Basketball Referee

Basketball Referee

Rndballref

20 Years Experience

Chicago, IL

Male, 60

For twenty years I officiated high school, AAU and park district basketball games, retiring recently. For a few officiating is the focus of their occupation, while for most working as an umpire or basketball referee is an avocation. I started ref'ing to earn beer money during college, but it became a great way to stay connected to the best sports game in the universe. As a spinoff, I wrote a sports-thriller novel loosely based on my referee experiences titled, Advantage Disadvantage

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Last Answer on September 20, 2019

Best Rated

How do I become a basketball referee for local high schools & rec leagues? I played high school ball, but are there any other credentials or certifications I need?

Asked by Michael N about 12 years ago

There are some sports where it is difficult to officiate if you have not played (wrestling, diving, gymnastics). In my view basketball is not one of them, although people with playing experience often excel. Every state is different, but here's how it goes in Illinois: you apply to the state to get certified. In the application you attest to your non-criminal background, and you list 3 references, one of whom should be associated with high school basketball. You send in your application and $40 and they will send reference cards (probably emails by now) to your three people. Once they respond in a satisfactory way, then you are sent the rule, case study and mechanics books and the questions for an open book exam. In Illinois you also have to attend an annual rules meeting (now online). If you want to work the state tournament you must attend a certified camp at least every three years. I wish I would have attended camps early in my career - they are humbling and usually stress judgement and proper mechanics but you learn so much. Having done all of this you will be "patched", that is you've passed the state requirements and they send you the state's patch to sew on your uniform. This is half the battle. Now you must get booked for assignments, usually starting out doing freshman games. In most states, it is worth it to join a local official's association. Not only will you get valuable training at the meetings from the veterans, usually each association also has assignment chairpersons who come to the meetings and are members. They often give favorable treatment to members of their associations in terms of game assignments. Some of these associations offer mentoring programs where experienced officials will watch you work games and offer critical feedback. In the summer camps you will also get great feedback from the refs running the camp. Sometimes they will shadow you on the floor, helping you with positioning, angles, and mechanics. It all sounds like a lot, but if you love the game like I do, officiating is a wonderful way of staying connected long after your playing days are over - and they will even pay you for it!

How many free throws for calling 2 Technical fouls(consecutively) on the Head Coach for arguing? Head Coach is ejected on 2nd Technical foul.

Asked by eers33tkl@hotmail.com over 11 years ago

In National Federation High School rules each technical is awarded 2 free throws, except if there are off-setting technicals on both teams. Remember a coach can be tossed on 1 technical for a flagrant behavior, for two direct technicals or 3 indirect/directs. In your question the team would be awarded 4 free throws plus the ball.

Are there any notable players in the NBA now that you officiated when they were younger?

Asked by Madam Charles about 12 years ago

Shannon Brown is the most famous player on the court when I officiated when he played at Proviso East High School.

can A a head referee sitting outside watching the game over ruled a call made by the two officials that are oficiating a game

Asked by yaz over 11 years ago

No.  There is no provision for a non-participating official to over rule a referee.  If I was watching a couple officials work a game I would not get involved during live play unless the game was devolving into mayhem.  Normally, I would go to the official's lockerroom at halftime and discuss what they saw, what the rule interpertation should be, and how to administer it, but not during the game unless it was totally out of control.  Except in unusual situations, there is no provision for one referee on the floor to over rule the other.  My preference always is that if one of my partners believe I blew a call I want him to approach me and tell me what he saw, and let me decide to change my call.  I used to cover this style in my pre-game conference with the other refs before the game.

If a player is fouled while jumping to attempt to tip-in a rebound is this a shooting foul or a loose ball foul?

Asked by dhatch over 10 years ago

In NFHS there are players fouled in the act of shooting, common fouls, player control fouls, team control fouls and technical fouls.  A player attempting to tip the basketball into the hoop is fouled in the act of shooting and will get 2 free throws, unless the ball went in - the bucket counts plus 1 free throw.  

It has to be this way because if it was considered a common foul (and assume the team is in the bonus) and the ball went in, then you would have to count the basket and award a one and one - which would be crazy and severe.

What's your worst blown call? And on a related note, if you make a bad call and you know it, is it hard not to try and "make good" with a favorable call to the other team later in the game?

Asked by Swisha-mang about 12 years ago

I once passed on a block/charge situation because I thought it was one of my partner's call. I was wrong and it was mine to make. So, nothing was called even when the players went sprawling. Both coaches were pissed, and were right. There was a foul in there, and a no call was horrible. By the way, some of my best calls were no calls, even when the crowd howls for something. I am so conscious of not coming back with a make-up call that I think I overcompensate and dig in to the detriment of the team whose call I booted.

If you see a replay after a game and realize you blew a call, do you admit it or apologize next time you ref a game for the team you screwed?

Asked by paul about 12 years ago

I admit it during a game if I boot a call. Most coaches would favor honesty as in, "hey coach you are probably right about that last call - after thinking about it I think I made the wrong call", as opposed to trying to argue something you realize is not true. So if there was a question of rule or angle of play, and if I determined that I made a bad call or applied a rule in error I would definitely contact the coach and explain what my thinking was, and why I now think I may have been wrong. That's me, other ref's never ever say they made a bad call.