improve must work at their game. I know of officials who have asked clubs for tape to be told to go away it is ours and not for you!”

“I agree that some officials aren’t as educated and can lead to calls being called incorrectly.”

“There is a massive gap between senior national league referees abilities and junior national league. I know coaches at the junior level that are unhappy about officials week in week out.”

“Sadly some refs do it for the wrong reasons (power trip) or for the money and that is destroying this sport I love.”

“Basketball England do not do much to support us as referees which is why I agree with your article completely.”

“One of the biggest factors for my improvement over the years has been actively coaching. But Basketball England frown upon this and say that I should give up coaching in the junior national league.”

“There is this known thing of the BBL “lifetime membership” in that once you’re in you’re in for life. Because of this there are many BBL referees that do nothing to improve (no incentive) which sends out a negative message to lower level referees.”

“I cannot understand how, in a sport where everyone knows change is needed, BE are not getting their staff out on court to observe the game.”

“After one of my games I sent a highly qualified referee a message asking what I should do to develop. I have received nothing back — I am certain that this is because I’m not refereeing at D2/3 standard. How are officials meant to develop in this set-up with no support?”

“The national body is so desperate to put bums on seats it’s asking those to take control of a game without passing an appropriate annual set of exams which are put in place for reason.”

“Personally BE do nothing to improve officiating other than national conference which rarely includes much learning but more tick box exercises (rules and fitness tests).”

“A few weeks back FIBA issued the latest interpretations to the rules. It is all over Facebook from my colleagues from other countries but BE have not sent this to any referees.”

“A proportion of referees that fail either a fitness test and/or theory exam whilst attend lectures on mechanics & interpretations are still given games weekly throughout the UK to ensure the machine keeps moving — this is why the ability of refs varies so wildly and leaves players/coaches so frustrated.”

Support each other! Led by the powers that be

Upon gaining more insight, it’s clear that all players, coaches and referees need to work together to help officiating. Education and sharing information, perspectives and creating a dialogue are vital to improve a very controversial issue.

I feel that it has to be Basketball England that leads this type of movement.

Going the extra mile.

Referees visit club practices to further understand the dynamics of the game from coaches/players perspective.

Coaches (and even players) sign up to referee courses to understand their point of view or sent information.

Facebook Group/Forums for open debates to discuss these types of issues.

Is this all too much to ask? Maybe. But everyone working together will result in more clarity, accountability and most importantly will raise everyones knowledge and standards, not just in officiating. Surely, a win-win!

I’m glad my post has been able to create a dialogue. This is why I create the blog in the first place — it’s showing so many people out there really want British Basketball to improve.

To do this it really comes down to people being brave enough & open to

talk about it!