The Commission has met regularly every year to do its best to keep the basketball rules in good shape and to bring the officials (referees, referees’ instructors, commissioner) to higher standards in order to keep pace with or even to be ahead of the standard of the basketball game.
The Basketball Rules 2008 and 2010, including the Rule Book, Basketball Equipment, Two Person and Three Person Officiating Manuals as well as the Official Rule Interpretations were drafted, approved by the FIBA Central Board and implemented worldwide as of the respective dates.
The Commission has developed the obligatory basic program for each FIBA Clinic for Referees and Commissioners, strongly enforcing the lectures on the philosophy and understanding of the game, feeling for the game, managing the game and its critical/difficult situations, cooperation with the coaches and players and of course, still paying attention to the basics of the officiating namely knowledge of the rules and the mechanics of officiating.
The Commission also provides all referees and commissioners worldwide with high quality teaching and educational materials such as CDs, DVDs, instructional materials, books etc. Three DVDs FIBA Guidelines for Referee Education were produced as well as the updated version of the FIBA Official Physical Fitness Test for Referees.
However, times have changed since the first personal computers became available twentyfive years ago. Teaching tools and methods have been changed accordingly. Today, the convenient availability of multimedia resources provides basketball officials with limitless comprehensive sources that officials can access not only to expand their knowledge and understanding of the game but also to facilitate their direct communication with the FIBA/FIBA Zones and with other officials around the globe.
FIBA/FIBA Zone websites include informative articles, teaching materials, rules and rule situations, videos etc and forum units that enable discussions on various topics of basketball officiating. There are also very many other websites mainly of the national federations and Leagues which constitute, altogether, an almost unlimited source of information for basketball officials.
FIBA Assist bi-monthly Magazine became very popular amongst basketball officials. Since the launch of the FIBA Assist, 54 articles written by the top experts on basketball officiating from all 5 continents have been published and the officials can test their knowledge of the basketball rules every two months in “Right or Wrong” section of the FIBA Assist.
As is common in all International Sport Federations, FIBA Central Board has, upon the proposal of the Commission, re-introduced the age limit for the Referees and Commissioners. A referee cannot be older then 35 years of age (commissioner 55 years) when taking part in a FIBA Clinic for the Referee/Commissioner Candidates and will not be considered a FIBA Active Referee after the age of 50 (commissioner age of 70).
The standard of the basketball game and the status of the basketball rules go in handin-hand and therefore FIBA pays very strong attention to keeping the basketball rules in good shape.
One of the main goals is to keep the game, through the basketball rules, attractive and dynamic with a strong balance between good defence and successful offence. Moreover, FIBA strives to have one set of the basketball rules worldwide including the Look of the Court.
In the past, a good number of rule changes were made in order to unify basketball rules. The latest significant changes will come into effect as of 1st October 2010 for all high level (Olympic Games, FIBA/FIBA Zone) Championships. The restricted (3 second) area has been reshaped, the 3-point line has been extended to 6.75m and the no-charge semi-circle under the basket has been introduced on the court.
The FIBA New Court Markings 2010 CD has been produced and sent to all national federations and FIBA Zones in order to reshape basketball courts correctly worldwide. Moreover the Court 2010 is accessible also on www.fiba.com.
It is expected and strongly recommended that all governing bodies of basketball (FIBA Zones, national basketball federations etc) will implement the Court 2010 also as of 1st October 2010. However, if this is not feasible, by 1st October 2012 at the very latest for the top divisions.
Rules for FIBA 3on3 basketball are in place, after carefully compiling the existing worldwide rules of similar activities with the expertise of young players and young players’ coaches. The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) will be played with those rules which are also accessible at www.fiba.com. After the YOG, the rules will be reviewed in order to fit basketball players in all age groups in the very strong new future FIBA activity of bringing FIBA 3on3 basketball to every corner of the world.
One of the main problems of any sport federation is the calendar of its own competitions as it is quite difficult to find the balance between the calendar of the national basketball championships, international leagues and the interests of the governing basketball bodies, national teams, clubs and players.
The national teams and clubs are requesting additional days to have the players at their disposal in an already heavily overcrowded calendar which cannot expand beyond 365 days and 52 weeks a year. The same players are required to play almost non-stop which leads to fatigue and possible injuries and therefore not being able to participate when they are really needed or not being able to perform to the best of their abilities.
The FIBA Commission for International Competitions is monitoring the situation very carefully and is trying to find the best solution with its Harmonised FIBA Calendar; not only to satisfy all parties involved but also to make sure that the level of the basketball game does not deteriorate through players’ heavy obligations to too many championships and games.
Cooperation with other organisations
The FIBA Central Board has decided to establish stronger relations with all the governmental or sport associations and with the organisers of the multi-sport events where basketball is the part of the program.
The traditionally very close cooperation with FISU (University Games) became even stronger with the FIBA/FISU 2007 – 2011 Cooperation Agreement signed on 2nd October 2006. The agreement covers the issues of the ages of eligible players, number and choice of the participating teams, choice of the designated referees as well as their travel costs and fees etc. The new Agreement 2012 – 2019 is now to be finalised reflecting the success of the previous Agreement and in order to have FISU University Games the strongest competition in that age category.
Very good and close relationships continue with the organisers of the Francophone Games, Lusofonia Games (for Portuguese speaking countries), Mediterranean Games and the organisers of the Pan-Continental Games such as Asian Games, Pan American Games, All Africa Games etc.