OFFICIALS: Nikita Philippe, Ben Harvey and Cody Petry will officiate at the state champs.
OFFICIALS: Nikita Philippe, Ben Harvey and Cody Petry will officiate at the state champs. Nick Kossatch GLA060317UMPIRES

Whistleblowers for the state championships

BASKETBALL: A group of people will officiate in two separate state championships next month.

Nikita Philippe and Cody Petry will be refereeing at the 2017 State Championships (under-14 boys) in Brisbane from April 11-14 while Ben Harvey, also a talented representative player, will blow the whistle at the equivalent event in Cairns for the U14 girls at the same period.

"It will be my second championships because my first one was 10 years ago,” Philippe said.

You would often see Philippe run around for her team called Mumma's in the Monday night women's competition, but either before and after a match, she would don the referees uniform.

And she would do it all again on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights.

"When I was younger, I knew that I wasn't the best player, so I decided to do a refereeing course,” Philippe said.

The thought of having some coaches and players question her calls was once daunting and that is something she is starting to get used to.

"I'm still getting to that point where I try to ignore and definitely I like to let go as much as possible until when I see something and call it,” Philippe said.

"I just try to be in the right position and make the right call.”

The ever-changing rules, governed by the International Basketball Federation, is a part and parcel of the sport.

"There's always a new rule coming in and I just did a new course which involved changing hand signals,” Philippe said.

"There's also an application for the phone that you can use and it explains how to position yourself.” While being a referee can be a thankless task, Philippe said it's rewarding.

"One good thing is they pay you for travel, accommodation and give you a food levy,” she said.