Talk of Officials

11:34 AM ReboundGH 5 Comments

One of the most integral aspect of sports that can determine the outcome of most matches is officiating. Basketball is one of the most vulnerable sports where a referees' decisions can affect the true outcome of a game (remember the Tim Donaghy case in the NBA?).

Last season and many seasons before that, the Accra L's referees have constantly suffered from accusations of not knowing their job, not being current or being out-rightly biased towards some teams. There was another instance when the L was in full flight and had to be put on pause for almost a month because the same referees had to go officiate at the GUSA games. One may ask why am writing this piece at this time when folks are more concerned about when the L is starting. It's definitely not to provide results because we at RGH are not basketball officiating experts. It's rather to ask a couple of questions which we all hope and wish to get answers to soon.

The question came as a result of reading a poorly written English article on the
FIBA-Afrique website while skimming through my daily dose of basketball news online. It was news of some African officials having been appointed to officiate at this year's U-19 world championship in Latvia. It read:

The list of African officials who will participate at the World Championships U19 Men and Women 2011.
For the men's competition will take place from June 30 to July 10, 2011 in Latvia, two referees and one commissioner have been retained. They are: Naftal Candido CHONGO (Mozambique) and Samir ABAAKIL (Morocco) as referees, and Essowenaza Bivaina Goungou of Togo as Technical Commissioner. For the ladies competition, Heba El Hadidy (Egypt), and for Ndeye Aissatou(Senegal) as referees and Mrs Justine Kawanga IRUNG from Democratic Republic of Congo as Technical Commissioner. Maybe you could have been able to come up with a couple of questons already while reading that. But mine , and I know several other members of the Ghana basketball family might share the same are;
  • what are our officials doing wrong?
  • how can we get more officials?
  • who's supposed to teach them?
  • will they ever get to be considered to officiate at the international level?
There certainly more questions to ask but let's leave it here for now and hope that the sport we love dearly will grow to the extent that we get a couple of Tim Donaghy's here...seriously!

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  1. we've got a very long way to go...

  2. Great piece, my brother. Currently , our referees are so much looked down upon that it will be next to impossible to increase our numerical strength. Why won't coaches, players and fans encourage people they believe are capable of becoming world-class referees to come on board? Are the coaches, players and fans not tired of the same faces? I'll be glad if we can use this medium to whip up interest in officiating.It's a great pastime and my first call goes out to the avowed critics of referees!

  3. In my opinion a lot of people must understand & appreciate the fact that most of the refrees in Ghana, officiate for the love of the game just as we the players do. What refrees get paid in Ghana is far below standards as compared to other African countries. There is very little motivation for refree to improve their officiating. In addition, refresher courses for refrees happen rarely. The courts we play on are so bad, they look like bombed battlefields in Iraq, the league officials are trying their best, but they are still a million miles behind. Further to my arguement above, I fail to understand how we expect officating to be of standards in Ghana when nothing else is?

  4. Coaches and players on one hand and referees on the other always disagree because we have all failed and refused to update our knowledge of the game. With the league set to take off soon, what measures have been put in place to ensure that we are all conversant with the rule changes? By the way , we don't consider money as the primary motivating factor.