As part of ensuring that women can pursue refereeing careers while also having fulfilling lives off the pitch, basketball’s world governing body has launched the FIBA Referee Maternity Plan for 2023.
Carl Jungebrand, FIBA Head of Refereeing, stated that: “following an investigation we have discovered with concern that the potential of our FIBA referees was waning due to maternity. This sent a signal to us to devise a strategy and plan to keep referees officiating and remove any exclusions based on maternity status.”.
In 2020 and 2021, as part of FIBA’s strategic priority, Women in Basketball and, more specifically, the goal of developing and leveraging female coaches and officialsa series of surveys and debates were carried out that evidenced the concern of the referees for being removed from arbitration during their pregnancy and maternity leave.
Therefore, F.The IBA has developed a maternity plan for referees that focuses on helping them in their careers while also providing guidelines for National Federationsensuring full inclusion during maternity leave.
National Federations are encouraged to support and keep their arbitrators involved in arbitration in other ways during their period of maternity leave. This could be achieved by including them in activities such as referee instructor courses, table officials courses and mentoring programmes.
Referees on maternity leave can, as a result, be placed on the FIBA Game Officials License if they so wish. This would ensure their inclusion in the postpartum leave and post-maternity leave procedureas long as they meet the other necessary requirements for game official candidates.
Eight cases have already been identified and are included in the FIBA Maternity Plan for the FIBA Game Officials License for 2023-25. “Our objective, both for FIBA and for the National Federations, should be to offer the same access to training, promotion and other activities, according to the physical state of the referees. We believe that, with the FIBA Referee Maternity Plan, we will be able to achieve thisJungebrand concluded.