How to be a Basketball Referee

The basics of refereeing basketball

Sport Videos

Source: Getty Images

By: Ashton Gekhman, Journalist

“You don’t notice the referee during the game unless he makes a bad call.” -Drew Curtis

Being a basketball referee can be difficult, whether it’s the kids that are playing, who don’t know what they are doing, or the loud, complaining parents when you make a “bad call”. However, being a referee can be a very interesting job, and there are some things you need to expect.

When you are in a room packed with fuming adults, things can get heated. Coaches and parents will be fuming at every call that favors the other team. This is where you would eject them from the game. That fixes the whole problem, and you can finish the game in peace.

There are rules you must know when being a referee. If a player or the ball crosses the boundaries, that would be out of bounds. Another key rule that is used most frequently are fouls:If an opponent affects the offense team like a hit or a hold, that would be a foul. If you call this, they would shoot two hoops from the free throw line, if they get fouled by shooting. Otherwise, the team that got fouled would get possession again. 

Here are some violations that happen frequently. Travels happen when a player takes three or more steps without dribbling. A double dribble happens either when a player is dribbling, stops, then starts again. It can also happen when a player is dribbling with two hands. 

As a referee, you will need special clothes and gear. Black sweat pants and a referee shirt is a must. You will also need black socks and black sneakers. The most important thing to remember is your whistle. You can’t be a referee without a whistle. 

There are different kinds of referees in a game. The normal ones, the paper referees, and the person working the clock. Working the paper is a bit complicated. You have to write down the points, you have to check the players in every quarter, and you have to keep track of fouls and timeouts. Working the clock is decently easy. You just have to remember to start and stop the clock, and add the points.

As you can see, being a referee can be interesting, fun, and not that difficult. With enough practice, you will definitely improve your referee skills! Don’t forget your whistle!


Related Stories:


Take Action:

  • Apply for a referee job in leagues like VYI or Mclean