How to Become an NBA Referee?

Become an NBA Referee

To become an NBA referee, one must have excellent communication and people skills, make quick decisions, and have good physical fitness. There are training programs available to help one learn the necessary skills. Becoming an NBA referee can be long and competitive, but it is a rewarding career.

How To Become An Nba Referee?

  1. Earn A High School Diploma:
High School Diploma
Diploma For NBA Referee

You must first earn a high school diploma. Although some officials may have a college degree, it is not required to work in the NBA. Once you have your high school diploma, you must attend a training program approved by the National Basketball Association.

  1. Work As A Referee For Youth Basketball:
Referee Youth Basketball
Practice as Youth Basketball Referee

Start by working as a referee for youth basketball games. This will allow you to develop your skills and knowledge of the game. As you gain experience, you can move up to officiating high school and college games. Once you’ve gained enough experience, you can apply to become an NBA referee.

  1. Register To Work As A High School Athletics Coach:
Register As A High School Athletics Coach
High School Athletics Coach

Coaching high school athletics is a great way to become an NBA referee. There are many benefits to coaching at the high school level, including the opportunity to learn the game of basketball from experienced professionals and build relationships with other coaches and referees. Working as a high school coach can help you develop your officiating skills and game knowledge.

  1. Register To Officiate Through The National College Athletic Association (Ncaa):
Register Through The National College Athletic Association
NBA Referee

You can do this by visiting their website and creating an account. Once you have created an account, you can access the online registration form.

  1. Attend Referee Tryouts For The Nba G League
Attend Referee Tryouts Nba G League
Referee Tryouts For The Nba G League

These tryouts are open to anyone 18 or older and are held annually in various locations around the country. During the tryout, prospective referees must participate in on-court drills and scrimmages and complete a written exam.

  1. Demonstrate Your Skill And Work Ethic:

You can do this by officiating at lower levels of basketball, such as high school or college games. This will show that you can keep up with the game’s pace and make quick decisions. A strong work ethic means being punctual, professional, and positive.

  1. Ask For A Recommendation To Work As An Nba Referee:

Get a recommendation from someone who is already working as an NBA referee. This cannot be easy, but it is essential to be considered for the job. Once you have a recommendation, you must register with the National Basketball Referees Association (NBRA).

What Does An Nba Referee Do?

An NBA referee is responsible for enforcing the game’s rules and ensuring that players and coaches comply. They also assess penalties for violations and keep track of the score and time.

NBA referees are trained to handle various situations during a game. They must be able to make quick decisions and remain calm under pressure. They must also have good communication skills to interact with players, coaches, and other officials.

Skills For Nba Referee:

  1. Physical Stamina:

You must have excellent physical stamina because referees must keep up with the game’s pace, running back and forth across the court. To maintain life, referees must be in excellent shape and eat a healthy diet.

  1. Patience:

Patience is vital when it comes to officiating an NBA game. There are often things that can get heated on the court, and the referee needs to be able to keep their cool. They must make decisions quickly and effectively without letting their emotions get in the way.

  1. Interpersonal Communication:

Good interpersonal communication skills are essential for anyone who wants to become an NBA referee. Referees must be able to communicate with players, coaches, and other officials effectively to do their job correctly.

  1. Basketball Rules Expertise:

Official NBA rules can be found in the Official NBA Rule Book, published by the NBA. All referees must thoroughly understand these rules and know how to apply them during a game.

  1. Ethical Mindset:

When developing an ethical mindset, some essential things to remember include fairness and impartiality, consistency in your calls, and treating all players and coaches with respect. While developing an ethical mindset takes time and effort, it is well worth it for NBA referees. By upholding the integrity of the game, they can maintain the trust of those involved.

  1. Ability To Focus:

To become an NBA referee, one must have excellent focus. This is because referees must make split-second decisions that can often significantly impact the game. They also need to be able to concentrate for long periods, as games can last up to three hours.

To develop a strong focus, NBA referees often practice meditation or mindfulness. This helps them to clear their minds and be present in the moment. They also use visualization techniques to help them see the game clearly and make the right calls.

By honing their focus skills, NBA referees can ensure that they always make the best possible game decisions. This helps to keep players safe and maintain the integrity of the sport.

  1. Attention To Detail:

This means having the ability to see all the small details on the court and making sure that each call is accurate.

How Much Do Nba Referees Make?

The average salary for an NBA referee is $375,000 annually. But that’s just the average. The top officials can make upwards of $700,000 per year. And while it may seem like a lot of money, remember that these officials have a very demanding job. They not only have to know the rules of the game inside and out, but they also have to be able to make split-second decisions that can often affect the outcome of the game.

Is It Hard To Be An Nba Referee?

It is a challenging and demanding job. Referees must keep track of many things during a game, such as the players’ positions and clocks. They also have to make split-second decisions on whether or not a foul has been committed.

Because they are constantly under pressure, NBA referees must be very calm and level-headed. They must also be able to take criticism from both players and coaches. Despite these challenges, being an NBA referee can be an enriching experience.

Is Nba Referees A Full-Time Job?

Although NBA referees do not need to have full-time jobs, they still undergo rigorous training and are held to high standards. To maintain their position as an official, they must continuously demonstrate their knowledge of the game and remain physically fit.

Do Nba Referees Go To School?

Yes, NBA referees go to school. They must complete a training program and pass an exam before they can officiate games. The training program is usually completed in one week, and the National Basketball Referees Association (NBRA) gives the exam.

Do Referees Get Paid Per Game?

They do not get paid per game but receive a salary. The amount of money that they make depends on their experience and the number of years they have been officiating.


If you want to become an NBA referee, you will need to have a passion for the game, maintain your fitness, and be able to make quick decisions. You will also need to attend a training camp and officiate at lower levels before being selected to referee NBA games. Once you become an NBA referee, you must maintain your integrity and keep up with the rules and changes to ensure that you provide the best possible experience for the players and the fans.