The WBA are in the midst of a rebuild of its umpiring fraternity.
Over the past 3-4 years we admit to dropping the ball with respect to nurturing and developing our referee’s. In this time several of our senior referee’s have quit, retired or moved on. The result is we are desperately short of referees to do our senior grades.
The WBA DO NOT want to go to club umpires if we can avoid it as we lose all control of any standards and more refs will walk away.
A small group of referees got together in the break to address this and discuss options. This was a positive meeting with some constructive ideas and outcomes. The decision was made to try to push on with our existing WBA referee’s hopefully with the support from some former officials in the short term.
Re-establish monthly referee training regime for all our referee’s and train some trainers, to allow more on crt support staff to help and advise referees on game nights.
For our more senior referee’s we need to reset some important boundaries. For example:
• Wearing the correct uniform. Players must be in uniform so must referees.
• No referee shooting in Time outs. Unprofessional! This doesn’t happen in any other sport.
• No use of phones during games. This infuriates players and coaches.
• Running not walking. Never get caught behind the play.
• Get to the correct spot on crt & Rotate with your partner at the appropriate times.
• Not tolerating abuse. Consistent Zero tolerance approach to offensive language.
In a nutshell - Respecting the game so that the players respect the referee’s!! Our senior referees are role models for our developing referees thus need to be setting a standard.
We have asked our Games Managers to be more proactuive in supporting our referee's on game nights and feedback to us which referees impress them and those not doing the right thing.
We have a bunch of young enthusiastic juniors putting their hand up to referee which is fantastic. The quicker we can get our current crop up to speed, the sooner we can get more newbies onboard to continually feed up into our senior referee system.
This will not be a quick fix, it is a rebuild!! In the short term there will be a few games with 1 referee which is unavoidable due to our depleted stable of referees.
We desperately need more players to help out by umpiring before or after their game to take the load off the few umpires we have. If you can help please contact Deb Milne (our referee coordinator) at the stadium, on Messenger or inbox the Facebook page.