Refereeing provides you with an opportunity to earn money with flexible working hours, be physically active, meet new people, make new friends and share many great experiences. Referees develop many skills which are transferrable into everyday life such as confidence, decision making, communication, conflict resolution, time management and team work. As you can see below, refereeing is a journey that can take you to the WNBL, NBL and even the Olympics!!

Pathway of a referee


The average age of a trainee is 14. Most associations run beginner schools throughout the year. It is a 12 week course that has a theory component and an on-court component where the trainee is supported by a mentor.

C Grade

Once are referee is successful in their trainee course they are considered a ‘C’ Grade referee. Most ‘C’ referees remain at this level for 6mths – 1 year depending on their confidence and execution.  They will primarily referee junior domestic competitions.

B Grade

Once they move on to a ‘B’ Grade referee they are more likely to officiate senior games of basketball. During the next year or two and if they show an aptitude for officiating, they will be identified for an ‘A’ grade school.

A Grade

An ‘A’ Grade school is run by a senior local educator and will further educate referees in the following areas: Mechanics, Presentation, Calling of the Game, Communication and Technical Control.  Receiving your ‘A’ grade is the highest honour an official can receive from their local association.

Transition from Local Association to State / National Body

After officiating the strongest competition locally, a referee can determine if they would like to continue their journey to the State Leagues. This is a significant commitment and is based on both the ability of the referee and their professionalism.  The Elite Leagues participate on a Friday night, Saturday night and Sunday and require travel throughout the State.

Level 1

To become a Level 1 referee, the local association will nominate their most talented referees who are committed to becoming an elite referee.  Part of this commitment is to be assessed by Basketball Victoria, complete a theory & fitness test and attend an action day.  If you complete all the necessary requirements successfully, then you will be onto the Victorian Junior Basketball League (VJBL) or Country Basketball League (CBL) panels.

Level 2

To be considered for Level 2, the referee needs to meet all requirements of the VJBL / CBL and be assessed as suitable to move into the Senior State League (Big V).

Level 3

To obtain a Level 3 accreditation, a referee is identified as being suitable to referee the strongest divisions within Big V. A select few Level 3 referees will be considered for the most elite competition within the State (NBL1) which is a very high honour.

Level 4

Referees who are identified by Basketball Australia (BA) and the National Basketball League (NBL) to officiate in their respective national competitions, the Women’s National Basketball League (WNBL) and the NBL, are accredited as a Level 4 official.

Level 5

Referees can be nominated by Basketball Australia to be selected by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to referee internationally in competitions such as the Olympics and World Championships.  These referees are awarder their Level 5 accreditation.

For more information on becoming a referee, please contact Niam Westaway on