The Bendigo Basketball Association has moved to stamp out referee abuse and bad on court behaviour by its amateur players.
Bendigo Stadium sports and competitions manager Craig Green yesterday sent a strongly-worded email to players following 12 recent player reports.
In the email, Green described player behaviour as a “major issue”, but when contacted by the Bendigo Advertiser, he said the email was more of a pre-emptive move.
“We’ve had a few reports recently and a bit of abuse, it’s just something that I would send out probably every six months to remind everyone to behave – that’s all,” Green said.
Green said reports have increased since last summer and the early part of winter, but with 385 teams the amount of reports was still a relatively low number.
“We’ve only had around about 12 reports, during season there’d be about 1500 games – it’s a very low percentage,” he said.
“Some (reports are) with referee abuse. It’s more about referee retention and also just being proactive in trying to stop anything happening before it escalates.”
The BBA has increased its number of referees from 66 to 100 this season.
Referee abuse is not the only concern, though, with “offences on other players or sledging that goes past just good natured banter” warned against in the email.
“No players have (been reported for it) but it can just lead to misbehaviour or someone, obviously, retaliating which we don’t want,” Green said.
Obscene language around Bendigo Stadium and the courts has also been noticed, the email said.
Increased physicality in some matches has also become a problem due to some players joining basketball from contact sports.
“We get a few people that come from other sports that come in and think they play the same way,” Green said.
The BBA has a tribunal system similar to the Bendigo Football Netball League’s to deal with reports and has suspended players in the past.
The email said referees would be instructed to take a harsher view of indiscretions in the future.
Green said the BBA was aiming to promote good sportsmanship amongst is players.
“That’s what it’s all about. 99 per cent of the players behave themselves, it’s just the one per cent,” he said.