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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651 Questions


Last Answer on September 20, 2019

Best Rated

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 almost 12 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.

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 about 11 years ago

No travelling until either player lifts a foot.

Are you allowed to eject fans?

Asked by Pete_bk about 12 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.

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 over 11 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!

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 over 11 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.

I am a young official in my first year of refereeing basketball. In what instances does the referee blow the whistle prior to putting the ball at the disposal of inbounding player after a dead ball situation?

Asked by FJ22 over 9 years ago

I was taught that the only times to blow your whistle before administering a throw-in is after a time out or before the resumption of play to start a new quarter.

I would also blow the whistle if there was a long delay before a normal throw-in (such as confusion at the scorer's table), but certainly not on most normal throw-ins.

Ball heading out of bounds towards team A coach who is standing in the coaching box. The coach makes a natural reflex to catch the ball before it hits him. Player B simultaneously was trying to make a play on the ball. Is this a T on coach?

Asked by Jake over 10 years ago

No T.  The coach is where he should be, and there he is considered out of bounds -  so when the ball touches him it is OB.  However, it borders on unsportsmanlike conduct if the coach purposely grabs it to prevent the other team from making a play.  In any case I personally would not call a T.