Basketball Referee

Basketball Referee


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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540 Questions


Last Answer on March 19, 2017

Best Rated

Why would a Ref call a tech on a player swearing earlier in the game but not on a push/shove that almost created a brawl?

Asked by Yohann about 4 years ago

I only called technical fouls on players for swearing when it was aimed at an opposing player or me. A push or shove can be a either common, intentional, or technical foul depending on the severity and situation.

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 about 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.


Recently, as reported on ESPN, in a girls JH/JV game a field goal attempt was thrown from 3/4 court, bounced on the floor and went in. 2 or 3 pt. goal? Why?
thank you

Asked by bhsgym about 4 years ago

A try or tap ends when it is apparent that the ball will not go through the ring. So when a 3 point try falls short and the ball bounces on the floor the try is over. When a ball enters the ring and goes through (assuming it is no longer a 3 point try) it is a two point score.

If my team was awarded a one and one then on the next foul they said they weren't in the one and one what should happen

Asked by Jamie about 4 years ago

To clarify your question, I believe you are asking what should happen if a one and one is awarded in error and then discovered. There are 5 correctable errors in the high school federation rule book, and one is the awarding of unmerited free throws. However, to be correctable, it must be recognized by the officials no later than during the first dead ball, after the clock has been properly started. I have encountered this only once in 20 years, If properly recognized, the free throw points are removed but other scores after the erroneous last free throw still count. It's a messy rule, and once every twenty years is too much!

Do you ever feel insulted if a player questions your call?

Asked by Yohann about 4 years ago

It depends on how they approach and ask the question.

Why doesn't basketball use instant replay?

Asked by marcus about 4 years ago

Replay IS being used by various levels in basketball. In National Federation of High School Rules, states are allowed the option to use replay in the state tournament for specific things such as whether a buzzer shot was launched before time expired. In college, they use replay to ascertain the severity of fouls - whether a tech foul is flagarant or class 1, etc. NBA seems to use it more. The benefit is to make sure you get the call correct, the obvious downside is that it takes time and breaks momentum.

Have you ever made a bad call in a crucial moment of a game to affect the outcome?

Asked by dh about 4 years ago

I think the end of close game calls are debatable, especially by the coaches who have a vested interest. From the beginning, I have been confident enough to be strong in my calls and my judgement. Here's what happened in one instance: The lead changed hands 3 times in the last minute. With 3 seconds left and the game tied, I am administering a throw in to the home team near their basket on the end line. After a time out, the home team lobs over the defender and the offensive player skips toward the basket after dribbling once and picking up the ball. I blow met whistle loudly while the ball is in the air, and I am waiving off the shot (the buzzer sounds while the ball is in the air as well). I move in and call traveling and I am waiving off the shot, sending the game into overtime. The home coach just stared at me during most of the 1 minute period before overtime. In overtime the visitors pulled away and won the game, much to the chagrin of the home team. Two years later, the home coach was scouting a state playoff game I was working and at halftime said to me, "that was the most courageous and correct call in a critical moment that he had seen". The coach said that he asked the assignment chairman to put me on more of his games. I think he watched the tape and saw the traveling. In summary, I have made a few calls I regret, but none of them have been mistakes at crucial times.