Referee abuse has been a concern for a number of years. While the vast majority of coaches, players and parents are wonderful most of the time, sometimes they are not.

The Ottawa Valley Board of Approved Basketball Officials is trying to make referee abuse a point of emphasis this year, including teaching their referees how best to cope with those situations at the time and afterwards. Referees have been instructed to not tolerate abuse.

It’s important for everyone to create the right environment for youth to play basketball. OVBABO President Dave Dolson has written a short open letter with bullet points on how parents and other fans, coaches, players and administrators can help reduce referee abuse:

Nepean Basketball has a Junior Referee program, run by Gio Donato, to train young officials and use them in our house leagues. It is doubly important for everyone to create the right environment for these junior referees to learn their craft and want to continue. Although we have reporting and discipline policies and procedures in place, prevention of verbal abuse is far better than remedies.