Women in Refereeing: Emma Perry
October 01, 2020
Over the coming weeks – and as part of our ‘Dream Big’ #SheGotGame women in sport campaign - we will be featuring a host of female referees who are currently (or have recently been) refereeing here in Ireland, to learn about their background, their refereeing careers and any tips and tricks they have for new referees. This week’s feature is on FIBA's Emma Perry.
Check out our Q&A with Emma below.
What type of games do you currently referee?
I am currently referee at local, national and International level.
Can you talk us through your playing background?
I played a small bit of Schools basketball and also club level for a few years in Dublin local league.
How did you get involved in refereeing?
It was an opportunity to get out of class in school, so I jumped at the chance of doing the course.
What kind of games have you refereed over the years?
Throughout my years of refereeing, I have had the experience of many different competitions, including schools, club and as mentioned above national and International.
Who would you say was a role model for you as a referee and why?
There were two referees’ that I would have looked up to when I started, the first was Pat Kiely. He was a FIBA referee from Limerick and he had it all, talent, personality and professionalism and the second was Mary Dempsey from Dublin. She played a massive part in my early career as a Tutor, mentor and role model. To see a female referee at the highest level was something to aspire to.
What is the most important thing for you when refereeing younger/teenage boys and girls?
The most important thing is Respect. For many reasons, as it needs to taught from a young age and carried throughout your career and it works both ways, from the players to the referee and also from the referee to the players.
Have you any tips you'd like to share on keeping girls engaged in sport - particularly at the 14-18-year-old age group?
Have fun and enjoy, don’t focus too much on the destination, enjoy the journey.
Any tips you would like to give to young referees who are starting out?
There is no such thing as the perfect refereed game so be prepared to make mistakes, we all do. Work hard and enjoy, it can be great fun I promise!
When you first stepped up to National League/International level, were you nervous about the step up and how did you deal with that if so?
For me, when making the step up to both National and International level I was nervous, with national league I was aware and familiar with how the whole process worked but still nervous. Making that next step to International was a whole other level of nerves, having to deal with a lot of new processes regarding travel, appointments, and co officials from other countries and how it all worked so to say I was nervous would be an understatement.
What would you say to other female referees who are considering moving up a level in their refereeing careers?
Regardless of the step up you are making, believe in yourself, work hard, never allow the fact that you are female to stop you in your determination and drive, we are all referees and with hard work, honesty and self-belief you will get to the place you are meant to be.
How do you measure the success of a game?
No one is prefect we are all human and like players and coaches there will be mistakes but if myself and my team have had an honest, consistent and professional performance throughout
the game we can then deem it a success.
How do you measure success in broader terms?
For me I would measure it on the level of respect I have gained as an official throughout my career from all stakeholders within the game for the job that I do.
How important do you think it is for referees to keep learning and developing regardless of level of experience?
This is vital at all levels regardless of experience, the game is constantly evolving and we must do the same, officials must keep up or even be ahead of it in order to facilitate the pace of change to continue.
Have you noticed many changes in Ireland in referees over the years? If so, what?
There have been many changes over the years, it is no longer just a case of doing a course and refereeing for the next 40 years, we are constantly being giving the tools to educate ourselves and have many resources to do so. The use of video analyst is just one, there is no hiding and the expectations are very high for one to succeed.
What changes would you like to see in basketball refereeing in Ireland in the future?
Following on from the above, one of the changes I would like to see is that no matter where you are located in Ireland that the education of referees is consistent across the board and the opportunities are available to everyone and that we thrive as country and make an impact across Europe for many years to come.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned as a player?
I am not a good one :)
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned as a referee?
That you can have the darkest of moments in your career and feel that there is no light at the end of the tunnel but with strength, determination, support and most of all self-belief you can reach the highest level and get to live out your dream.
Basketball Ireland have a homepage for your refereeing education and development requirements. This page contains all relevant FIBA documents along with training videos and additional material supplied by BI FIBA National Instructor, Paul Dempsey to aid your development/education. Click here to view the page.