Becoming a basketball referee can be a challenging and rewarding career.

Basketball Victoria and the Victorian Basketball Referees Association (VBRA) are always on the lookout for potential referees and there is a defined referee pathway if you are willing to take the next step.


How do I become a referee?

If you would like to become a referee the first step is to contact Nathan Williams, Technical Officials Officer at Basketball Victoria.

R01_VYCW_Nunawading_V_Hawthorn_MS5_2459_01_Doc (1)You will then be referred to the Referee Advisor at your local basketball association who is responsible for conducting the orientation courses for beginner referees. Beginner courses are typically held over four or five weeks (session length and days vary) and include theory work and practical on-court experience. All you need is a whistle, rule book and a readiness to learn.

The Referee Advisor is then responsible for your ongoing education and training as a basketball referee.

For country referees who want to get started, get in touch with Karin Berrysmith from the Country office:



Are there different levels of referees?

Once you have successfully completed the Orientation Level course and you have officiated as an apprentice referee working with a mentor, you are assessed and graded by your Referee Advisor to Level 1C and are qualified to officiate domestic competitions.

Within six to twelve months of gaining your Level 1C grading, you are assessed by your Referee Advisor who will upgrade you to Level 1B when you show the competencies of a Level 1B official.

To become a Level 1A referee, you must undertake a course conducted by your Referee Advisor. This course may take up to six weeks (6 x 2 hours) to complete. Upon completion of an A grade course, you are likely to be refereeing at the highest level competition at your association.

Once you become a Level 1A grade official, you may be nominated by your Referee Advisor to officiate on the Victorian Junior Panel where you will be refereeing the best junior basketballers in the state in the Victoria Junior Championship League (Melb. Utd. VJBL).

While officiating in the Melb. Utd. VJBL you will receive regular evaluations on your performance and helpful coaching tips from the most senior referee educators in Victoria.

You will gain great experience refereeing on the Victorian Junior Panel and it is from here that referees may be nominated toReferee participate in the State Referees Development Program, or be selected to represent Victoria at Australian Junior Championships.

After completing two years on the Junior Panel, referees are invited to undertake the Level 2 Referee Course and are encouraged to referee in the Victorian Basketball League (Big V).

Reaching this level is a great achievement and you may even be identified by Basketball Australia to participate in the National Referees Development Program.

The next step is to progress to Level 3 and 4 then, based on performance and gain selection to the National Panel. At the National Panel level, you will have the opportunity of officiating top Australian basketball including the South East Australian Basketball League (SEABL), Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) and National Basketball League (NBL) games.

Referees who officiate on the National Panel elite officials and must handle the pressures of top Australian basketball. the National Panel referees may be nominated to FIBA to recieve their FIBA license, which is the highest obtainable level, allowing them to be considered for World Championships and Olympic Games.


Who governs basketball referees ?

The Technical Officials Committee work in conjunction with the VBRA and Basketball Victoria to oversee the progress of officials in Victoria.


Who are the VBRA?

All referees must be registered with the BV & VBRA through their local association, to ensure they can access entitlements associated with Basketball Victoria affiliation. The TOC’s two main responsibilities are to:

  • represent the interests of all Members within Victoria and at a national level
  • provide members with the opportunity to maximise their potential by officiating in the highest level of basketball possible.

In addition to officiating, you can become a Referee Coach or work the scoretable. Referee Coach courses are conducted for referees who want to be involved in teaching and assessing referees’ performances in games. There are three levels for Referee Coaches to attain and you can progress as a Referee Coach just the same as a referee – right up to the NBL.


Who do I contact for more information?


There are over 150 basketball associations located throughout Victoria, so there is bound to be one near you! Click here to find an Association


Learn more


If you would like to become a referee, get in touch with your local basketball association by using the association finder on our home page.



For more information contact Basketball Victoria:

P: 03 9837 8000




Referee Resources

2016 FIBA Recruitment Retention and Education of Referees (PDF 2 MB)

2016 FIBA Social Media Guidelines (PDF 223 KB)