How To Become A NBA Referee

How To Become A NBA Referee ? : The qualifications necessary to become an NBA referee are outlined on the NBA’s official website. A high school diploma is required to become eligible for professional basketball …

How to become a NBA referee

How To Become A NBA Referee ? : The qualifications necessary to become an NBA referee are outlined on the NBA’s official website. A high school diploma is required to become eligible for professional basketball in the NBA. Participate in youth basketball games as an official—register to serve as a sports coach at a high school—register to work as an official for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Participate in the tryouts for the NBA G League referees. Showcase your prowess and commitment to hard effort.

Many of the stages involved in becoming an NBA referee are explained in this article, which can be found here:

What Is An NBA Referee?

A professional basketball referee who works as an official for the National Basketball Association is an NBA ref (NBA). They collaborate with several other referees to guarantee that the game outcomes are fair and that the competing basketball teams behave in a sportsmanlike manner. They put in labor throughout the pre-season, regular season, and postseason contests.

What Does An NBA Referee Do?

Referees in the National Basketball Association (NBA) watch basketball games for possible fouls, infractions, and instances of traveling, double dribbling, jump balls, and inbound passing violations. The following is a list of some particular instances of the tasks of an NBA referee:

How to become a NBA referee
  • Making immediate phone calls in response to the infractions or violations that they see
  • Putting basketball teams on time out and keeping a close eye on the clock
  • They communicated the cause for blowing the whistle using hand gestures.
  • Follow a player’s motions when moving around the court by running and backpedaling.
  • They were discussing the correctness of the calls they made with the other referees and other officiating crew members.
  • Video footage of play sequences is being reviewed to assess whether or not to accept a call.
  • Keeping open and respectful lines of communication with the coaches of both sides during the contest
  • To officiate games in various locations and states, officials may drive or fly to their destinations.
  • I had to work late into the night or on the weekends to referee basketball games.
  • Players and coaches who don’t understand their justification for giving infractions or penalties will be provided with it in a calm and collected manner.
  • Checking the time on the clock and the scoreboard to ensure that they entered the correct number of points or fouls
  • At the beginning of each game, you were in charge of supervising the tossing of the coin or the leaping of the ball to determine which team would have the first pick.

How To Become An NBA Referee?

The NBA website lists referee criteria. NBA scouts analyze applicant biographies, including referee footage and work experience. You may work up through basketball leagues to become an NBA referee. How to become an NBA referee:

1. Complete Your High School Education

How to become a NBA referee

Referees at all levels must have a high school diploma or GED. If feasible, become a student manager, player, or referee assistant for your school’s basketball team to boost your résumé. It helps you acquire gaming knowledge and experience.

2. Volunteer Your Time To Officiate Youth Basketball Games

Youth basketball leagues are a wonderful place to start refereeing. Those with limited officiating experience may improve their abilities while teaching junior basketball players the basics.

Search online for your local parks and recreation agency to find volunteer or paid referee openings. Parks and recreation develops, finances, and employs youth basketball programs.

3. Apply To Work As A Sports Coach At A High School

Referees next officiate high school basketball. High school referees must pass a background check and interview. You may need to pass a basketball rule exam and referee a sample game.

4. Become An NCAA Official (NCAA)

NCAA includes basketball. You may require a CV, cover letter, and video samples showcasing your referee abilities to register for college basketball. You may also require an interview, knowledge exam, and background check.

5. Participate In The NBA G League Referee Tryouts

It’s the NBA’s minor league. They arrange referee tryouts and choose applicants based on competence. You may check the NBA G League website for application deadlines and requirements to become a referee.

If chosen, you must also alter your calendar to attend the audition at the specified time.

6. Show Competence And Work Ethic

As an NBA G League referee, prioritize cooperation, communication, and basketball knowledge. You may achieve this by filling game openings.

7. Ask For An NBA Referee Endorsement

Superiors may nominate NBA G League referees for promotions to the NBA. To get a recommendation, discuss your performance with your immediate supervisor. Mention your ambition to work in NBA and discuss a referral.

It helps your boss understand your professional objectives and how they can assist.


The prospect of traveling,

To acquire abilities that are useful in everyday life, such as communication,

Qualities related to body language and man management, in addition to a high degree of physical condition.


Mostly because of the abuse that is sometimes directed towards referees and because it is often a solitary endeavor when one first begins working in the field. 

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Skills For NBA Referees

How to become a NBA referee

To succeed in their jobs, NBA referees need to have a strong understanding of basketball and strong interpersonal skills. The list of abilities that can be advantageous for referees in the National Basketball Association (NBA):

  • Physical Stamina

To remain with the ball and make the right calls during basketball games, officials need to have the ability to sprint, backpedal, and hunch over during the whole game. During basketball games, referees must also stand for extended stretches.

As a result, officials in the NBA are required to have exceptional physical stamina, enabling them to run, walk, or stand for the whole game.

  • Patience

In some circumstances, referees may need to assist in calming down a player or coach who is unhappy due to a call that they have made. The referee must have a great degree of patience to cope with this situation.

Therefore, the ability to maintain composure and professionally conduct oneself even in tense situations may assist referees in continuing to do a good job fulfilling their duties.

  • Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal communication is essential for NBA referees, as it enables them to adapt their communication tactics depending on whether they speak to a player, coach, or another official. Referees should have outstanding interpersonal communication skills. As they travel to various games to officiate, NBA referees may also benefit from interpersonal communication.

It is because they may have to get accustomed to working with someone they haven’t worked with before, and they may have to get used to dealing with someone new.

  • Expertise In Basketball Regulations

It is required of referees working in the National Basketball Association (NBA) that they have an extensive understanding of the rules that govern the game of basketball, as well as the offenses and referee hand signals that are utilized during games.

  • The Ethical Frame Of Mind

Referees in the NBA need to have an ethical frame to make objective and fair decisions for all teams participating in the game. It assures fair game outcomes.

  • Capacity For Concentration

During a basketball game, players constantly move on the floor, coaches yell at their players,and audience members make their voices heard.

Because of this, it is essential for NBA referees to have a strong capacity for concentration, especially while working in an atmosphere with many distractions. Thanks to this feature, they won’t be able to miss any important calls that might change the course of the game.

  • Attention To Detail 

Referees in the NBA are expected to have great attention to detail, allowing them to see even the smallest infractions that might lead to fouls or other penalties.

How Good NBA Referee As A Profession?

How to become a NBA referee

As “rookies,” referees in the NBA start with an annual salary of $250,000. Entry-level referees often need between three and five years of experience before becoming eligible for the higher salaries offered at the senior level. A yearly payment of $500,000 is given to senior officials, the referees with the greatest experience.

Salary Expectations For NBA Referees?

It has been claimed that the average remuneration of a referee falls somewhere between $180,000 to $550,000, according to trustworthy sources. They get a wage that is commensurate with their degree of professional expertise.

A novice official will rack up around $600 in expenses every game.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Who Is The Youngest NBA Referee?

Rush is a former referee in the professional basketball league who was born in 1942. When he joined the National Basketball Association (NBA) as an official in 1966, at the age of 24, he became the youngest referee in the history of the NBA. This distinction remains his claim to fame to this day.

2. Do NBA Refs Get Pay Per Game?

As their skills and level of experience increase over time, they will have the opportunity to command a higher salary. Paying around $250,000 per year, or an average of $600 per game, entry-level NBA referees are the most inexperienced officials in the league.

3. Who Is The Best NBA Referee Of All Time?

Between 1953 and 1975, Mendy Rudolph was a referee in the National Basketball Association (NBA). During that period, he was a referee for a total of 2112 games, a record he maintained until he retired. At the time, he was the only official to have ever reached the 2000-game milestone.

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