One of the most interesting meetings in the EHCB Coaches Congress was the joint panel between EHCB members, former president Zeljko Obradovic and Ettore Messina, and UEBO (Union of EuroLeague officials) president Sreten Radovic and secretary general Ioannis Foufis.
It was a historic event for the EuroLeague and also for European basketball. For the first time ever coaches and referees joined forces at a clinic and explained to the audience the philosophy of calls in what is expected to be the first step on a long-term collaboration with EuroLeague management's blessings.
Under president Dejan Bodiroga and new Officiating Director Daniel Hierrezuelo, this is just the first step in a new direction with coaches and referees having the ability to get more and more in contact for the good of the sport.
"We are older than other members, that's why they put us here to fight with the refs", joked Zeljko Obradovic since the purpose of that open discussion was the exact opposite. In an effort to demonstrate that coaches and referees are both factors in the game and they have to cooperate in order to produce the best possible result, the two legendary coaches shared their opinion on specific calls together with the two referees, demonstrating in practice how difficult is to officiate.
"We are judging clips, while the referees must take decisions in real-time", said Ettore Messina, while Ioannis Foufis explained: "We want always to make the right call, but obviously mistakes are going to happen".
Sreten Radovic made it even more obvious taking with numbers: "We are three referees, and in every game, we make approximately 120 decisions each for a total of 360 calls. If each one of us makes six wrong calls in each game, then we get in total 18 mistakes per game. However, this means that we are 95% correct in our decisions. So what would you say to a player who is shooting 95% in free throws?"
On top of that, UEBO member Alberto Baena gave his own masterclass during the EHCB Coaches Congress clinic, explaining the use of the instant replay system in the EuroLeague.