How To Become An NBA Referee? It’s Not That Hard

The NBA referee is the highest authority during an NBA match and decides what penalties and scores have been throughout the match. Becoming a referee if not a player is everyone’s dream job in NBA for all the NBA fanatics.

Therefore, we are going to tell you how to become an NBA referee. The referee is the person responsible for all the decisions taken throughout the match and they do it well. But you can only become an NBA referee if you know exactly what his job is and how can you become one.

How To Become An NBA Referee

So, to understand fully this topic and referee responsibilities, read this entire article as we are going to cover each aspect here.

How to become an NBA referee? Including all the steps and information to read

To understand this topic completely, we should first know about who is an NBA referee and what his responsibilities are. Also, it is very important to know about the rules and regulations of basketball before becoming a referee.

This is so that you don’t unknowingly penalize someone during a very hardcore match in a neck-to-neck situation.

What is an NBA ref?

An NBA referee is an official decision-maker of all the penalty charges and everything. They know all the rules and know how to impose those rules on the players fair enough. There is not just one referee; in fact, they work in a group of referees to ensure fair decisions.

All the referees work throughout the seasons as well as sometimes even during pre-season and play-off matches and that is not easy. There is always a fair game when the referee is there to check and balance what’s happening around.

Responsibilities of an NBA referee

NBA referees as we have told before that they are the ones who ensure fair gameplay. Therefore, we have compiled a little list of what their major responsibilities are.

  • Monitoring all the fouls, double dribbling, inbound passing, and traveling like basketball violations.
  • When they notice any violations, they instantly spot the player and call for penalties.
  • Keep an eye on the clock as well as let them all know when to stop or start the match.
  • They use special hand signals to tell everybody the reason why they blew the whistle.
  • Sometimes they run along and sometimes they backpedal with the players so they can monitor the players.
  • They also talk to the other officials like the third umpire in cricket so that they don’t call for any wrong penalties.
  • Watch the video reviews closely so that they can judge a player’s call for something wrong.
  • They are responsible for the lack or absence of professional communication between the coaches of both teams.
  • Referees have to travel to different cities in order to start and check the matches there.
  • Sometimes they even have to sacrifice their weekends and late nights for the matches.
  • If there is a dispute about their penalty calls, they have to calmly convince everyone about their whistle calls.
  • Make sure that the scorekeepers have entered the right number of points and penalties in case there are any.
  • The coin toss and jump ball happen under the invigilation of the referee for a fair start of the match.

How to become an NBA referee? See all the requirements

You can go for multiple methods to become an NBA referee. The first thing is to know all the requirements to become one of the NBA referees. Go to the NBA’s official website that tells you everything about their requirements and you can complete them all and then apply for the job.

They have a dedicated NBA scouting team that goes through all the NBA referee candidates’ profiles. Also, they read about your employment history as well as videos of you refereeing. After going through all means of information, they select some candidates for further procedure.

But this is not the only way you can be a professional basketball referee. You can also go and referee other local tournaments and leagues. This way, even if you don’t apply for the post, the NBA scouting team always has eyes on you.

But still, you can only opt for any of the above methods if you have enough skills. Below is the complete and step-wise information on how to become an NBA referee.

Earn a high school diploma

You have to earn a diploma from the high school or GED to qualify for the referee post by passing the minimum education requirement. Then your practical skills have to shine and you can go and join your high school basketball team for that.

There are a lot of opportunities for freshers because they can become referee assistants and student managers. You can also become a player of the team because all the players almost know most of the rules of basketball.

Work as a referee for youth basketball

Working as a youth basketball referee is a great way to start practicing and polishing your skills. There are a lot of local youth basketball leagues and sometimes they ask for volunteering referees.

But don’t worry, some of them also offer paid referee posts because the parks and recreation department funds you for being their referee. You can learn by yourself and also spread knowledge about all the basic basketball rules to the young players.

Register to work as a high school athletics coach

After completing your basic training in the youth leagues, now you should apply for a referee job in high school basketball leagues. Almost all high schools have basketball leagues in which their teams participate to win inter-high school leagues. This is a little more professional so they ask you to go through several written and interview tests.

In the end, you may need to show them your professional skills in a mock refereeing test. For applying for this job, you can contact the public or high school’s athletic association that hires you for either training purposes or professional refereeing.

Register to officiate through the National College Athletic Association (NCAA)

After completing the medium-level training in high school, now you should apply for college-level refereeing. That is done by applying to the National College Athletic Association. They ask for a cover letter, resume, and videos of you refereeing and then call you for the interview.

During the interview, they may test your knowledge about basketball and refereeing. There can be a live mock skills test of your refereeing skills if they think it is necessary. But if you successfully pass all these tests, they will let you referee at the college level.

Attend referee tryouts for the NBA G League

NBA doesn’t only hold tryouts for grownups but also holds tryouts and hires little younger referees. This is a minor league and they also need referees for their younger playing leagues. That’s why they hire only qualified and expert referees during their tryouts.

You can apply for those posts by visiting their official website. Most importantly keep an eye on the start date of the trials and the last date to apply. You may need to schedule your days in order to reach the location of the tryout on time.

Demonstrate your skill and work ethic

If you are skilled enough, you will get hired by the NBA G league. Once you’re there, you have to show dedication to the game and your responsibilities. Sometimes, you have to go and fill at least one vacancy that you can by appearing in matches.

Most importantly you should appear in important matches so that your efforts can be seen throughout. Also, you have to maintain teamwork, great management, and good communication between coaches and players of both teams.

Ask for a recommendation to work as an NBA referee

NBA takes you in as a referee in their leagues by their trustworthy recommendations. When you have reached and served enough in the NBA G League, you should work for your goal. To get the recommendations, you can go and talk to your seniors and superiors about your performance.

You can take their advice on how to make your performance better. In the meanwhile, you should tell them your career goals and that you want to become a referee in the NBA league. It will help you a lot in getting a recommendation and even one recommendation can get you to the most important matches.

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Becoming an NBA referee is not as hard as you may have thought but you can say that it is a long process. It takes a lot of time and dedication from you to reach the place you have always dreamt about.

We hope that we have answered the question “how to become an NBA referee?” very well. If you liked this article, please share it with other NBA fans who want to become a referee. Also, please write us down in the comment section if you have any suggestions or questions.

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