• Positioning
    If you referee alone you should keep a position on the court where you can best see the play, stay out of the players’ way and be able to quickly get to the other half of the court when the direction of play changes. The best position is to work from one free-throw line extended to the other free-throw line extended, opposite the scorer’s table. As the ball goes toward the opposite sideline, you will have to move off the sideline toward the center of the floor so you can rule on the play near the ball. Do not get caught on the endline. Move toward it if you need to cover a player near it, but remember it’s a long way to the other end to catch up with a fast break.
  • Out-of-bounds
    After designating the spot and the player is there, move a short distance away and bounce the ball (like a free throw) to the player for the throw-in. Have players assist you on out of bounds calls. If you’re not sure who touched the ball last, observe the reaction of the players. If you’re still not sure, ask who touched it last. Any disagreement results in the alternating possession deciding. No dialogue, discussion, or disagreement. Put the ball in play.
  • Presses
    For pressing situations, you will need to be no lower than the free throw line extended in the backcourt. If you go any deeper than this, you will not have any chance to make a call if there is a long pass to the other end of the floor.
  • Free Throws
    On free throws, you need to get the players set and then administer every shot from the trail position. Notice initial placement of the shooter’s feet, but then focus attention on the non-shooters, particularly when a miss, and a rebound, occurs.
  • Administering Fouls 
    “Cheat” a little bit on the reporting position. By remaining in the middle of the floor (approximately the center circle), your peripheral vision should enable you to observe the players.
  • Maintain Control of the Game
    In a game you are working solo, you may need to blow your whistle more often than you might in a game using a normal two person crew. You need to do this to maintain control, as the players will realize that there is only one of you and might try to take advantage of the situation.
  • Coaches must control their emotions!
    Do not argue with them or let them put you in a position where you feel guilty about not being able to see everything.
  • Maintain your sense of humor and composure
    Some interaction with players and coaches will work to your advantage. When approached properly, people will almost always be willing to assist.

And most importantly, don’t guess. Admit you can’t see everything.


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