Wednesday 21 August 2019

It is high time to start announcing the instructors for this year’s camp. With a great pleasure at first, we would like to introduce former Euroleague and FIBA referee – Todd Warnick.

Todd started his official referee career in USA in 1973, where for 5 years he was attending college and officiating semi-professional league. In 1979 he moved to Jerusalem and was working as referee for 25 years in Israel’s premier league and 20 years in FIBA including 2000 - 2003 in Euroleague. After finishing his career on the court, Todd became a referee instructor and coach. Between 2007 - 2017 Todd joined as instructor in more than 20 FIBA tournaments, adding clinics and camps, video observations, individual coaching and mentoring. He is also Certified FIBA instructor (FRIP) and since 2016 working in Euroleague/Eurocup as referee coach.

As Todd has experience from European competitions and overseas league we asked him to tell us more about this.

Which type of basketball is more interesting for you, European or American?

Todd Warnick: Both European and American basketball (NBA and NCAA) are interesting for me, but I watch it all from a referee's perspective. In fact, after so many years in the "business" it's almost impossible for me to watch any sport, especially basketball, from a fan perspective. My head just doesn't work like that anymore.

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What are the differences between NBA and Euroleague referees?

Todd: There are a few differences between NBA and Euroleague referees, though they are certainly narrowing. NBA (and all American) referees have always verbalized their communications especially at the point of foul and when reporting to the table, whereas international rules specifically limited referees to using non-verbal language only. We are quickly working to close that gap, though it's a challenge to change decades of ingrained non-verbal officiating habits - but we must. There are also a few differences of course, in rules and guidelines that result in slightly different play-calling. In my opinion, the biggest difference that affects referees from a rule perspective is the NBA defensive 3-second rule, which we obviously don't have in the Euroleague or international basketball. I think we underestimate how much this opens the game up in the paint and changes angles, especially for the Lead referee. Not discounting the greater athletic skills of its players, it makes the NBA game in some ways easier to referee.

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What are the top 3 things you look at while observing officials during Euroleague games?

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Todd: While all inter-related, first, I am looking at play-calling. This is the most important, i.e., are we getting the plays, right? Are the decisions consistent with rules and our guidelines? Second, I am looking at positioning and movement, especially in relationship to the referees' decisions. Was the referee in the right position to make the call (or no-call)? If there is an incorrect decision - why? Poor positioning or just wrong judgment? Third, I am watching how the referees manage and communicate among themselves and with players and coaches.

This is your second time at the camp in Poland, what do you expect from this camp, its participants and instructors?

Todd: I am looking forward again to the camp in Poland. I was impressed last year with the commitment of everyone involved - participants and instructors, coaches and players - and the camp's general team spirit of everyone working to get better. Of course, I'm sure it will be the same this year - and more!

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Tell us about your website, please.

Todd: Regarding my website "Double Whistle", I've recently set up a website/blog for general referee education. I also have a Double Whistle Facebook Page. I will soon also announce the offering of referee individual coaching services

Great, thank you Todd!!

See you soon at Referee.pl in Radom!