MIES - The Rule Advisory Group (RAG) successfully completed its inaugural workshop at the House of Basketball with all of the participants highly enthused ahead of what is set to be vital future work.
The RAG met for the very first time on Wednesday-Thursday 18-19 May at FIBA's headquarters. The panel comprises an array of highly-respected figures from right around the globe, who will regularly come together to share their experience and technical expertise.
Among the members of the group is JD Collins, the National Co-Ordinator of men's basketball officiating in the NCAA, who was encouraged to be invited to contribute.
"I was honoured to be in the same room with so many of the sport's rule advisors," he said. "It's really good to see FIBA, NBA and NCAA all talking together and while it doesn't necessarily mean we will all have the same rules, we do have a lot of common issues to explore. The meeting has been extremely beneficial."
FIBA Hall of Fame inductee and FIBA Technical Commission member Costas Grigas was similarly positive.
"It is the first time we have had this type of thing before the Technical Commission and it will be very productive for them," he explained. "It's unfortunate that we have three big organisations who have differences in rules, but this is about looking at working closer and we will see over time how it progesses in terms of coming together."
Lubomir Kotleba, a member of the Technical Commission and Advisor to the FIBA Secretary General, echoed the sentiments of his colleagues.
"We were thinking for may years of setting up a group like this to act as a filer of the rules," he recalled. "I think the first meeting was excellent and will allow the Technical Commission to spend more time on other things.
"Having such a composition of experts was very good and I think in the future we will look to make sure we have an active player and coach among us, but this was a positive first step towards this, which must be congratulated."
When it comes to the FIBA Rule Book, few are in the know as much as Albert Schenking in his role as the External Technical Expert on the manual.
"It is great to be involved as we could all speak frankly and in detail," he said. "We are all looking for the consistency in rules and developing the game for the good of the sport and I like the way this working group can support the practicalities and injecting those into the rule book."
The final word went to Carl Jungerbrand, FIBA Head of Refereeing.
"This is the first part of the initiative and it was very profitable for everyone and it will be completed further with the addition of coaches and referees," he enthused.
"I really did learn a lot and it was good exchanging views with so many different and valued stakeholders."