Intramural, varsity, and youth sports officiating
Risner Fitness & Sports Complex
General Roles and Responsibilities
At high school level and above, three basketball officials are required in a game. All officials are called referees in the NBA, and one is designated as a crew chief. The crew chief has the final say in all calls. In college basketball, the referee is the senior official and the regular officials are called umpires, but a referee may not overrule an umpire's call. Referees wear a uniform consisting of a black-and-white striped shirt and black pants. Their job is to enforce all rules and maintain order on the basketball court.
At least one referee should be present a half-hour before tip-off to make preparations with table personnel and observe for rules infractions. Referees are also responsible for inspecting and approving all players’ uniforms and all equipment; confirming the official timer will notify each team three minutes before the start of the game and the second half; confirming the starting lineups in the official scorebook; and notifying team captains to prepare to play.
Enforcing the Rules
The primary responsibility of a basketball referee is to enforce the rules of the game. The referee begins the game by tossing the ball for a tip-off between one player from each team. Referees are responsible for calling violations if players travel, double-dribble, commit a foul or any other violation of the rules. They are also responsible for granting timeouts and allowing substitutions. Referees also confirm three-point shots for the official scorers.
Specific responsibilities of basketball referees include calling fouls and administering and enforcing changes of possessions or free throws. The authority of referees includes calling unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, player or coach ejections, or even calling a forfeit of the game in certain circumstances. Referees are also responsible for maintaining order during stoppages in play, and can assess technical fouls or eject players for rules infractions during stoppages.