Basketball : “The arbitration has given a meaning to my life”


Maxime (25 years old) has left home at 17, before live more than a month “to the street”. Yet, it has managed to become one of the best referees in French at the moment.
© DR

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It has a schedule to rival all the basketball fans. In recent months, Maxim Boubert had a ringside seat to attend one of the tournaments in the summer preparation of the team of France and it foams in the past three seasons, the floors of the largest teams in france, Asvel, Monaco, Le Mans or even Limoges. In 25 years, it is one of the youngest but also the best referees in Pro A, Ligue 1 ball orange.

“Ex-argumentative and grumpy” on the pitch

Originally, however, nothing predestined this year. And for good reason : Maxime, who plays basketball for his 6 years at Saint-Leu-la-Forêt (Val-d’oise), is said to be “argumentative and grumpy” on the pitch. “When I thought that an arbitrator was wrong, I loved supporting them where it hurts. “

The young player is hard with the men with the whistles, but not only. “On the field, I wanted to constantly progress, to be at the bottom, beat me, and I didn’t understand why some team-mates did not share this requirement, why they preferred to laugh rather than to train hard,” he says. A requirement which is not limited to basketball : “I imposed this way of life to others, to my family, my friends and my girlfriend. “

Party 17 years in the family home

At the club, the mood swings of the player annoyed. It then pushes you to participate in a training of arbitrator, who will act as the trigger mechanism. “I was far from imagining that it would give meaning to my life, he smiles. But I liked it, so I continued. “To such an extent that he rose through the ranks quickly : at age 16, he officiates at the departmental level, before discovering the National 2 division (4th division) and then the Pro at the age of 22.

Maxime Boubart during a game of Pro A. © JULIEN BACOT

This climb has the value of an outlet to the young man faced with a personal context difficult. In fact, at 17 years old, he decides to leave the family home and his school, renouncing to pass the bachelor’s degree. “My parents were sick, I could no longer stay at home. Even if I’m left without nothing, I knew where I wanted to go, I was determined to succeed. “Maximus settles in a town nearby, Bezons, where he works in addition to his sports activities. He has two licenses of player, went to four training sessions per week, and referee to ” finish the month “. “I thought only basketball, all the time. During this period, the failures were very hard to live, I do the feeling never as an opportunity to progress. “

A month and a half to the street

With self-denial, the young man learns and grows, especially over the meetings with his colleagues to the edge of the field, “educators, psychologists, and bankers” crossed the night of the match. His whistle is also welcomed by his peers. “A good referee is like a good player : if nobody cheering for you and gives you your chance, you can’t progress, ensures Maxim. I had the chance to meet rich people humanely who have been able to motivate myself. “

Yet, in spite of his will, he lives in new a difficult. In 20 years, while it has a learning contract, Maximus finds himself on the street for a month and a half, in the middle of winter. He alternates between nights at the hotel, with friends or in his car. “I was taking my shower after the workout or in the homes of friends, without talking to them about my situation, he remembers. I would even stay in the stations late in the evening to charge my phone and my computer. “


The arbitration, this is a gold mine.

On the field, the referee does not show anything of his difficulties of the moment. Better, it is this activity that will allow him to bounce back. “Like, during a game, I set myself goals in my daily life. Get out, find a apartment, it was one of them. I never doubted, I knew that my situation would soon improve. “Finding a roof and a life less chaotic, it takes confidence and claims to learn from the mistakes of the past.

“Arbitration, it is a gold mine, he says with a smile. It forces you to have a fine analysis of the people, to understand their behaviour, you adapt to their feedback and to listen to, especially. It was a quality that I had not. “Each game, he says that” human beings are at the centre of decisions ” : “The players don’t expect it to be perfect but that we be just. “And it is not rare that the referee’s” help to re-motivate a player ” who likes nervously after several failures.

Maxime Boubert had a ringside seat to attend one of the tournaments in the summer preparation of the team of France and scum of the past three seasons, the floors of the largest teams in france, ASVEL, Monaco, Le Mans or even Limoges. © DR

“I could never be so radiant without arbitration. It taught me everything : to open me, to share, to listen. “Maxime smiled, letting his memories of evenings in the largest rooms of the Hexagon. So begin the Days of the arbitration (from 20 to 30 October), he would like to refer to ” these referees who officiate at county level and regional level, certainly the levels the more difficult to arbitrate “. Maxim aspires to ” an officer in the major international competitions “, dreams of competing in the olympic Games and especially hope that his experience will motivate young people to follow his way.

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