NBIAA Final 12

Final 12 is a Major Plumb for Provincial Officials Too

All the pomp, all the circumstance of a New Brunswick Interscholastic Athletic Association Final 12 needs one common denominator.

Officials, of course.

Not only is it a thrill for all the players, coaches and spectator, let’s not forget it’s also an honour for members of the New Brunswick Association of Approved Basketball Officials (NBAABO) to, well, to earn their stripes for one of the six championship games.

The Final 12 games require a Level II or higher minimum official’s rating, but there is more involved.

Assignments are presented by the NBAABO’s Evaluations and Assignments Committee which uses input from six provincial zone representatives. That input includes performance evaluations of officials in those zones, based on performance on the court during the season. The committee will then seek information from the crew chiefs for each officiating group assigned to the present year’s New Brunswick Interscholastic Athletic Association’s sectional qualifying and seeding tournaments.

The committee will then select 12 officials who will work the six games at the AAA, AA and A levels at the Final 12 at Saint John’s Harbour Station.

New in 2017 is the addition of three stand by officials, assigned to each of the Final 12 sessions meaning one official will be on alert during the AAA boys’ and girls’ games, one for the AA games and one for A championships.

‘There can be conflicts for assigning officials who may be working at the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) or Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association levels,’ said NBAABO secretary-treasurer Peter Mersereau of Woodstock. ‘Our committee works with the AUS and ACAA assignors to ensure all games are covered with the best possible officials.’

Selected officials can earn back-to-back Final 12 assignments, but must sit out one year before earning further assignments.

Officiating is difficult at the lowest of youth levels let alone calling the shots for a Final 12. The setting, of course, is different with spacious Harbour Station as the scene with numerous bells and whistles.

Still, earning a Final 12 assignment is a feather in an official’s cap.

‘Recognizing that these games are the championships, we strive to have the top officials available while also ensuring it’s not the same 12 officials going every year,’ said NBAABO vice president Adam Humphrey of Fredericton. ‘We’ve been able to strike a very good balance over the last few years of mixing veteran officials with those that have not yet had a chance to experience the Final 12 environment.’

Officials are certainly aware of the importance of the games.

It is the culmination of high school seasons for a dozen teams.

At the end of the day, though, Humphrey said although the stage is large, officials should be counted on to be at their best if it’s cold fall night in Grand Falls or a winter afternoon in Moncton.

‘We expect our officials to give 100 per cent every night in every game they are assigned during the season,’ said Humphrey. ‘We try and emphasize when they get to the Final 12, they just need to go out and call their game.’

The committee does not try and match officiating personalities, but does try to avoid sending a team where both would be doing their first Final 12. It is a reward for those who have worked hard at their craft, shown improvement and developed consistency throughout the year.

There is also a look at the Final 12 matchups to try as best as possible to allow different zone officials to do games involved conference rivals.

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