BIG Seminars

BIG Seminars

Promoting accessibility, inclusivity and wheelchair basketball in Serbia, Romania, and Greece

Seminar in Niš, Serbia

During the Serbian Cup 2024 in Niš, on April 6th and 7th, a seminar on wheelchair basketball was organized as part of the BIG project. The “Basketball Inclusive Games” project is implemented as part of the Erasmus Sport program under the auspices of the EU. The seminar covered topics related to the history, classification system, game rules, and inclusive activities in wheelchair basketball, as one of the most attractive sports for persons with disabilities. The lectures at the seminar were hold by Prof. Igor Dorđević, long-term referee of the First Men’s Basketball League of Serbia and refereeing commissioner of the Balkan Wheelchair Basketball League – BWBL and dr Miljan Hadžović from the Faculty of Sport and Physical Education of the University of Niš. The lectures were attended by basketball referees interested in refereeing in this sport, as well as coaches and players of all clubs/members of the Association of Wheelchair Basketball Clubs.

Referees seminar in Sibiu, Romania

German referee Max Kindervater, who has left an indelible mark on the world of basketball and wheelchair basketball, was a guest lecturer at the Referee Seminar in Sibiu, Romania between April 6-7. The seminar was attended by basketball referees interested in refereeing in this sport, as well as current wheelchair basketball referees who want to enrich their knowledge.

Since 1995, Mr. Kindervater has been an active national referee in the sport and also since 2021, he has been a referee instructor in the 1. BBL and IWBF game commissioner, sharing his expertise with aspiring officials.

The program and main topics of the clinic are:

  1. The history of wheelchair basketball
  2. Classification system
  3. Player wheelchair cylinder
  4. Contact – General Principles
  5. Lifting and Tilting
  6. Communication between Referees and Coaches
  7. Video Session

Coaching clinic in Sibiu, Romania

As part of the Basketball Inclusive Games project, a coaching clinic was held between April 6 and 7 in Sibiu, Romania by coach Mark Aalders.

Mark Aalders has dedicated his life to the world of wheelchair basketball. Over 25 years in the world of wheelchair basketball as a player and coach. As a player he was part of the Dutch Youth Team (2002 – 2007) and Dutch Men’s Team (2007 – 2016). Now he’s a coaching RBVM team from Dutch 1. Division (2014 – Present) and also Project Worker at Stichting BEN (Basketball Experience NL) (2021 – Present).

The seminar covered topics related to the classification system, the rules of the game, modern tactics in defense and attack as well as the adaptation of the sport wheelchair for each player.

Clinic for wheelchair basketball coaches in Greece

Between April 16-17, a clinic for coaches and players is being held in Athens, Greece.

Lecturer of the seminar is Miljan Hadžović – Intern Researcher at the Faculty of Sports and Physical Education of University of Niš, head coach of Wheelchair Basketball Club “Nais” and former assistant coach of Serbian wheelchair basketball team.

The topics covered in the clinic:

1. Wheelchair basketball – history and classification

2. Tests for the assessment of basic and specific motor skills of wheelchair basketball players

3. Development of specific motor abilities in wheelchair basketball players

Clinic for wheelchair basketball referees, Greece: Enhancing officiating excellence with the inspiring tutor Vasileios Bikas

Wheelchair basketball is a dynamic and inclusive sport that empowers athletes with diverse abilities. To ensure fair play and uphold the integrity of the game, well-trained referees play a crucial role. The clinic was held on April 17-18, 2024 in Athens, Greece, aimed to enhance the skills and knowledge of wheelchair basketball referees, equipping them to officiate effectively during games.

Key Topics Covered
1. The History of Wheelchair Basketball
Understanding the origins and evolution of wheelchair basketball provides context for referees. From its inception in the 1940s, this sport has grown globally, and its unique rules and adaptations require specialized officiating.

2. Communication Between Referees and Coaches
Effective communication between referees and coaches is essential for a well-officiated game. Coaches often identify good communication as the most critical attribute of an official. Key guidelines include:

Allowed Interactions:
– Explaining unusual rulings or situations to the head coach without incurring a timeout penalty.
– Coaches requesting a conference to review potential misapplications of rules (not judgment calls).
– Announcing the number of the fouling player to emphasize accuracy and deter phantom calls.
Not Allowed:
– Assistant coaches and sideline personnel are not entitled to information from officials.
– Coaches berating officials or questioning their behavior or judgment.

3. The Importance of Pre-Game Routines
Pre-game routines (PPRs) significantly impact an athlete’s performance. Whether you’re an amateur or elite athlete, having a consistent routine can strengthen concentration and help you enter an optimal mental state for performance. Key takeaways include:
– PPRs improve performance regardless of complexity.
– They benefit various sports tasks, age groups, skill levels, and genders.
– Consider using PPRs to reduce anxiety, increase focus, and mentally prepare for challenges.

4. Wheelchair Dimensions – Measure Before Starting the Game

Wheelchair dimensions play a pivotal role in functionality and user comfort. Key measurements include:
– Seat Width: Accommodate the user comfortably without constriction.
– Seat Depth: Ensure proper leg support and prevent pressure points.
– Back Height: Contribute to postural support and stability.
– Armrest Height: Support the user’s arms comfortably.
– Overall Width: Consider doorways and confined spaces when choosing a wheelchair.

The seminar provided valuable insights for wheelchair basketball referees, emphasizing effective communication, pre-game routines, and understanding wheelchair dimensions. Armed with this knowledge, referees can contribute to fair play, athlete safety, and the continued growth of wheelchair basketball worldwide.

Our tutor Vasileios Bikas, is an exceptional figure in the world of wheelchair basketball officiating. His unwavering commitment, extensive experience, and passion for the game have left an indelible mark. Let’s explore his remarkable journey.

Background and Education
– Age and Hometown: Born in 1970 in Agrinio, Greece, – Vasileios Bikas brings decades of wisdom and dedication to the court.
Educational Pursuits:
– Basic Studies: He pursued environmental studies at the University of the Aegean.
– Master’s Degree: His academic journey led him to earn an M.Sc. in Oceanography from the Kapodistrian University of Athens.

From Player to Referee
– Basketball Roots: Before donning the referee’s whistle, Bikas was a passionate basketball player. He represented the Gymnastic Society of Agrinio (GEA) in local championships.
– Officiating Career:
Basketball Referee: From 1993 to 2021, he officiated a staggering 2,800 games in the higher echelons of Greek basketball, including the A1 National Division.
Wheelchair Basketball Referee: Since 2001, Bikas has been an integral part of the wheelchair basketball community. His dedication led to his appointment as an International IWBF Referee in 2008, a role he continues to excel in.

– European and World Stage
European Championships:
Bikas has officiated in six European Championships (ECMC, ECMB, ECMA, ECWA) for both men’s and women’s teams.
He also participated in two European finals, earning a Bronze Medal:
Lisbon, Portugal (2015) – ECMC
Valladolid, Spain (2016) – ANDRE VERGAUVEN CUP
Additionally, he officiated in seven other European finals, showcasing his expertise:
Kaunas, Lithuania (2011) – ECMC
Lasko, Slovenia (2012) – ECMB
Zaragoza, Spain (2015) – WILLI BRICKMAN CUP FINALS
Badajoz, Spain (2019) – Euroleague-3
Italy, Porto Potenza (2019) – Euroleague-2
Rotterdam, Netherlands (2019) – ECWA
Hannover (2021) – Euroleague-1

– Leadership and Advocacy
Board of Directors: Bikas has served on the Hellenic Wheelchair Basketball Referee’s Association board for the past eight years, with the last four as Secretary General.
Technical Committee: He actively contributes to the association’s Technical Committee, shaping the future of wheelchair basketball officiating.

Vasileios Bikas’s journey exemplifies dedication, expertise, and a profound love for the game. His impact extends beyond the court, inspiring the next generation of referees and players.

Project aim – The “Basketball Inclusive Games” – BIG project is a 12-month, non-profit European sports event addressing limited accessibility and inclusivity in basketball. By fostering a welcoming environment for individuals with disabilities, the project seeks to empower participants and create a lasting positive impact on the European sports community. The proposed solution combines a main event, co-events, and a strategically designed work plan with three interconnected work packages. The main event is the European Wheelchair Basketball Event, promoting accessibility by uniting able-bodied and disabled athletes. This inclusive event is supported by co-events such as referee seminars, coaching seminars, and volunteer training.