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 October 09, 2017

Best Rated

Do you get the sense that teenage players are already focusing more on highlight-reel type stuff as opposed to fundamentals?

Asked by Former coach over 5 years ago

In most high schools (at least around Chicago) the coaches usually will not put up with such selfish play....BUT in AAU ball, where a lot of college recruiters have to go to get talent, the desire for the highlight reel is rampant and lessens the game. At the very elite level AAU players are better developed through rigorous training and coaching, but the street agent and coach-controlled hold on middle to upper players is horrible. Some AAU coaches encourage showboating because it is flashy and might increase the recruiting clout that they show, but it usually does not win games. It is a real dilemma.

Who do you think would win in a game - the best high school men's basketball team in the country or the best women's pro team?

Asked by RonMexico almost 5 years ago

Just a speculative guess... I think the boys high school team beats the women's pro team because usually the best boys' team sends a player or two right into the NBA. Males peak physically around 19 or twenty, so I think physicality trumps maturity and practice. Who knows? This question reminds me of the tennis battle of the sexes in 1973 when Bobby Riggs gave Billie Jean King the doubles lines and was soundly trounced (but both made a lot money promoting it!).

Is it me, or does it seem like it's REALLY hard to get the charge call while on defense? I have no stats obviously, but it seems like the guy trying to take the charge gets it WAY too rarely. And this happens at all skill levels...

Asked by Lebron who? over 5 years ago

It is hard to get a charge because to play proper defense in order to get a charge is hard work. Remember, the defender must establish his position BEFORE the offensive player leaves his feet. And to further complicate things, the defender can be moving while taking a charge if the defender moves "obliquely" after establishing a position. Here's my opinion: the best referees get the block/charge correct most often because they "referee the defense". That means, for example, if you are the lead referee under the basket and a player begins to drive, shift your eyes immediately to watch the defender. By following the defender, you will know whether he got there in time. Refereeing the defense is hard to do because we always watch the offense (on TV and at games). Next time you watch a game, see if you can pick up the off-ball officials not looking at the offense. If they are looking away from the ball, they are probably good officials and they are "refereeing the defense".

Do you ever officiate women's games, and do you think there's anything that can be done to make women's b-ball more interesting to watch? Lord knows I've tried but ...

Asked by Mike Z about 5 years ago

For the past 5 years my schedule was about 75% girls' games. The game is played below the rim with a focus on passing. Every year I think the girls' games improve in quality on the high school level. Most teams around Chicago have a guard who can penetrate the lane, and a 3 point shooter. What they never have are quick forwards who have inside games. To me, the girl's high school and college games are intersting, but I do not enjoy the women's pro game. It seems like a WMCA pickup game. The girls game will continue to get better, but it won't be the high flying athletic boys game at comparable levels.

Are you allowed to eject fans?

Asked by Pete_bk over 5 years ago

In most states, each game is supposed to have a function designated game management (or game administrator). This is usually the Athletic Director. So, when a fan needs to be ejected the referee should find the game administrator and say something like, "the guy in the third row with the red shirt must be ejected." In my experience, they always remove the fan as requested. In summary, I have required certain fans to be ejected, but I've never had to physically do it or have a standoff with a fan. If the game management refused to eject a fan, I would refuse to continue ref'ing the game.

Is it traveling in basketball if two players on the same team are both in possession of the ball at the same time and neither player is moving or jumping?

Asked by Stan over 4 years ago

No travelling until either player lifts a foot.

Why do the rules require refs handle the ball after a violation? Wouldn't the game go faster and smoother if the in-bound needed no ref touch, as in soccer or in hoop after a made basket?

Asked by rodk over 4 years ago

Some international games are played without referees touching the ball on violations, as you suggest. I guess it rewards readiness but also creates a sneakiness to the game. As it is played in high school federation rules, the referees should hold the ball allowing substitutes and the teams are given time to setup. I suppose it is a matter of preference.