Frank Cecchetto

Frank Cecchetto

Portrait by Robert Howson

Frank Cecchetto loved being on the basketball court.

He played the game at Bishop Macdonell high school before becoming an official at the age of 19. His first game was in 1966 at Erin High School and he has officiated thousands since. Cecchetto was well known on local basketball courts refereeing both boys and girls and became a mentor for many young people. He worked with all local officials to help them interpret the rules. He has officially held the title of rules interpreter and education officer with the local Catholic School Board for almost 35 years. “

An official that sees everything in black or white is very dangerous,” said Cecchetto a former vice-principal at Our Lady of Lourdes high school and teacher at St. James high school. “You have to be able to interpret rules and apply them fairly.”

Cecchetto refereed 20 years at the Ontario University Athletic Association (OUAA) and Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) level travelling across the province to work games. He also did many international games for FIBA, international basketball’s governing body.  For years he has officiated games at the CWOSSA and OFFSA level and been the assignor/evaluator at many of the same events.

Cecchetto took great pride in his work. He wanted to be patient on the court and fair with both players and coaches.

“I knew I had had a good night when the losing coach would come up to me after the game and said he appreciated my work” he said.

When you saw Cecchetto walk into the gym you knew that officiating wouldn’t be an issue that night.  He always let the players decide the game. He has gone on to mentor hundreds of young officials across the province and especially here in the Royal City.

To this day you can see him running up and down local high school basketball courts ensuring that the game he loves is fair and enjoyable for all.

Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – Official category – on October 23, 2013