BEIJING, March 22 (Xinhua) -- An unnamed official with the newly established Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) League Beijing Sports Company Limited has called for referee professionalization in the CBA to be carried out as soon as possible.
This official also called Yao Ming's election as the president of the Chinese Basketball Association an epoch-making event. He also said he had raised the issue of referee professionalization before with Yao.
"If we want the league to be professional, then the coaches, players and the referees need to be professional as well. But the problem is the lack of proficiency among the referees. Only a dozen of them are capable of being chief umpire, and they are usually too old," said the official.
"Through professional operations, we need to reform the hereditary and apprentice system among referees. Judges should be selected according to criteria such as experience, physique, English language proficiency and professional integrity, and a professional training organization should be established as well. It takes 8 to 12 years to nurture a qualified referee, as he is responsible for the appeal, smoothness and impartiality of each game," the official added.
The official also called for the concentration of more efforts in youth training. He says the CBA should cooperate with the Ministry of Education to establish junior and senior middle school basketball leagues at the local, provincial and national levels in order to nurture more young talents for Chinese basketball.
The official also talked about the presence of foreign players in the CBA league. From his perspective, foreign players contribute greatly to the league, but a lack of domestic basketball talent remains a problem.
"There are 20 teams in the league, and in average, only 7 to 8 domestic players in each team are able to play regularly. So the total number is about 160, which is too small. Therefore we need to concentrate more efforts in youth training," the official said.