IN FOCUS: JEREMY CHEN
Jeremy Chen is a Nunawading green shirt referee (currently an Apprentice Referee) and he referees on a Monday afternoon and sometimes on a Saturday too. He only started in the recent beginner referee course which began at the end of April. We know we have a lot of interest in refereeing at Nunawading, with the most recent course having over 60 applications but only around 20 positions available. Jeremy was selected through the group interview for his humble attitude and confidence to work outside his comfort zone. Jeremy is pictured with his mentor, Tim Brew, who is a referee, mentor, referee coach and supervisor in our referee program. Hear more about Jeremy’s experience so far.
“I decided to become a referee because I wanted to make some extra pocket money doing something I enjoyed. I knew basketball refereeing was going to be a really suitable job for me as I love basketball. I signed up and submitted an application via the Nunawading website. A lot of my mates are now searching for jobs and a few will be signing up for the September school because they are quite jealous of my job as a referee. In my first couple shifts I was quite afraid of the Senior Men’s Competition (on Monday nights) but now I am a lot more confident when refereeing senior games. Tim has been a great supportive mentor to help me gain my confidence. [Each green shirt in the course is assigned a single mentor. This mentor works with them for a minimum of ten weeks of training. If you see a green shirt on a basketball court, then they have a mentor either directly next to them, or refereeing opposite them supporting their development.]
I have learn a lot so far, including the difference between being in a team that is respectful to the refs and a team that argues with every call says a lot about the team and players, and can effect the mindset of a referee if they are under a lot of pressure. I have also learnt that communication and teamwork between refs is vital when reffing a basketball game. Working with a variety of different referees at different levels is has been very beneficial for me. Working with high level referees like Tim (my mentor) has helped me immensely in gaining experience in game management and player management, especially with adult men.
My greatest achievement so far was calling my first tech. It was memorable as it was nerve-wracking but it boosted my confidence proving to myself that even though I am young, I won't stand for arguing and abuse directed towards me. My biggest challenge so far was one particular Monday shift. I had two back-to-back tough and close seniors games. There was a lot of arguing and a lot of missed calls on my behalf. Tim had to overrule some of my calls and I was a bit annoyed at myself after that shift because I knew I could perform better. The environment can be intense, however, I have began to learn how to develop the skill of learning from my mistakes and backing my calls. On court I like to maintain a strong presence showing players that I won't stand for their abuse and criticism, but happy to talk to a player who approaches me with respect. Whenever I make a call that the players aren't happy with I usually consult with Tim just to make sure the call was correct as some players complain about the correct calls, but sometimes the players are right as well.
Outside of refereeing I am currently in year 9 studying at Blackburn High school. My hobbies outside of school include music and sports. I play for Blackburn Vikings under 16s on Friday nights. I've been playing basketball for about 7 years. Refereeing has been a great experience, and although it has been challenging, I am really proud of my improvement so far and would recommend refereeing to my friends. Thanks again to Tim for being a very supportive mentor, as I could not be where I am without him.”
Do you want to find out about our next referee program? Check it out on the Nunawading Website here.
Nunawading’s Referee Training Program
At Nunawading we run two beginner referee courses per year, at the start of Term 2 and Term 4, respectively. All applicants must attend a group interview as we do our best to protect individuals whose confidence and abilities might not be suited to the environment, and to select the most suitable applicants since we receive too many applicants than we can train. After selection each trainee is paired with a mentor. Mentors are of varying experience and we do our best to pair these appropriately.
The first 4-8 weeks of the training program, the green shirt referee is called a “Trainee”, runs right next to their mentor and is not paid yet. After a trainee has shown an appropriate level of independence and decision making, they are promoted to “Apprentice” where they now run opposite their mentor and are now paid per game. Any match with a green shirt referee either has a mentor alongside them, or a mentor running opposite them. If you have any questions regarding a green shirt call, it is best to talk with their mentor rather than the green shirt referee.
After at least 10 weeks of training, an Apprentice referee can be promoted to “C Grade” where they earn their stripes and are officially a referee. Once in their stripes, it will be hard to distinguish these brand new referees from any other referee, which is both a proud achievement and also another level of developing the independence required to be a referee.
If you have any problems on game day with any referee then please seek out a supervisor who can assist, and if you have any questions about our referee training program then please look at the Nunawading website for more information.