Just like the teams and players spread across the continent and beyond are getting ready for a new season, the complete cohort of Euroleague Basketball referees came together to hold their own four-day preparation session for the 2023-24 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague and BKT EuroCup over the weekend.
The 32nd Clinic for Euroleague Basketball Officials was held between Thursday and Sunday in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and saw all 68 referees due to work EuroLeague and EuroCup games starting the first week of October in attendance alongside 12 referee coaches and several special guests.
Their agenda was a busy one and included the first presentation to his former colleagues from Daniel Hierrezuelo, Euroleague Basketball's new Director of Officiating.
"This is the first time since my nomination as Euroleague Basketball Senior Director of Officiating that I have the opportunity to address to all our referees in person the main ideas and concepts that we will introduce during the 2023-24 season," Hierrezuelo said. "We have a strong group of 68 referees who have shared their knowledge, opinions and experience on many different topics during these four days as I firmly believe that teamwork, honesty and mutual respect are some of the core principles to improve officiating quality”
Among the special guests who also presented to the referees were Zeljko Obradovic, head coach of Partizan Mozzart Bet Belgrade, whose presentation took place on the floor at Stozice Arena; Ioannis Sfairopoulos, Euroleague Head Coaches Board Vice-President; Costas Rigas, former Euroleague Basketball Senior Director; Mar Rovira, Sports Psychologist; Gianluca Mazzoncini, Physical Trainer; and Goran Sasic, Euroleague Head Coaches Board Executive Director.
The various subjects addressed over more than 12 hours daily of the clinic included an analysis of instant replay use; a discussion of the parameters of marginal contact; a video session to study act-of-shooting and verticality calls; officiating standards, rules tests and more. There was also an emphasis put on communication while working in cross-cultural environments.
All that was in addition to the copious physical testing, reviews of officiating statistics and protocols, as well as open discussion sessions and group work among the referees themselves.
The four days of intense preparations served to assure that the 68 referees, all of whom worked in the competitions last season, will hit the ground running when the EuroLeague and EuroCup get rolling next month.