The 2021 edition of the BBall Nationals championships at Langley Events Centre took place from Sept. 9 to Sept. 11. (Langley Advance Times/file)

The 2021 edition of the BBall Nationals championships at Langley Events Centre took place from Sept. 9 to Sept. 11. (Langley Advance Times/file)

Fraser Valley Basketball Officials Association seeking refs

Long COVID layoff could mean a shortage of officials and even game cancellations

Paul Nivins just heard from one hard-working referee who won’t be returning to officiate high school basketball games.

Nivins, recruiting coordinator with the Fraser Valley Basketball Officials Association (FVBOA), estimated the lone ref officiated 140 games in a season, and four or five games each day on Fridays and Saturdays.

Nivins says after a long layoff due to the pandemic, some officials aren’t coming back.

“It’s a hobby,” he explained.

“After a while, you find a new hobby.”

“We had no high school sports of any nature [during the pandemic],” Nivins told the Langley Advance Times.

“That’s a year and a half.”

Now, with sports resuming and basketball season starting soon, the FVBOA is searching for new officials.

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There will be education and training meetings starting in late October.

Nivins said some reports suggest that as many as a third of the referees idled by the pandemic won’t be returning in some regions of North America, but he thinks the sports-minded Fraser Valley will do better.

Still, he warns if there aren’t enough referees to go around, the result will be fewer games.

“Without refs, [high school] games can’t be played,” Nivins explained.

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Anyone with an interest or background in the game can be a referee.

They must have a reasonably good level of fitness and conditioning and a willingness to learn.

A uniform and rule book are necessary, and can be acquired through Basketball B.C.

For more information, submit an application form online, call 604-613-6391 or visit www.basketball.bc.ca , or email officials.recruitment@basketball.bc.ca.


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