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

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 almost 9 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!

An offensive player falling out of bounds often throws the bb off a defender. What if the defender had one foot planted out of bounds & other foot lifted off the floor? Is he part of the out of bounds & entitled to the ball?

Asked by Richard Troth about 9 years ago

if any part of a player is out of bounds, he is out of bounds. If a player (a teammate who is legally in the game as a participant) is out of bounds and is the first to touch the ball before it is otherwise out of bounds, the ball is awarded to the other team. Here's a better example to clarify: Player A1 is out of bounds throwing the ball in. The ball bounces off of B1 (who is inbounds) and comes back and hits A1 before A1 returns to be inbounds. Team B is awarded a throw in.

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

Asked by Yohann almost 9 years ago

It depends on how they approach and ask the question.

Is this over and back??? Ball in-bounds side frontcourt...ball is tipped in front court to backcourt where control is gained by the player who tipped it by a dribble(so there never was a possession in frontcourt) this over and back???

Asked by imaxfli about 9 years ago

An "over and back", or backcourt violation (not to be confused with a 10 second backcourt violation) can only occur when it is proceeded by the offensive team establishing possession in their front court. There is no possession on a throw in, which is why the offense can pitch it directly into the backcourt. In your scenario, there is a judgement call to be made: did the offensive player in a controlled way purposely tip the ball (implying control)? Or did the player tip the ball without control? Without control, it is not a backcourt violation to retrieve it.

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 almost 9 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.

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

Asked by dh almost 9 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.


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 almost 9 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.