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1. Interpret rules and regulations fairly and to match the skill level and the needs of the participants.

Whilst many requirements of rules are for the safety of those involved in basketball and should never be compromised, others allow flexibility. The age and skills level of the players involved should be taken into account when interpreting rules. As long as you are consistent in interpreting rules and communicate before a game how you intend to interpret the rule, players and the game should benefit. Use common sense to ensure that the “spirit of the game” is not lost by overcalling technical violations

2. Compliment both teams on their efforts.

You should make an effort to congratulate both sides at the end of a game, not just the winning side. If there has been a problem during the game, by all means raise it, but do so in a constructive manner so that players may learn from your experience and guidance.

3. Be consistent, objective and courteous in calling all infractions.

Objectivity is the single most important characteristic of a good official. It can sometimes be tempting to be easier –or harder, so that you appear to be objective – on a team that you have a connection with. It is also easy to be harder on their opponents or on a team which you believe is not playing the game in the proper spirit or with which you may have had a bad experience in the past. You must resist this temptation. Even when you call an infraction, you must do so in a courteous manner.

4. Promote fair play and appropriate sporting behaviour.

Use every opportunity you have to communicate the message that basketball is about fair play, not to be marred by poor behaviour. Condemn the deliberate foul as being unsportsmanlike. If you see an act of good sportsmanship, applaud it.

5. Publicly encourage rule changes.

Officials are in a unique position to judge how rules work and their effect on the game. You should use that position to promote change where you can see a positive benefit to participants’ enjoyment of the game from a change.

6. Ensure that both on and off the court your behaviour is consistent with the principles of good sportsmanship.

Just as you are entitled to the respect of players, they are entitled to expect that you will act honestly and with integrity. Lead by example – actions speak louder than words. If your standards are down, players and others involved in the sport will see that as a signal that it is acceptable for them to lower their standards.

7. Keep your knowledge current.

Make a personal commitment to keep yourself informed of sound officiating principles and the principles of growth and development of children. Always attend training programs when they are available, to ensure that your knowledge is current and that your skills are always improving. Read all information that is available to make sure that you don’t miss innovations such as rule changes.

8. Help the education process in the game.

Help players learn to play the game. Make sure that players understand rule infractions. Sometimes players dispute decisions because they do not understand the rules correctly. If you perceive that a player hasn’t understood a ruling, take the time when it is convenient to explain it to them. If there is a team problem of understanding, approach the coach and outline what the problem is and why it is a problem. Don’t feel defensive about explaining your decisions. You are the expert on the court and players are entitled to your constructive guidance.

9. Always present yourself in a way which encourages others to respect you and your role.

In both your demeanour and appearance you should lead by example. Always wear the appropriate uniform and make sure that it is neat and clean. Just as players are expected to be properly attired, so should you be. If you present yourself in a sloppy manner it sends a signal that you may be sloppy in your tasks as an official.

10. Always respect the use of facilities and equipment provided.

Facilities and equipment cost money and will only function properly if kept in good order. Ensure that you do not abuse anything provided for use. Discourage players from engaging in dangerous practices such as hanging off hoops or “slam dunking”. Quite properly, these practices are banned in most venues. Not only can equipment be damaged but also serious injury can occur.


Please view the attached document, Officials Code Of Conduct


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True Sport's eight values that should be part of everyday life both on and off the court.