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

SubscribeGet emails when new questions are answered. Ask Me Anything!Show Bio +


Ask me anything!

Submit Your Question

564 Questions


Last Answer on June 23, 2017

Best Rated

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.

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 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.

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

Asked by Yohann over 4 years ago

It depends on how they approach and ask the question.


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 over 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.

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 over 4 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.

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 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!

Why doesn't basketball use instant replay?

Asked by marcus over 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.