What is a referee’s role?

In the main, it is game control. That is, ensuring a smooth running and dynamic game where players are able to showcase their basketball skills.

It is good to define and remember that game control is different to game management. Ultimately, it is the referees that are in charge of the game. They define what is allowed and what is not. Nobody else!

Having said that, it is equally important that referees look and act like they are in charge. Referees should give a non-verbal message that they are ready and able to make decisions. The core function of refereeing is decision-making. Referees need to feel comfortable in making decisions without hesitation. Of course, the correctness of these decisions can be analysed after the event and so referees must demonstrate confidence and trust, or at the very least present so that others view them this way.

Skills required and developed

Refereeing requires several skills and personality traits. If you do not have them, that is okay. That does not mean you cannot be a referee. It just means you have to focus on making those changes and it will be an opportunity to learn something new.

Refereeing helps to teach individuals a whole array of skills that can be used in all walks of life:

  • Effective communication
  • Decision-making
  • Performing under pressure
  • Resilience
  • Intrinsic motivation
  • Teamwork
  • Professionalism
  • Effecting constructive criticism
  • Leadership

Why become a referee?

Many think refereeing is an individual sport, however, there are two and sometimes three officials on the floor, so you are not alone out there. That means it is a great opportunity to make life-long friends with people who share your love of the game. There is no question that being a referee can be challenging, but all athletes face challenges and that is just the nature of the sport. If you look at challenges as an opportunity to grow, then you will succeed. We also have a program and staff that value wellbeing and we will be here to support you through your journey.

Refereeing pathway

Basketball Australia, our national body, sets out the accreditation pathway that referees can follow in Australia:

Refereeing can take you all over the state, country and the world if you wish to follow the pathway. This travel is another great opportunity to meet new people and develop a network within the refereeing and basketball community.

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