Congratulations… Geoff Weeks
A powerful case can be made for Geoff Weeks that would rank him as the No.1 referee ever produced in South Australia.
His record of achievement as one of the nation’s greatest referees is second-to-none in SA, his understanding and appreciation for what the players were experiencing and ability to officiate with a common-sense and supportive approach setting him apart from an early age.
He called his first women’s state league game in 1974 and first men’s match in 1976, en route to winning the Phil Yuill Trophy as SA Referee of the Year 23 times from 1978-2001.
During that period and beyond, Geoff officiated the State League Finals series for 27 years from 1978-2005.
Unquestionably the stand-out umpire in the state, when the NBL launched in 1979, he immediately was part of the officiating panel and called a whopping 697 games over 30 seasons. He officiated in 29 NBL Finals Series and handled three Grand Final series.
Twice Referee of the Year for the WNBL, he was part of the women’s league’s inaugural panel from 1981 and called 100 games and four Grand Finals.
Highly respected by players, coaches and fans alike due to his on-court efficiency, laid-back nature and ability to accurately read the play, Geoff set the standard to which young officials could aspire.
He remains an inspiration and a valuable resource to referees learning the craft of officiating. His encouragement to officials working their way up the ladder of success has been invaluable.
And why not?
He stands alone as Australia’s youngest FIBA licence-holder, which he held for 28 years from 1979. That was a mere year after attaining his Australian Referee’s Badge and by 1981, his international officiating journey was underway when he called the FIBA Oceania Under-20 Men’s Qualification Series.
He already was calling various international games with visiting foreign teams in Australia from 1979 but his talents saw him attending the 1983 FIBA World Junior Men’s Championship in Spain as Australia’s referee and two years later, he was the nation’s official at the FIBA World Junior Women’s Championship in the US.
In 1988, Geoff became an Olympian when he refereed at the Seoul Olympic Games, arguably the pinnacle of his international achievements.
Highly respected throughout Asia because he could not be influenced, financially or otherwise to tamper with games, Geoff officiated at the 1984 FIBA Asian Women’s Championship in Malaysia, the 1986 Men’s Crown Prince tournament in Thailand and was the gold medal match referee at the 1991 Malaysian Invitational tournament.
He officiated at the 1992 William Jones Tournament in Taiwan, the 1993 FIBA invitation Asian Junior Men’s Basketball Championship in Malaysia which included handling the gold medal playoff, the 1995 Invitation Malaysian Men’s Basketball League Finals Series where he again had the gold medal playoff as he did at the 1996 Invitation Indonesian Men’s Basketball League Finals Series.
Geoff’s prominence across Asia continued with his performance at the 1999 FIBA Invitation Asian Men’s Basketball Olympic Qualifications Championship in Japan again earning him the gold medal game.
His ability to ignore outside influences and never lose focus saw him ref the 2000 Invitation Chinese Basketball League All Star Game, line up as the gold medal game ref at the 2001 FIBA Invitation Asian Club Championship in Malaysia where he returned two years later for the Sarawak Men’s Invitational Tournament.
Of course Geoff wasn’t limited to Asia, calling the women’s gold medal playoff at the 1990 Goodwill Games in the US and officiating at the 2001 Men’s Goodwill Games in Brisbane.
Naturally Geoff also officiated at Australian States Junior Championships, from under-16s to Under-20s, his stellar career coming to an abrupt and premature end due to a severe ankle injury in 2008.
Two years later, FIBA awarded him its Retired International Licence which came on top of his 1989 Basketball Association of SA Life Membership, 2004 NBL Life Membership and seven years ago, Geoff became an inaugural member of the Basketball SA Platinum League.
Affable, popular and beyond reproach for his work as an outstanding referee in an era of great officials, Geoff Weeks’ induction into the 2021 Basketball SA Hall of Fame is fitting acknowledgement of a career brilliantly and meticulously performed and executed.