SAN FRANCISCO - The Pac-12, Mountain West, Big West, West Coast and Western Athletic Conferences are further expanding their men's basketball officiating consortium to include the Big Sky Conference for the 2016-17 season.
The Western Officiating Consortium (WOC) will now feature all six Division I men's basketball leagues encompassing the western United States.
The commissioners from the Pac-12, Mountain West, Big West, West Coast and Western Athletic Conferences commented on the Big Sky's addition: "We take collective pride in the regional collaboration that will produce the largest and most comprehensive officiating consortium in Division I men's college basketball, servicing 62 member schools across 16 states. Since starting the endeavor three seasons ago, great strides have been made toward providing the best officiating program for our coaches and student-athletes, and we welcome the Big Sky to the joint effort to advance this initiative."
The consortium is designed to promote consistency - in training, development and evaluation - in officiating in the western U.S., and provide a larger, more diverse pool of officials for assignment.
The Pac-12 and Mountain West established an officiating alliance prior to the 2013-14 season, and the Big West, WCC and WAC participated in its training programs before the creation of the consortium in advance of the 2015-16 season.
Veteran referee and officiating coordinator Bobby Dibler will continue to lead the WOC as he has done since its inception. Prior to his leadership role in the consortium, Dibler spent 20 years as coordinator of officials for the Mountain West and Western Athletic Conferences following a two-decade officiating career highlighted by assignments in 11 NCAA Tournaments, three Final Fours and several NITs.
Dibler heads a coordinators' group which recruits, trains and assigns a top-level roster of officials that reflects the high quality of basketball played in the Conferences. They organize an annual pre-season training clinic that includes all roster officials and focuses on mechanics, game situations, rules knowledge and other key factors needed to ensure that they are among the best trained in the country. Additionally, Dibler makes an on-going and concerted effort to attract top lead officials to the consortium from throughout the region and nationally.
“The Big Sky Conference coaches and administrators welcome the opportunity to join the consortium, and appreciate the five other leagues for the invitation,” said Big Sky Commissioner Andrea Williams. “We share the vision of training, educating and assigning officials to create a more consistently officiated game and look forward to the benefits provided by the WOC collaboration.”