Paul Carter, affectionately known as Carts, was born and raised in Windsor where he attended Patterson Collegiate and the High School of Commerce. While he was an accomplished athlete, Carter is best remembered, whistle in-hand, for his role as a basketball official.
Carter has officiated in numerous championships and important tournaments including: Ontario Federation Secondary Athletic Association (OFSAA) from 1984 to 2017; Junior National Championships in 1991 and 1994; pre-qualifying games for the 1992 Summer Olympics; Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS – now U Sports) National Championships in 1997, 2007, 2009, 2010; Canadian College Athletic Association (CCAA) National Championships in 2004 and 2007.
Of the countless games he oversaw, Carter counts the 2010 CIS title game in men’s basketball in Halifax as his most memorable. “The highlight for every official is to be selected to officiate in this tournament,” said Carter. “Having that opportunity and with it being televised across Canada is definitely a game that stands out in my officiating career.”
Carter has been very active in his industry. He’s been a member of the Windsor and District Basketball Referees Association for the past 40 years and its president since 1992. He is also a member of the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials (IAABO) since 1981. Also, a member of the Ontario University Athletics Men’s Panel (OUA) since 1985. The OUA awarded Carter the Award of Merit in 2015 and 2016. Carter served as Vice President of the Ontario Association of Basketball Officials (OABO) and was the Commissioner of the OUA East Men’s Panel. Carter is a Honourary Lifetime Member of the Ontario Association of Basketball Officials.
Carter was awarded the John A. (Wink) Willox Award that is presented to individuals that are considered good floor officials and to someone that has made noteworthy contributions over an extended period to the advancement of basketball officiating at the provincial and national levels. This award is the second highest an official can receive for basketball in Canada.
The awards and service aside, for Carter his legacy is more than that. When asked how he would like his contributions to be remembered down the road, Carter responded: “That I was an honest, fair and approachable official and that the game is about the players and not the officials.”
Those qualities helped him establish good relationships with coaches over the years. “I always tried to be accommodating to the coaches especially when they had a question about a certain call,” Carter said. “The coaches all knew that I would give them an explanation at the appropriate time.”
The referee also said that he flashed the patented “Carter Look” at any boisterous coach or player that was close to crossing the line with him. Just a stare, no words, that is all that was needed. When you have as much experience as Carter you know the right tool for the job.
The Windsor Essex County Sports Hall of Fame is honoured to welcome Paul Carter for his over 40 years of basketball officiating at the local, provincial, national and international levels in the builder category.