Kilsyth Basketball is honoured to support not only elite players and coaches, but also top rate referees to coordinate competitions at our multiple venues.   Barry Spicer, Kilsyth Basketball’s Director of Referees is one such example, and this past weekend his contributions to the field of officiating were recognized in a big way.  Barry was selected as one of three referees to officiate the Gold Medal Game in the National Wheelchair Basketball League (NWBL). 

The NWBL held its playoffs on the 15th-17th of June with the top four teams in the League advancing to play.  The games were held in Shellharbour, New South Wales and saw the Wollongong Roller Hawks and The Be Active Perth Wheelcats advance to the Grand Final.  The Roller Hawks defeated the Wheelcats 79-59 to claim the NWBL Championship Title for 2012 and also entered the record books by winning back to back championship titles for the first time in club history.  

For Barry, being involved with such a high level of competition has come after much experience with the sport.  Barry has been refereeing Wheelchair Basketball since 1994 and has been a member of the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation since 2000.  To be selected as a referee for the NWBL playoffs, referees must have proved their superior skills throughout the five month NWBL season.  After officiating the Friday semi-final, Barry’s performance resulted in his selection to referee the Gold Medal Grand Final on Sunday. 

The NWBL is the top level of competition for Wheelchair Basketball in Australia.  Wheelchair Basketball is currently hailed as the fastest growing sport for athletes with a disability.  The NWBL is Australia’s national championship league with six teams from five states competing for the title.  The League was established in 1987 and is comprised of both male and female athletes.  The top four teams that advanced to this year’s NWBL Finals Series were the Wollongong Roller Hawks, The Be Active Perth Wheelcats, the Victoria Dandenong Rangers and the Sydney Uni WheelKings.

For Barry, Wheelchair competitions only add to the integrity of the sport.  While on the floor he concentrates on his duties to officiate the game, off the floor Barry can’t help but be impressed with the skills the athletes possess.  “To call them disabled while they play is completely inaccurate,” Barry comments.  “They are not disabled, they are abled.  They are abled with everything they can do with the ball while on a chair.”

Referring the 2012 NWBL Finals can be added to Barry’s list of achievements in the field of officiating.  Also among Barry’s accomplishments was his participation in the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece, where he was a referee for the Wheelchair Basketball tournament.  This upcoming weekend Barry will be refereeing the Women’s National Wheelchair Basketball League (WNWBL) Finals which will be held at Dandenong Stadium.

Kilsyth Basketball congratulates Barry for his advancements and contributions to the sport of Wheelchair Basketball and is honoured to have him represent the Association with such regard. 

For more information on the 2012 NWBL Season please click here