FIBA referee expert meets handball colleagues
The former top basketball referee, Chief of Refereeing at FIBA Europe, Miguel Betancor, visits the European Handball Federation this weekend. Mr. Betancor will hold a presentation for handball refereeing professionals during the 2010 EHF Referee Education Workshop.
Before his meeting with his handball colleagues, Mr. Betancor spoke to Eurohandball.com.
Eurohandball.com: Handball and basketball seem to be similar games from a referee’s point of view. Do you agreee?
Miguel Betancor: The rules are obviously different, but it’s true that the referees need similar skills. Both are highly emotional sports and the way to manage the game by referees is similar.
You have big players on a small court and you have body contact in both games. The reaction of the sportsmen to these actions is the same. It is important how the refs handle this.
Eurohandball.com: Which is the crucial phase of the game for a referee in your experience?
Miguel Betancor: Before, during and after the game are equally important…
It is very important to show a good attitude and prepare for the game beforehand.
During the match a referee has power. However, authority is means much more than power. Authority is the way a referee is trusted by the players; such trust comes from the professional handling, good communication of the referee. The players will trust him even if he makes a mistake.
When the game is over, you must discuss certain situations with the delegates. You need to analyse everything with the objective to prepare for the next match.
Eurohandball.com: What is the goal of the referee?
Miguel Betancor: The challenge of each game is to control it all the time. When I say control, I mean applying the rules and working as a team with your colleagues. You have to get the players and the coaches to respect the game.
Some people say that the most important for a referee is to blow the whistle at the right moments. However, I have to say that the most important is what you can achieve without even blowing the whistle. You need to let them play in the spirit of the game. That’s the real challenge!
Eurohandball.com: Following your refereeing career you are sharing your experience with your younger colleagues. Who do you work at FIBA?
Miguel Betancor: At FIBA Europe we are working on a big task, which is creating education structures for the referees.
FIBA Europe has a department dealing with the topic of refereeing. We are working on a specific education programme in Europe which has many pillars: working with young referees, with experienced colleagues, introducing advanced technology and harmonising our work with 51 member federations.
Eurohandball.com: What technology do you use in FIBA?
Miguel Betancor: We are proud to actively use a number of tools before, during and after the games.
We have a website for all our referees and technical officials where we provide various tools: a digital rule book, digital scoresheet, observer analysis software and even more…
The Digital Scoresheet, for example, makes it possible for our referees and the jury table to check all match scenes within seconds even during the game. You can review and analyse TV footage on the court – within seconds when you need it.
Eurohandball.com: At the Workshop you will talk to referee education professionals. What will you tell them?
Miguel Betancor: In the FIBA we are focusing on the work with potential referees of the future. The international education programme we are running is the reason for me to be here this time. We will have a chance to exchange ideas – especially that we have so similar games, basketball and handball.