Referee Information

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Referee Information

There will be a Referee Training on Sunday, 11/20 from
1:00 - 3:00 p.m. at Bigelow.

Click the links below or scroll down the page for referee information.

Frequently asked questions  Checklist  Reminders  Tips for referees

To email the referee coordinator, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

Am I eligible to be a referee?

Girls (and boys) in the 9th grade or older are eligible to referee. Adult referees (paid and volunteer) are also an important part of the NGBA program.

How much experience is necessary?

No experience as a referee is necessary, but you should have a familiarity with the game and basic rules. Most girls who have played for several years in NGBA will have the necessary knowledge.

Is there training available?

Yes. All new referees are required to attend a two hour training program typically scheduled for the Saturday morning before Thanksgiving. This session provides information on rules, game management, and an opportunity to blow the whistle in a practice game. All referees are given uniform shirts and whistles. For your first few games, you will usually be assigned to work with a more experienced referee. Additional training during the season may also be provided.

When will I be asked to referee?

All games are on Saturdays. You may get more opportunities to referee if you can commit to a specific time slot each week of the season. If you cannot make an assigned time, it is very important that you contact the referee coordinator well in advance of the game so that a replacement can be found.

What grade will I referee?

Newer referees will be assigned to the younger grades. As you get more experience, you can do older grades. You will be given the opportunity to indicate where you will be comfortable.

Do I call everything that I see?

The level of calls differs for each grade and changes as the season goes along. This is explained at the training session in November. Especially for the younger grades, referees are also trainers and facilitators. You are expected to make the game a fun experience for all girls, no matter what their level of skill development. It is important that you take time during the game to explain proper technique and why you have blown the whistle.

What if I make a bad call?

This happens to even the most experienced refs, and usually more than once a game. A basketball ref makes about 40 to 50 calls (and non-calls) per game, so it inevitable that some will be wrong. It is important to know the rules and work hard on being in position to make a good call. If you make a bad one, just move on. NGBA is meant to be a fun learning experience for referees as well as players.

What if a coach, player, or parent gives me a hard time?

This happens, although infrequently. Arguing a referee's calls is not permitted under any circumstances. During training, we will provide some strategies if you run into a problem. After the game, you should always call the referee coordinator or chairman of the sportsmanship committee to report a problem or if you have a question.

What is the biggest problem for most young referees?

The biggest challenge is blowing the whistle with authority and speaking in a loud voice! The calls are relatively easy.

Do I get paid?

All high school age referees are paid based on a sliding scale. The rate increases with each year that you continue to referee. At the end of each season a discretionary bonus may be paid. This bonus is based on the number of games that you referee, your reliability, and your development. Adult referees who agree to accept a regular time block for the season are paid at a different pay scale. These adults are critical to our program and prospective referees are encouraged to contact the referee coordinator. Adult parent referees are typically not paid and volunteer their time. They are equally important to the success of NGBA.

How do I get more information?

Contact the referee coordinator. Referee coordinator contact information can be found on the contact us page.

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  • Come to the game properly dressed (NGBA referee shirt, shorts or warm-ups, and whistle)

  • Arrive on time! Be ready to take over as soon as the prior game finishes.

  • Introduce yourself to both coaches. Get coaches to designate a parent from each team to fill out the score sheet and keep score (We do not keep score in 3rd grade games).

  • Make sure the scorers are getting ready while the teams warm up. Explain use of the clock, possession arrow, and score book if necessary. (Possession arrow always goes to the basket, not to the bench!)

  • Ask the coach to line up the team. Look for proper shoes, jewelry, earrings, hard barrettes, casts, head beads, rope bracelets/necklaces and other dangerous items. These items must be removed before the player can enter the game.

  • Introduce yourself to the team, tell the team about anything that you will be closely watching (e.g. four seconds) and allow the team to ask you any questions.

  • Discuss positioning with the other referee.

  • Whistle the starters to mid court. In younger grades, help them set-up.

  • Make sure all players have checked in with the scorer before entering the game.

  • Make sure the scorer is ready to start the clock.

  • Jump ball - try to get to this point as close to the scheduled time as possible or games will run late all day!

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  • Keep the whistle in your mouth, not in your hand. Use the whistle to make all calls. Blow it with authority!

  • Establish yourself early in the game. Be consistent and let players know what you will expect.

  • Talk to the girls during the game. It's fine to give a first warning, offer praise, explain a call, instruct on sportsmanship, etc. Particularly in the younger grades, it is appropriate to demonstrate proper (or improper) technique.

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Tips for referees and scorers

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