How to Become an NBA Referee in 2022 – Super Detail Guide

 Have you ever wondered what it takes to become an NBA referee? Or maybe, like me, you would just like to know how the process works.

If you have always been interested in watching basketball and have a love for the game, consider becoming an NBA referee. This can be a great way to get a foot in the door in the world of sports broadcasting, making it easier to work your way up from broadcaster to commentator or head writer.

If you are willing to put in the time and effort required to properly educate yourself about basketball and how it’s played, there are many opportunities open up for you as an NBA ref as well.

 The NBA is one of the most competitive leagues in all of basketball. But you don’t need to know anything more about basketball to get a job as an NBA ref. It’s a matter of dedication and patience, which is key for any dreamer. If you’re willing, here’s how you can become an NBA ref.

Steps to Become an NBA Referee

Hit The Practice Court In College

The next step is to hit the practice court in college. If you’re playing basketball at a high level, it’s not far-fetched to get involved with officiating.

The NBA only hires officials who have experience in college or other major leagues, so if you want any shot at working on an NBA floor, be sure to get some experience as an official while playing ball during your collegiate years.

While getting these games under your belt will help prepare you for a career of calling fouls on professional courts, there are also ways to gain experience before heading onto campus.

One option is becoming an official at local tournaments and high school games; another is just honing your skills by watching pro games in person or on television (which can also help increase your knowledge about the rules).

Get certified

  • You’ll need to take a class taught by the National Basketball Referees Association (NBRA).
  • The NBRA offers training for five levels of certification, each with its own requirements and challenges.
  • You can begin as a Level 5 referee, but it’s not recommended that you jump straight in at this level unless you have prior basketball officiating experience and/or are already working as an NBA referee.

The first step is completing the required coursework—which includes both theory and practical exercises—and then passing an exam on those topics.

Once certified at Level 1 or 2 (depending on what skills were covered during your initial training), you’ll be able to apply for game assignments through NBRA headquarters in Connecticut.

Attend A Rookie Camp.

Rookie camps are a great way for newcomers to get their feet wet in the world of refereeing. Attendees learn the rules and how refs communicate with each other on the court, as well as how to handle high-pressure situations.

If you’re interested in becoming an official, apply for the camp that’s right for you and have fun while learning something new!

To be invited to one of these camps, it helps if you’re already involved in officiating basketball games at school or on your local level. Most rookies who attend them have already been working their way up through various leagues before they get here—but we do also accept newbies!

We just want our referees to be as prepared as possible when they start making calls during professional games, so we highly recommend that anyone interested take some time beforehand studying up on everything NBA referees need know about calling fouls correctly (or not incorrectly).

Ref Games In The G-League And NBA Summer League.

The first step is to referee games in the G-League and NBA Summer League. Both of these leagues are filled with players who have aspirations of playing in the NBA, which means there are plenty of refs that want to work these games as well.

In addition to being able to work with some of your favorite players while they’re still aspiring for their shot at the big time, this is also an excellent opportunity for you to gain experience as a professional referee so that when it comes time for you to apply for an NBA gig later on down the line, you’ll be ready!

G-League referees are called “developmental referees,” because they use this position as way to showcase their skills and prove themselves worthy of getting called up by an NBA team.

Additionally, many G-League teams also have a D-League affiliate (known as “affiliates”), which means that if one team hires another team’s developmental referee—they would become an affiliate too!

This means that even if you don’t get hired directly by an NBA franchise right away; there could still be other ways into working at professional level basketball without having gone through all four years of college like most people do (though some do anyway).

Get Your Chance In The NBA

NBA Referee

As an NBA referee, you’ll have to be ready to work hard. You’ll be traveling frequently and working long hours, but if that’s the lifestyle you want, then nothing should stop you.

You’ll also need to be prepared for criticism. Whether it’s from players or coaches or fans of opposing teams, there will always be people who want to see your calls go their way. If this doesn’t bother you too much (or at all), then great!

But if it does bother you—if every time someone gives an angry reaction when they don’t agree with a call makes your stomach drop—then maybe being an NBA ref isn’t for everyone.

Finally, it’s important to remember that there are going to be times when everyone loves what you do as an official: when LeBron James commits one of his infamous flops on a hard foul by someone else and gets away with only a warning rather than getting ejected from the game.

When a player goes back into play after suffering an injury; or even just when things are going smoothly overall throughout the game!

Becoming An Nba Referee Takes Hard Work

Becoming a Nike NBA Referee is no easy feat, but it can be done if you have a passion for officiating basketball games at the highest level.

To become an NBA referee, you must go through the following steps:

  • Obtain your bachelor’s degree in sports administration or sports management from an accredited college or university.
  • Complete 10 years of experience as an official on high school, AAU and/or NCAA Division I collegiate court surfaces while maintaining excellent performance evaluations.
  • Complete 14 hours of training every year during your first three years in order to become a certified member of the NBA Officials Association (NBRA).

Benefits Of Becoming A Basketball Referee

Benefits Of Becoming A Basketball Referee

If you love basketball, then you might want to consider becoming a referee. It is not just another way that you can watch the game; it is a way for you to become part of the game itself.

When you become a referee, not only do you get to learn how to call fouls and keep order during games but also learn about the rules themselves.

You would be able to see different aspects of basketball from this perspective as well as make money while doing something that you enjoy!

1. You Get To Wear A Fun Shirt And Shorts

  • You get to wear a fun shirt and shorts.
  • You get to wear shoes that are fun and comfortable.
  • You get to wear socks that are fun and comfortable.

2. You Get To Learn The Rules Of Basketball

To be a good basketball referee, you have to know the rules.

The rules of basketball are not just for players—they apply to referees as well! Referees are responsible for enforcing the rules of basketball in their games, so they need to know what’s allowed and what isn’t.

They also have to make sure that no one breaks these rules or cheats during a game by using illegal moves such as traveling or carrying the ball while dribbling it.

Because there are so many different types of fouls in basketball (offensive fouls and defensive fouls), it can be difficult for referees who don’t know all the details about them right away when they first become an official on court.

But after learning more about how each type works during your training sessions at school and on online videos, you’ll start recognizing them during matches with ease – even if two different players commit several violations at once!

3. You Have To Be At Least 18 Years Of Age

To be a basketball referee, you have to be at least 18 years of age. The next requirement is that you must have knowledge of the game and rules. This is because if you don’t know the rules, it will be difficult for you to officiate the game successfully

The next thing that makes up a good referee is physical fitness. You should be physically fit so as not to get tired easily while playing basketball or running around the court during a match.

Another important aspect of being an official in any sport is communication skills; this means being able to speak clearly and loudly enough so that everyone can hear what’s going on around them at all times during an event like this one!

Additionally, having good communication skills helps when working with other referees on their calls too! Another example would be making sure someone knows why they were disqualified from play due to fouls called against them.”

4. It Is A Healthy Form Of Exercise

You will have to run around a lot, so you should be in good physical shape. If you are not in good physical shape, it will take longer for you to get your body ready for the game and that means less time for practicing.

Good mental shape is also important because if you are not in the right frame of mind, then it can affect how well you perform on the court as well as how well your team performs.

It is also a healthy form of exercise which can help keep up with your physical self and make sure that nothing goes wrong when playing basketball games or refereeing them.

This way we can all stay healthy together instead of letting our health slip away unnoticed until something bad happens like an injury or getting sick from not getting enough exercise throughout our lives so far!

5. It Is A Way For You To Make Money

You can make anywhere from $50 to $300 per game, depending on the level and how long of a travel commute you have to accept.

There is an official pay scale for referees that you can refer to as a reference point when negotiating your salary with the local basketball league or organization that contracts your services.

The money isn’t all in the paycheck, though—the benefits of becoming a referee go far beyond just being able to make some extra cash while doing something that you enjoy. There are several other perks to consider as well:

  • You will receive training on how best to officiate games and handle difficult situations during play. This training will help ensure that your performance remains consistent throughout every game, which means players will respect and trust you more quickly than they would otherwise because they know what to expect from each call made by any given ref without having had any prior experience with them before (this also helps eliminate arguments between teams about foul calls made by different refs).

6. You Would Be Able To See Basketball Games

According to the National Basketball Association, there are about 1,600 referees in the United States who oversee games and make sure that the rules are being followed.

Although you may never become a professional basketball referee like those working for the NBA, you can still experience what it’s like by becoming an amateur referee.

Becoming a referee will allow you to see the game from a completely different perspective—you get to sit in on court discussions between coaches and players as they discuss strategy and discipline

You’ll get to watch players up close as they shoot free throws or jump into action during heated moments of play; and best of all, if you’re lucky enough (and have made enough friends) then maybe someday someone will sign your autograph!

Once You Become A Referee, You Will Never Want To Stop

You will have a great time, and then you’ll have another. And then another. Soon, you’ll find yourself looking forward to every game like its Christmas morning—not only because it means that you get to work with your friends

But also, because everyone else is so excited about playing basketball. And honestly? You should be too! Who doesn’t love being surrounded by people who are fired up about something they love?

Frequently Asked Question (How to Become an NBA Referee)

How long does it take to become an NBA or WNBA Referee?

Becoming a referee in the NBA or WNBA requires a lot of hard work and dedication. You will need to complete a training program, pass a test, and be an active player in either organization.

The length of time it takes to become an official depends on how quickly you can complete the training program and pass your final test. The average time is about two years from start to finish, but this can vary depending on how much experience you have as an athlete or coach.

How old do I have to be to become a Referee?

To become a referee, you must be at least 18 years old (or 19 if you are one year away from your high school graduation).

Is there a height requirement to become a Referee?

Yes, there is a height requirement to become an NBA Referee. The requirement of 6 feet tall is the same as the NBA and ensures that the referee can see over the court.

How many years of experience do I need to become an official?

To become an official in the NBA, you must be at least 18 years old. You must also have played basketball at the collegiate or professional level and have a high school diploma. If you don’t have these two things, there is still hope!

You can still become an NBA referee if you get your college degree before turning 21 years old and spend at least three years as an official in the NCAA or NBA D-League by following one of these paths:

  • Be on track to graduate from college with a bachelor’s degree within five years from now
  • Have already graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree (before turning 21)

Do I need to have played basketball at the collegiate or professional level?

You do not need to have played basketball at the collegiate or professional level. In fact, you can become an NBA referee without having ever played the sport! However, it is helpful if you understand some of the rules and regulations of basketball as they are applied during games.

Can I play basketball and referee as well?

You can become a basketball referee if you’ve played the game at a high level. Many of our referees have played college or pro basketball, and some even compete in international competitions.

It helps to know how to play the game when you’re working as an NBA ref because it makes it easier for you to understand where players are on the court, how they should be moving, and what kinds of calls are being made.

Being in good physical condition is essential for any aspiring NBA referee because this job requires lots of running around throughout each game. The best way to prepare yourself for this physically demanding job is by playing basketball regularly!


And so, the final thing you’ll need to do on your way to being a referee is, of course, to work your way up. You can start out as an alternate for youth or high school games, and if you stick with it and show a knack for officiating, you may be invited to scout events. If that goes well, then who knows? You could have a future in professional basketball officiating!

Leave a Comment