OFFICIALS’ CODE OF CONDUCT
Basketball is intended to be a recreational activity for enjoyment and health. This
code of conduct has been developed by Basketball Victoria to give participants
some guide to the expectations it has on those participants. It is intended to
assist everyone to obtain the maximum benefit and enjoyment from their
involvement in basketball. As a result, the quality of participation will be improved
so people are more likely to start and continue their involvement in basketball.
1. Interpret rules and regulations fairly and to match the skill level and the
needs of the participants.
Whilst many requirements of rules are for the safety of those involved in
basketball and should never be compromised , others allow flexibility. The
age and skills level of the players involved should be taken into account when
interpreting rules. As long as you are consistent in interpreting rules and
communicate before a game how you intend to interpret the rule, players and
the game should benefit. Use common sense to ensure that the “spirit of the
game” is not lost by overcalling technical violations
2. Compliment both teams on their efforts.
You should make an effort to congratulate both sides at the end of a game,
not just the winning side. If there has been a problem during the game, by all
means raise it, but do so in a constructive manner so that players may learn
from your experience and guidance.
3. Be consistent, objective and courteous in calling all infractions.
Objectivity is the single most important characteristic of a good official. It can
sometimes be tempting to be easier –or harder, so that you appear to be
objective - on a team that you have a connection with. It is also easy to be
harder on their opponents or on a team which you believe is not playing the
game in the proper spirit or with which you may have had a bad experience in
the past. You must resist this temptation. Even when you call an infraction,
you must do so in a courteous manner.
4. Promote fair play and appropriate sporting behaviour.
Use every opportunity you have to communicate the message that basketball
is about fair play, not to be marred by poor behaviour. Condemn the
deliberate foul as being unsportsmanlike. If you see an act of good
sportsmanship, applaud it.
5. Publicly encourage rule changes.
Officials are in a unique position to judge how rules work and their effect on
the game. You should use that position to promote change where you can
see a positive benefit to participants’ enjoyment of the game from a change.
6. Ensure that both on and off the court your behaviour is consistent with
the principles of good sportsmanship.
Just as you are entitled to the respect of players, they are entitled to expect
that you will act honestly and with integrity. Lead by example - actions speak
louder than words. If your standards are down, players and others involved in
the sport will see that as a signal that it is acceptable for them to lower their
7. Keep your knowledge current.
Make a personal commitment to keep yourself informed of sound officiating
principles and the principles of growth and development of children. Always
attend training programs when they are available, to ensure that your
knowledge is current and that your skills are always improving. Read all
information that is available to make sure that you don’t miss innovations
such as rule changes.
8. Help the education process in the game.
Help players learn to play the game. Make sure that players understand rule
infractions. Sometimes players dispute decisions because they do not
understand the rules correctly. If you perceive that a player hasn’t
understood a ruling, take the time when it is convenient to explain it to them.
If there is a team problem of understanding, approach the coach and outline
what the problem is and why it is a problem. Don’t feel defensive about
explaining your decisions. You are the expert on the court and players are
entitled to your constructive guidance.
9. Always present yourself in a way which encourages others to respect
you and your role.
In both your demeanour and appearance you should lead by example.
Always wear the appropriate uniform and make sure that it is neat and clean.
Just as players are expected to be properly attired, so should you be. If you
present yourself in a sloppy manner it sends a signal that you may be sloppy
in your tasks as an official.
10. Always respect the use of facilities and equipment provided.
Facilities and equipment cost money and will only function properly if kept in
good order. Ensure that you do not abuse anything provided for use.
Discourage players from engaging in dangerous practices such as hanging
off hoops or “slam dunking”. Quite properly, these practices are banned in
most venues. Not only can equipment be damaged but also serious injury