Basketball Referee

Call traveling violations, fouls, and more as you enforce B-Ball rules.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$16,000 – $50,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Basketball Referees do?

When they’re out on the town, NBA superstars like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony rule the world. They eat at all the best restaurants. They dance at all the trendiest clubs. And they stay at all the swankiest hotels. When they’re on the basketball court, however, even the most popular players have to follow the rules — and it’s the job of a Basketball Referee to make sure they do.

What’s an average day like?

A Basketball Referee is paid by basketball leagues to officiate basketball games. You objectively enforcing the rules while also maintaining the pace of the game, promoting sportsmanship, and ensuring the safety of players.

You might referee for local youth leagues and high schools, or at the college and professional levels. Always, however, your duties include pre-, in- and post-game activities.

Before basketball games, for instance, you conference with other officials to discuss duties and rules, check the game ball against regulations, and introduce yourself to Coaches and players. During the game, meanwhile, you signal when play is stopped and started, make calls about fouls and rule violations, and mediate on-court conflicts, which sometimes requires ejecting players or Coaches from the game. And finally, after the game, you secure the game ball, then fill out and file official game reports.

Why does this job matter?

In this job, you’re not always beloved by teams and fans. Like a Judge who maintains the integrity of the justice system, however, it’s not your job to be liked. It’s your job to be fair, and you take that job very, very seriously. Your stripes, stopwatch, and whistle prove it!


Should I be a Basketball Referee?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Football Referee, National Basketball Association Referee, National College Athletic Association Basketball Official See More

    How to become a Basketball Referee

    Basketball Referees often have a Certificate or higher. Chart?chd=s:9ddsaa&chl=no+college+%2871%25%29|certificate+%284%25%29|associate%27s+%284%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2821%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,71,71
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