After I blogged for the IWBF for the first time last week. I was asked by a referee “why do you say you officiate and not table officiate?” I explained that regarding the Paralympics the table officials are refered to as National Technical Officials, I also said would be sharing the difference. In order for a game of International Wheelchair Basketball to take place there are a number of officials that are needed.
There are three floor officials or a referee and two umpires. A scorekeeper who records the score, timeouts and fouls. An assistant scorekeeper who enters the score and fouls on the visual scoreboard. A shot clock operator, who times how long a team has to take a shot on the clocks which are usually mounted on the backboards. A timekeeper, game commissioner and a classifier.
At international level the game clock and shot clock are stopped by technology in the refeeree’s whistle. If you watch the referees they will reach for a small button attached to their trousers, this button starts the game and shot clocks. When I went to the test event last August this was the first time I had ever come across this technology and it blew my mind. So as a timekeeper you will be backing up the whistle if the clock doesn’t start or stop.
At a number of the wheelchair tournaments I have table officiated the game commissioner has undertaken the duties of the classifier as well as overseeing the game.
I always think of the officials as being the legs of a swan, important to the game but shouldn’t be noticed in the gracefulness of Wheelchair Basketball.