Online Referee Training and Career Center

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Basketball Referee Information

Official Basketball Referee Information

Basketball Officials levels differs from state to state.

Major requirements:
– Register Local Officials Association.
– Register High School Activities Association.
– First year official or a new official to a sport, must complete a Local Board Training Class.
– Successfully pass the Background check.

Minor requirements:
– Must be at least 16 years of age to referee junior high school and recreation league basketball.
– Must be at least 18 years of age to referee high school basketball.
– Good physical condition.
– A good attitude, rules knowledge and a clean, well fitting uniform.

Some Important Links:

Steps to become a Basketball Official

  1. The process begins each year in September in many states. Each state has a High School Athletic Association that oversees the certification of new officials. This certification is generally required to officiate High School varsity games and may also be required for many sub-varsity, elementary school, middle school, recreation, travel league and AAU games.
  2. Generally, the minimal requirements for certification are a passing grade on a state association approved basketball official examination and affiliation with a state approved officials association. The most widely used exam is provided by the National Federation of High School ( A second, widely used exam is provided by the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials (
  3. Select and contact a local association and arrange to complete the requirements for certification. Official need to fill out an application, pay a licensing fee.
  4. All new officials must attend the new official class in the association where he registered. At the class he will learn from some of the best officials of the association about rules, mechanics and game management.

Procedure for NFHS:

  1. Online officiating course from the NFHS is designed to introduce individuals to the world of interscholastic officiating – ideal for those considering becoming an official or anyone within their first few years in officiating. Designed to take 30 to 45 minutes to complete, the course covers such topics as: the basics of becoming and staying an official.
  2. Take an open-book rules test. Pass the National Federation written rules examination and Mechanics Examinations to be a licensed official.
  3. Once official is licensed, he will need to attend annual rules meeting that will introduce to the latest rule changes and interpretations and become an active member of a local officials’ association. This is the best way to learn the game management and officiating skills.

Procedure for IAABO:

  1. The IAABO (International Association of Approved Basketball Officials) offers certification tests for potential officials. To obtain certification official must pass both a written test and a practical floor examination.
  2. Official must score at least 86 percent on the written examination (basketball rules test) to advance to the practical floor test. Examinations are held every November.
  3. Official must officiate a basketball game and successfully demonstrate the basic officiating skills. This is called a “floor exam.”

What happens if failed in examination?

Those applicants who fail to pass the Written Examination with a grade of eighty-six (86%) percent but whose grade is at least seventy-six (76%) percent may, at the option of the applicant’s Area Board, take the IAABO Practical Floor Examination. Applicants who pass the IAABO Practical Floor Examination must take a second official IAABO Written Examination prepared by the Rules Examination Committee, with a passing grade of at least eighty-six (86%) percent.