Below is a list of referee tips and key focus areas
based on learnings from the referee clinics and feedback from
Be the expert -
Read the rules
several times throughout the season so you know them well.
sharp and loud - Make sure to blow your whistle short, sharp
and loud. Make sure everyone hears it.
four eyes on the ball - Officiating requires two referees to work
together - one is responsible for on-the-ball coverage and the other for
off-the-ball coverage. Imagine each half of the playing court is divided into
rectangles with three along the baseline and three along the half-court line.
The lead referee covers the rectangle area under the hoop and either the
rectangle area to the left or right of the hoop. The trail referee covers the
remaining four rectangles. This avoids both referees watching the ball and missing
space, see space, see space - Position yourself to see
space between the offensive and defensive player. This will put you in a better
position to make a good call.
positions - Referees should rotate positions regularly
after each foul is called. If no foul has been called for a while, take the
opportunity to rotate when the play has stopped to avoid one referee making all
the calls at one end of the court.
out is max one minute - Time outs are a maximum one minute. At 50
seconds, approach the player's bench to get players back on the court ready to
play. If a coach calls a timeout, referees are responsible to ensure it is a
maximum one minute. Get the games started again quickly as games are non-stop
picks - Setting a screen (or pick) is allowed in
our league, although Basketball BC doesn't recommend this concept be introduced
until players are at least 12 years or older. When a screen is set, the player
setting a screen must be stationary with both feet on the floor when contact
occurs. If the player setting the screen is moving, it is a violation.
and back Over and back is called when both the
player's feet AND the Ball cross the centre line and then the player returns to
the back court. If only one foot and/or the ball crosses, it is not over and
back. Note: When playing two games concurrently at Andre Piolat or other
smaller gyms, please be lenient with the over-and-back rule (courts are
Number, Violation, Consequence - The best
referees are loud, clear and assertive. Make your calls loud so that old lady
in the back row can hear you. Remember: Call color and number of the player
followed by the violation and consequence. "RED 10, TRAVELLING,
is possession arrow turned? - Possession arrow is
changed after the tip-off and only during held balls. At the start of the
second half, the team who has the possession arrow in their favour, receives
the ball (it is not who lost the tip ball at the start of the game). The
possession arrow does not change if there is a foul. Possession is awarded to
the team that was fouled.
long for a held ball? - A held ball occurs when one or more players
of each opposing team have one or both hands firmly on the ball so that neither
player can gain control without undue roughness. Please ere on the side of
caution and make the call quickly (about 1 to 3 seconds) to avoid injury.
up from knees - If a player gets up from their knees or
from a lying position without dribbling, it is travelling. FIBA rules say,
"It is legal when a player falls and slides on the floor while holding the
ball or, while lying or sitting on the floor, gains control of the ball. It is
a violation if the player then rolls or attempts to stand up while holding the
keeps ticking - Games are non-stop time so ensure you keep
the games moving quickly. Report calls to the scorekeepers desk quickly and
encourage players to substitute quickly. Fewer explanations of calls are likely
needed as we progress through the season.
referee check-in required after basket scored - If team A
scores, the referee does not need to check the ball to team B before the inbound.
Team B player is allowed to move the length of the baseline to make the inbound
pass after the basket is scored. If there is a whistle at anytime (foul,
timeout, violation), the referee checks the ball to the team who receives
- Read pages 33 to 43 of the FIBA rules
on fouls. It describes an imaginary cylinder occupied by a player on the floor
including the space above the player. During the game, each player has the
right to occupy any position (cylinder) not already occupied by an opponent.
The legal guarding position extends vertically above the player (cylinder) from
the floor to the ceiling. The player may raise his arms and hands above his
head or jump vertically but he must maintain them in a vertical position inside
the imaginary cylinder. Some highlights:
- Defensive player must establish an initial legal guarding position
by facing the player with the ball and having both feet on the floor
- Defensive player may remain stationary, jump vertically, move
laterally or backwards in order to maintain the initial legal guarding
- When moving to maintain the inital legal guarding position, one
foot of both feet may be off the floor for an instant, as long as the
movement is lateral or backwards, but not towards the player with the
yourself to coaches - Please introduce yourself to both team
coaches before the game. Our coaches have many years experience and their
goal is to develop players so they may remind you about rules that they feel
are important to developing players such as focussing on calling double
teaming, reaching, blocking or shooting fouls. Coaches are asked not to
challenge referee calls during the game, but may discuss their concerns or
provide comments with referees at half time or at the end of the game. If
coaches are â€œchirpingâ€ at you about calls, talk to both team coaches at
half time so they can voice their concerns.
defence - Players must play man-to-man defence and be
within arm's reach of their check when their check is within three feet of the
key. Post players may not stand in the key unless their check is within armâ€™s
reach. Help defence is allowed and encouraged but not at the expense of
man-to-man play. Man-to-man defence is a fundamental skill that players need to
learn, it ensures players keep an eye on both their check and the ball and
allows the offence team to drive to the basket rather than being forced to take
an outside shot.
double teaming - If a player is stationary, they may only be
checked by one player. If a player is dribbling, another player may help if
they are within reach of the player, but they may not leave their own check in
order to do so. If a player is picked up by a different check, their original
check may not continue to cover that player as well.
Grade 2/3 and 4/5 division - No stealing the ball from
a stationary player. This encourages players with the ball to look up rather
than turtle with their backs to the basket. They will still have to pivot to
create passing lanes, but they will have the time and the opportunity to do so
(lunging for a ball in the hands of a stationary player is a poor defensive
technique at the older levels anyway). To discourage kids from holding the ball
in the forbidden zone, defensive player could be allowed to place their hand on
the ball (to prevent a shot) but not allow them to grab the ball away.
guarding position - A defensive legal guarding position is when
the player has both feet on the ground and the player is facing the offensive
player. In a legal guarding position, the defending player can move laterally
and back without fouling.
zone defence is difficult - Players must play
man-to-man defence and be within arm's reach of their check when their check is
within three feet of the key. It can be difficult for referees to identify that
a zone defence is being played. One indicator of a zone defence is when the
offensive player moves but the defensive check remains stationary. Referees may
want to talk to both team coaches at half time if concerns are raised about
should be in mouth - Referees can make quicker calls when the whistle
is ready to blow in the mouth. The only time the whistle should be removed from
the mouth is during the jump ball as it may cause injury if players knock the
referee during the jump.
foul - A player shall not deliberately kick or
block the ball with any part of the leg, however, to accidentally come into
contact with or touch the ball with any part of the leg is not a violation.