Longtime official: Refs must keep up
Veteran official Victor Roy said the quality of high school basketball has gotten much better during his 30year career, and the game’s referees need to keep up with the rising talent.
“The level of play has improved because they play all year now,” Roy said. “It used to be that when basketball season ended, those kids would go straight into track. Now they’re playing basketball all the time. Officials need to be at the top of their game as well.”
Roy is the director of the Central Arkansas Referee School, which will be held Wednesday through Friday in conjunction with the Pulaski Academy Team Basketball Camp. This is the 29th consecutive year for the referee school, which was founded by the late James Armstrong.
“James was my mentor, and he knew how to bring out the best in other officials,” Roy said. “Our goal is to nurture young officials and bring them up the right way. If they desire to get to the next level, we want to be able to show them how to do it. For the veteran officials, we want to make sure they reach their full potential.”
Roy, 55, began officiating high school games in 1987 and college games in 1992. He has been a regular official for the Sun Belt Conference and the Southwestern Athletic Conference, and he has officiated in two NCAA Tournaments. On Friday, Roy will be inducted into the Basketball Officials Hall of Fame.
This week’s school features 13 staff members who will evaluate registered members and instruct them on the proper implementation of officiating mechanics and techniques.
“One of the most important things we want them to learn is how to communicate with coaches and how to be approachable and professional,” Roy said. “We tell them if they have a chip on their shoulder and think they know everything, then this job is probably not for them.”
Roy said that high school basketball officials are always in demand, and most of the referee camps improve the quality of officiating. The first thing a prospective official must do is register with the Arkansas Officials Association.
“I would love for them to come to my camp, but I think any camp will do them some good,” Roy said. “The bottom line is that any new referee needs to be taught the right way.”