Fabrice Saint-Aubert was a French national referee from 1979 to 1993, and a FIBA referee from 1984 to 1993. He is now a member of the national committee for the top referees of the French Division I League.
- French League - 16 teams and 29 referees three-man system.
- 5 evaluators (former referees in the first division) are working on the evaluation of the referees.
- The evaluators are involved in two meetings with the referees, before the season starts (2 days), middle of the regular season (1 day), and one meeting at the end of the regular season (1 day).
- Each evaluator must see each referee at least one time (evaluation - live) working a league game (regular season). If the evaluator sees the referee more than one time, the final mark of this evaluator for this referee will be the average of the marks.
- Each evaluator will watch and evaluate videotapes of referees at least 6-7 times a season-video with marks.
- The two mains objectives are:
-To establish referee rankings.
-To improve officiating in the League.
EVALUATION - LIVE
The main objective is to establish a ranking. This will help the referee discover what he needs to improve and the steps needed to make that improvement.
BEFORE THE GAME
- The evaluator is notified by mail to make an evaluation at the game A - B with the trio of referees X, Y, and Z.
- The evaluator arrives at the game site and may present himself to the trio when his arrival is one hour or more before the beginning of the game.
- Each club has been notified before the season that in case of an evaluation, the evaluator should be provided a good seat facing the table official at midcourt.
- The evaluator must watch the entire game.
END OF THE GAME
- The evaluator goes to the locker room after the referees have showered and comments on the performances of each one. He must provide the level of the performances: A) Excellent, B) Very good, C) Good, D) Average, or E) Poor.
- The evaluator must advise each referee of specific steps they can take to improve their officiating in upcoming games.
- The evaluator may give each referee his evaluation sheet filled with comments, and the level of officiating, but with no mark on it. In lieu of this, he must mail the evaluation sheet to each referee the next day.
DAY AFTER THE GAME1. The evaluator must send to me the copies of the evaluation sheets with comments, level of officiating, and the mark that must be in relation with the level he gave to the officials working the game.
2. This evaluation must also be sent to the official in charge of noting evaluations.
3. If they did not receive the evaluation sheets right after the game, these must be sent to the referees (with no marks provided).
EVALUATION – VIDEO
The main objective is to teach the referee how to make improvements in their officiating.
Internal regulations state that each hosting club has to provide a videotape of the game to each referee. The referee has to come to the gym with one blank videotape and has to give it to the person in charge of officials for the game. The club may give it back immediately after the game or send it the day after the game to the address provided by the referee.
BEFORE THE GAME
1. The hosting club has received a message that it must provide a videotape of the game to Mr. X evaluator the day after the game.
AFTER THE GAME
- The evaluator receives the tape evaluating the three referees.
- The evaluator must contact the referees to set a date for the debriefing with each official, no longer than 10 days after receiving the tape.
- As soon as possible, the referees must send their own comments to the evaluator by mail or fax.
- At the fixed date, the evaluator is to make a phone contact with each referee explaining what he saw on the videotape, describing what must be done to improve the officiating. The evaluator must also rate the level of the performance for that game. (EXC, VG, G, A, P)
- The evaluator must send his written report to each referee, a copy to me, and a copy to the official responsible for tabulating referee scores. (see the Evaluation-Video Sheet)
In each line, the referee or the evaluator indicates: Time on the tape, which players are involved, what is wrong, or what should have been done.
THE EVALUATORS AND THEIR EVALUATIONS
At the middle of the season, I gather the comments on the evaluations and I order the technical group to prepare videotapes on referees I consider to be weak.
At the end of the regular season and before the play-offs, all evaluators and those responsible for the nominations have a meeting. We make the final ranking of the referees, which will be used for the play-offs and for the next regular season. Each referee has been seen working live at least 6 to 7 times a season, on a videotape at least three times a season.
Therefore, the referee is evaluated 10 times on average over the span of 30 games.Evaluations can also be made during the playoffs. This is done solely to improve the quality of officiating. No marks are given at this time, only comments.
Our former system ranked referees from first to last.
Three years ago, we changed our system and now classify referees by groups. It is much more convenient to establish the nominations for the play-offs and also for the next regular season.
For example, it can be a better nomination of trio 15-12-16 than trio 12-15-16. So, we now create three groups and the referees know to which group they belong.
- Group A: 8 referees. They can be nominated first or second with someone from group A or third with referees from group A.
- Group B: 13 referees. They can be appointed first, second, or third.
- Group C: 8 referees. They can be appointed second or third.
- We mark the referees as follows: 75% of the live performances and 25% of the video performances. We then arrive at the mathematic classification.
- All evaluators may propose a change inside the mathematic classification using the level of the performances (EXC, VG, G, A, P) and I take note of the final result.
- Using the comments, I may change the ranking. I am the only one responsible for the final ranking.
- I inform the evaluators.
- I inform the referees at the end of the play-offs. The referees with the lowest rankings are demoted and are replaced by the best two referees from the second division.
- Using the comments, I inform the chief of the technical group on which points the referees are weak and we both then determine the program for the pre-season clinic