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future ref Wed Feb 04, 2004 09:11pm

Hey everybody,
I am a young teen who is 13 going on to 14 years old. I have wanted to be a ref for basketball since I was 7. Right now since I am a kid I referee at a Upward Basketball League which is a church league. In order to furfill my dream to be a NBA referee I definitley need some advice. I WILL TAKE ANYTHING! Please tell me because believe it or not I look up to all off you and seek advice from expierinced referees. So please give me some advice on furfilling my dream and and tell me what I have to do to get there from you higher referees. THANKYOU!

ref18 Wed Feb 04, 2004 09:21pm

A few hints that i've been given by veteran officials, or that i have read on this board, or that i have learned from experience.

1. Never blow the whistle, BLAST IT!!!!
2. Use your voice, make sure everyone that needs to can hear your call
3. Use nice crisp signals
4. Use only the mechanics specified in the manual.
5. Keep your shoes shiny, and your uniform clean and presentable.
6. Don't worry about when coaches b*tch and moan about the calls you are making. The majority of the time, you're right and they don't know the rules.

I'm not sure if i read this on this forum, or someone said this at one of my association meetings, but its an invaluable piece of advice that you'll do well to follow.

Always tuck your whistle inside your shirt when you go to the bathroom.

I can relate to your posistion, because when i started officiating, i was 15. The one thing i learned about reffing when your this young is, not to expect high school level games. I've been doing this for 2 years now, and i'm still waiting for my first high school game. I get the high level grade school stuff, and i've done a few gold medal games for tournaments involving kids under grade 8, but no high school games.

Its good to start at a young age, because you have more time and oppertunities in your life to advance up the officiating ladder.

You might want to contact your local officials association and see about joining it. They might have age restrictions. I know that my association has a by-law that states no new memebers can join unless they've attained their 16th birthday before midnight august 31st of the current year. But it never hurts to inquire.

Good Luck!!!

P.S. You have the same dream I do!!

ocreferee Thu Feb 05, 2004 09:16am

Welcome to the club. I too started at 13 (I'm now 27). I started calling in my local rec league with my father working 2nd-4th graders and moved up quickly to the point that I was calling HS rec ball as a high schooler. (That was a little weird when you go to school witha guy the day after fouling him out of a game). My advice for you is:

1. work as many games as you can (within reason). Don't do a huge number in one day (I used to do 5 in a day and that was about as much as I could concentrate)
2. Look sharp. Clean uniform, shirt tucked in, Fox 40 whistle, clean black shoes.
3. Learn from others including reading this site and asking veteran officials questions.
4. Find a mentor.
5. Read your rule book often. You have to know things backwards and forwards, especially since coaches will question young officials more than older ones. I still get questioned a lot at the high school level stricktly because I look much younger than 27.
6. Don't expect to shoot right up the ladder. It takes time to make the next level. I didn't work college ball until this season. You have to be patient.
7. HAVE FUN!!!

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