Referee Development
Referee Development Resources and Advice



    Welcome to my Referee's Corner      
  with Dave Finch      
  For those who don't know me I am a Level 4 referee and have been officiating for a number of years both at National League and Local League. I am here to help develop all referees across the YBL. Each month, I will look at a different rule that sometimes causes confusion. As the YBL is a youth and development league it has been decided that guidance should be given to level 1 or inexperienced level 2 refs.

  Ref's Guide      
  This all starts with the refs pre-game with your fellow official and discussing how to do the machanics of calling the charge/block foul. As a general rule whoever the charge is coming to should take the call (normally the lead official). On a double whistle the non active official should raise his fist for the foul but should withold any signals until he or she sees the call from their co-official. Then mimic the active officials' actions!

The charge/block being discussed between officials is anything outside the no-charge semi-circle. The active official should be doing the following;
1) Refereeing the defence.
2) Ensure that the defender has a legal guarding position.
3) Ensure that any contact is with the torso/chest; if yes, then charge/block; if no, then defenseive foul or a no call.
4) If the contact was the torso/chest did the offensive player 'go through' the defender. If its a 'go through' then a charge should be called. If the offensive player goes to the player and stops or makes a jump shot then a no call is the correct decision.

The charge/block is one of the most difficult calls to make. Discussing at the end of the game will always help. Remember on any hard charge/block making a call will be regarded by 50% of the players as correct. Making a no call and 100% of players will believe you are wrong.

Coaches Guide
Be sympathetic to inexperienced referees who may get this wrong. Make sure that in your training that players know legal guarding position, then if they move laterally or backwards they can be confident in playing good defence. If a defensive player moves then teach them that they have to get their outside foot down before any contact occurs.

Clubs guide
The charge/block is always a spectator talking event. As a club if you can explain any techniques which helps their understanding then basketball the game will benefit.

    Technical Fouls      

Refs Guide.
The Technical Foul should be awarded to any player or coach who has caused an infraction which is not a contact foul. There are three main categories:-
Verbal dissent; When the player/coach tells you he disagrees with the call. Often shouting at you at the same time.

Visual dissent; When the player/coach shows some sort of body action such as raising the arms, shaking the head, wagging a finger at you or some forms of gesturing towards you.

Players and coaches informing the refs of how to ref the game. Examples are “and 1” being called out by players/bench.”Foul “ or “That’s a foul “ being called out.

Technical infractions which may breach the ethos of sportsmanship. An example of this is running outside the court to avoid a screen which gives the player an unfair advantage.

Move closer to the table, administer the technical foul procedure then inform the captain which player has the technical foul and why you have given it. Then administer the fouls shot(s). You may also inform the coach if you think this is suitable.
For example; “Captain, I have given player 4 a technical foul for verbal dissent." Can you also inform him that a further technical foul or unsportsmanlike foul will result in a disqualification.

Coaches Guide
As with the unsportsmanlike foul it is your responsibility to ensure that good sportsmanship and discipline are upheld within the team. Perhaps the main part of your job in these situations is to having a calming influence, as often you will be the most experienced person on the court.

Clubs guide
Does the club have a policy on how to prevent technical and unsportsmanlike fouls?

Referee Outcome
One Free Throw awarded at the time of the TF being issued. The ball returns to whomever had possession.

    Unsportsmanlike Fouls      

Refs Guide
There are 5 categories for an unsportsmanlike foul which should be followed; however, this guidance is in relatively plain English. It was felt that in previous seasons not enough Unsportsmanlike Fouls were called at all levels. Some being treated as normal foul calls.
1. Was the action a basketball action, if no then call an unsportsmanlike foul.
2. Was the contact hard or likely to cause injury if yes then unsportsmanlike.
3. In the last 2 minutes any foul before the ball is inbounded is unsportsmanlike.
4. Any contact with head or neck whether intentional or not is unsportsmanlike.
5. If the ethos of fair play and sportsmanship is broken then unsportsmanlike.

1. It is the coaches responsibility to support the referee with the calling of the unsportsmanlike foul. A way that this can be done is by ensuring that the rule is rigorously adhered to in all training sessions.
2. It is the coaches responsibility to educate their players bearing in mind their age and emotional ages. It should not be “win at any cost” ethos.
3. It is the coaches (and clubs) responsibility to ensure that parents are educated and support the referee's.

Article 37 (FIBA Wording)

C1 Not a legitimate attempt to play the ball within the spirit and intent of the rules.

C2 Excessive, hard contact caused by a player in an effort to play the ball or an opponent.

C3 An unnecessary contact caused by the defensive player in order to stop the progress of the offensive team in transition. This applies until the offensive player begins the act of shooting.

C4 Contact by the defensive player from behind or laterally on an opponent in an attempt to stop the fast break and there is no defensive player between the offensive player and the opponent’s basket. This applies until the offensive player begins the act of shooting.

C5 Contact by the defensive player on an opponent on the playing court during the last 2 minutes in the last period and in each extra period, when the ball is out of-bounds for a throw-in and still the hands of the official or at the disposal of the player taking the throw-in.

Referee Outcome
For an Unsportsmanlike Foul, generally, two Free Throws are awarded.
If an UF is called upon the player making a basket, it will be basket awarded 'and one' FT to follow.
The team who takes the free throws will then gain possession at the three-point line extended with a new 14 seconds offence.

    How well did I do?      

Refs Guide
Being a referee in basketball can often be a lonely position. Yet refereeing is an essential part of the game. Often worked in isolation with the exception of your co-officials. But, improving your own performance will often give you a lot of satisfaction and will also enhance the standard of the game.

After every game as yourself;
Did basketball 'the game' win? If 'yes', then you had a reasonable game. If 'no', or 'not sure' then start to self analyse:
Did I call all shooting foul?
Did I call all the fouls which put the team at a disadvantage?
Did I get into the correct position to be able to call fouls and violations correctly?
Did I call poor skills, such as travelling/ illegal dribbles, so that playing standards are enhanced?
Was I able to communicate my calls clearly and with authority?
Did I cooperate with all my co-officials?
Did I give them help when needed, but ensured that my areas of responsibility were upheld?
If at all possible ask more ecperienced referees to give you a pointer to improve your game. Can you select one improvement from the above guidance and work hard at it during the next game?

Coaches Guide
Coaches are some of the best persons to help referees. Yet, many will criticise a referee in a negative manor especiallu in the heat of the game. Get into a good habit of letting a ref know that they have a good game, often this can be done either at the end of the game or the net time you see them. Work to balance your criticism. Any improvements you want to see in a ref is also linked to what they did well. Good coaches use praise to motivate their players, do the same with referees.

Clubs Guide
Good clubs will often initiate an officialing carer often by asking a parent or enthusiast to help out in the first instance. Take this one step further by enquiring on their progression on a regular basis so that the officials feel wanted.