Long­time of­fi­cial: Refs must keep up

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - SCOREBOARD - TIM COOPER

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.”

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