Referring – How to Get Started

So you’re interested in becoming a referee… here’s a few things you should know.

Just like learning to play basketball, learning to referee is not easy. It takes time, practice and determination to become a good referee. However, in saying that, just like being a player, it can also be incredibly rewarding and satisfying. Your will learn a lot about the game and yourself.

The best part of learning how to referee basketball is that your supported every step of the way. Our referee program allows us to ‘ease’ you into the learning process. You will start off by ‘shadowing’ (or following) a more experienced referee on the court. This way you get to experience what it’s like to be a referee without the pressure of having to make any calls.

During this time, we teach you the basics such as where you should stand, where you should be looking and start introducing the rules. Over time, we’ll encourage you to begin blowing your whistle and make basic calls. As you progress and become more confident, you will change from ‘shadowing’ to being shadowed ie, the experienced referee will ‘back-you-up’ on the court. In this way you will be calling the game but still have someone supporting you.

We also start you off by refereeing junior games – there tend to be played at a slower pace which makes it easier to learn.

Continued on court practical and theoretical coaching continues as you progress through the different referee grades. When you play basketball, you are forced to play in your age group. This makes learning to play very challenging if you start when you are older. With refereeing, it doesn’t matter what age you are, you always start where you should - with the youngest, easiest games.

Contact the office -, with details if interested in refereeing at SDBAL