ALBANY, GA (WALB) - This weekend 60 referees across the region gathered in HPER gym at Albany State for the Southwest Georgia GHSA basketball camp.
Officials are required to attend one every two years in order to be eligible for high school games.
Stacey Williams used to play basketball at Crisp County High and Darton State College, now that she's rocking the zebra stripes, she has a bit more perspective.
"You think you know but you know nothing until you're an official," she said laughing. "So I sit in the stands now with my mouth closed."
High school coaches are using this camp to evaluate their players. The referees are getting the same treatment.
Officials are being judged on things like appearance, court movement, hand signals and consistency, and according to one of their evaluators who officiates the collegiate level now, just like perfecting a jumper, it doesn't come easy.
"Nobody was born a referee," said camp clinician Terrance Isom. "So you've just got to go out there and work at it in the offseason. See a lot of plays, so in the season when you see those plays you'll feel comfortable."
Comfortability is exactly what the district coordinator, Darrell Lane. got from his officials through the weekend.
"They came in with that fresh-eyed green look." said Lane who started officiating back in 1994."And now they're getting to understand a lot better about some rule interpretations that helped them and they're making better decisions throughout the games now."
There are around 300 refs in district one which covers south Georgia. Of the 300, only 175 are eligible to officiate playoff games, and camps like these help other refs get on that level--or even higher.
"If I see some officials out here who I think have the potential to work at the next level," said Isom. I'll make that recommendation to them."