Referee camp in Berlin, how does it work?

The 2016 crew of participants

Questions reached our headquarters about this Moabit Masterclass we’re talking about. So time has come for a little more information and explanation. Firstly the name: Officiating’s Cool means: Officiating is cool and officiating school at the same time.It all stems from the idea that if the message Officiating is Cool is sent enough, it will cause a positive vibe for people that will want to take part in something special. And if for people to develop the intention to become better at something, they need to be thinking: I like this! Hence the name.

When I was young
As a young and aspiring official I went to a tournament in Berlin in 2004. It was  a tournament where instructors like Bob Bhania and Kristofer Andaker helped people make their first steps in 3 person officiating. It was the Pentecost before 3po was introduced to the highest dutch level. I was immediately hooked, altho a little disappointed too I didn’t get any of the finals. Together with one of my best friends I drove home and decided: ‘ We are going to organize something like this for ourselves’. It took some time for that idea to develop, but he got a kick start in the highest national league in Holland, and I for myself got to do a preseason game of national champs EiffelTowers in 3po. Way above my level in that time, but it gave me a boost.

On tournaments we talked about 3po and in ’05 or ’06 two close friends and I made a final on the Easter tournament in Purmerend.  Many years later I got in touch with the Easter Cup organization in Berlin. With a little bluff I suggested they’d run a 3po camp on their next edition and to my surprise they said: yeah let’s do it.  The friend from ’04 was immediately available to be one of the coaches and Bob Bhania, who I kept in touch with through the years told me: I’ll be there too.

Coaching with a smile, and sometimes coaching the refs to smile.

In april 2015 the first officiating’s cool 3po clinic took place in Berlin with 15 participants, varying from a 13 year old boy that was playing in between his games he called and made a huge impression, prompting the staff to nickname him ‘Zauberflote’ to older referees (50+) that wanted to comprehend the things they saw refs in their highest level leagues do.

Coach Bob Bhania: ‘ After theory on opening night , we hit the gym to have people walk through switches and rotations, so on Friday when the games start, they have been on court and know how the new positions feel. As we have coaches present with close to every game, we can help refs getting to the appropriate position, and within a few games people will get the where and how they should be. After that it gets even more interesting, because we can give feedback in a positive way that participants can work with even in the games they are doing at the very moment.’   People improve by the game, an after games they will get together to watch clips on a special topic, or just discuss experiences.

Talking about what happened, or about clips

After the first day where position sometimes still is an issue people start working on other aspects of their game. Bad habits disappear like snow in a august sun as 2015 participant Merve Aslan told: ‘I was in my first year of serious officiating, but I learned so much from the coaches that later that season I was asked to do a preparation game of the boys U16 national team, and even did a game on the EYBL tournament in Amsterdam that year’

People improve big time after coming to Berlin, as is shown by the progression made by Priit Parnala who jumped to the highest women’s level in his league, or other refs that went up to even the highest mens league. It should only be a matter of time before one of the people that was in the camp gets his or her FIBA badge. Madeleine Larsson from Sweden was the first to go the distance in 3×3. In Berlin she managed to successfully make the jump to the international stage.

Not only the coaches make refs better, even the refs help each other improve

A big thanks goes out to all our coaches from the previous editions who manage to challenge the participants and making them improve like a year goes by in 4 days: Bob Bhania (UK), Philip Schlegel (Germany), Bert van Slooten (Netherlands), Joske Kuut (Netherlands), Barry Peters (Netherlands), Arnoud van Bochove (Netherlands), Tamer Arik (Germany), Paul van den Heuvel (Netherlands) Bernd Michael (Germany), Efim Resser (Germany), Boris Peltekov (Bulgaria), Vincent van Straaten (Netherlands), Martin Westerhof (Netherlands)

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