IWBF Europe News

The news page of IWBF Europe

Technical meeting

The Technical Commission has its summer meeting in Stockholm, Sweden. Mike Constantino, member of the Commission took care about the local organisation of this meeting.

One of the issues dicssued in the meeting is setting up a new database system to store all the data of the referees .
Further discussions have taken place about more practice on court for the referees, which means that they have to go in the wheelchair, and to invite an experienced coach at clinics.
Also discussed is what to do with retired referees.


Self Evaluation

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The following article would be poor and fruitless without the contribution of Mr. Don Steponchev, Mr. Mike Constantino and Mr. Avi Benbenisti.

The Importance of Self Evaluation in Refereeing


First of all, I’d like to send my get well soon wishes to Mr. Walter Pfaller and congratulate him once again for his idea of the new format of the Eurocup Competitions. Last week, I was assigned to one of the Finals of EuroCup.  The teams were more equal compared to recent years and therefore the level played in our cup was very high. I’m sure it was the same in the other finals. This alone, is another reason why we, the referees, have to push ourselves more to a higher level in refereeing wheelchair basketball to keep up with the teams and the play itself.


In this article, I would like to talk about the importance of being open to learn from your colleagues and supervisors as well as your mistakes to become a better referee. IWBF referee Avi Benbenisti emphasizes that  it is very important to come back after a mistake. Making a mistake is a natural thing. A coach or a player makes a mistake too.  If you don’t forget the mistake you make, you cannot give yourself to the next phase of the game. As a result you cannot perform well. It requires psychological strength and self confidence. In the tournament,  I had the chance to observe my strong and weak points with the evaluation I received from my colleagues and referee supervisors. By knowing your strong and weak points, you can work on the weak side and improve yourself and become a better referee. Therefore I recommend each referee to take a piece of paper and divide the paper into two. Write your strong points on one side and weak ones on the other side. And improve the weak side and get motivation and encouragement from doing a number of things correctly, and know that there are other things to work on, without completely demoralizing yourselves. If you are willing to learn from your colleagues and accept your weak points, you have the possibility to improve them and therefore your overall performance as a referee will improve. On the other hand, it is very important that referees follow the words of Referee Supervisor Don Steponchev. “We don’t want officials to continually “beat themselves up” to improve.  They should appreciate their progression to becoming more complete officials.”


Self evaluation sheet of is an example for you. You can develop it and evaluate your refereeing in much more details.


Strong Points Weak Points


Game Control                                                             Game Concentration

Reading the game                                                       Mechanics

Communication                                                           Consistency

Cooperation with fellow officials                               Wheelchair specific fouls and violations


You can describe your strong and weak points in details. Talk about the changes you can make on the weak side.

Strong points

My partners and I  controlled  the game well. The players accepted our authority.

I was able to understand what was going on in the game and anticipate it.

I didnt have problems in communicating with players and coaches and my colleagues.

I cooperated well with my fellow officials.

Weak points

Game concentration : I was not very well concentrated to the games in general or one game on Saturday evening. Because I thought it was an easy game or because at the beginning of the game, I called a foul in front of my partner and then couldn’t forget this call and this affected my game concentration in general.


Mechanics:I often didn’t move when I was the lead officer. I made it a habit to stay on one side. I must get rid of this habit.

Consistency: In one part of the game, I take the lead in calling fouls but then I’m lost in the play. (related to concentration also)I must be more consistent all through the game.

Wheelchair specific fouls and violations : I stopped the game though there was no potential danger. (another concentration related item)I had one good lifting and one bad lifting call. (related to consistency in refereeing as a whole and/or consistency in one specific case. ) I missed some of the off the ball offensive fouls. I must be more alert.


In conclusion, being a good referee is a never ending process. Referee Supervisor Mike Constantino states that self-evaluation is a crucial educational tool for a top referee´s development. You can never say that you are a good referee and finished learning and improving yourself.


I’d like to finish my article with the words of Don Steponchev  “You are only as good as the last game you refereed.”



IWBF Referee and wheelchair basketball fan




Do You Understand

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"Do You Understand"

Sergio Giordano – I.W.B.F. International Referee



After reading recent articles by Butch, Ulli and Utku; I decided to contribute an article also.

I read a memo recently from one of the main Referee Supervisors in the United States and he was asked about his referees that officiate their top level college basketball. The question was asked; why are some referees more successful than others?

His answer was simple, in two parts.

All top level referees have a minimum of 85% call accuracy during a game.

More important, they must be Leaders on the floor and understand the game, and more than the obvious plays that occur.

This made me think of the article that I would be writing and the intent behind it. The title of this article is simple, but complex with its meaning.

Ask yourself, when you officiate games at any level, do you think about the following points? I will mention fifteen, but there are many others. All top level referees do during the game, and this is why they are always selected to officiate in the major tournaments.

"Do You Understand"

When one of starting five has two fouls early in the game and the coach keeps the player in?

When a team has scored many points in a row and has momentum?

If a team plays zone defense and what the offense is trying to do?

When a coach is frustrated with his players or referees on the court?

When some of the starters are out of the game and the substitutes enter?

That in the last two minutes of the game if a team is ahead or behind in a close game?

When the best player on the floor has four fouls and his participation in the game is important?

When two opponents, who have not been friendly during the game escalate their action?

When it is clear that one or both of your partners is officiating a different game than you?

When one team is much more superior than the other team, and how you officiate that game?

That during free throw activity is a good time to send a message to the players verbally?

That what you call in the first five minutes could possibly set up the rest of the game?

The significance of a Technical Foul and what happens emotionally after one is given?

That sometimes you must call a "message sending" foul to send a message to the teams?

A slight contact foul from a 4.5 point player on 4.5 point player compared to 1 point player?

There is a big difference between a being a Leader and a Manager.

"A Manager does things right, A Leader does the right things"

All The best, see you on the court.



Sergio Giordano