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Intae hwang, sha’rae mitchell named nba staff officials.

The 2 new NBA referees will also officiate games in the NBA G League to gain additional experience.

Official release

nba referees assignments

Intae Hwang (left) and Sha’Rae Mitchell are joining the NBA referee ranks for 2023-24.

NEW YORK — NBA G League referees Intae Hwang and Sha’Rae Mitchell have been named full-time NBA staff officials for the 2023-24 season, it was announced today by Monty McCutchen, NBA Senior Vice President, Head of Referee Development and Training.

“We are thrilled to welcome Intae and Sha’Rae to our full-time staff,” said McCutchen.  “They have excelled in their performance areas and earned the right to officiate NBA games on a regular basis.”

In addition to their NBA assignments this season, Hwang and Mitchell will continue to officiate NBA G League games.  All NBA referees with fewer than four years of service in the NBA work NBA G League games to gain additional experience as crew chiefs and develop as leaders.

A South Korean native, Hwang refereed seven regular-season games as a non-staff official during the 2022-23 NBA season.  He has officiated two seasons in the NBA G League and one season in the WNBA.  Hwang also has 15 years of experience as a FIBA official, including the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio and the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China.

Mitchell refereed 11 regular-season games as a non-staff official during the 2022-23 NBA season.  She has officiated five seasons in the NBA G League and two seasons in the WNBA.  The California native also has five years of officiating experience in college basketball, with assignments in the Pac-12, West Coast, Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences.

The 2023-24 NBA regular season will tip off on Tuesday, Oct. 24 with a doubleheader on TNT as the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets host the Los Angeles Lakers (7:30 p.m. ET) and the Phoenix Suns visit the Golden State Warriors (10 p.m. ET).

For the complete list of 2023-24 NBA game officials, click here .

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How to Become an NBA Referee: Everything You Should Know

An NBA referee holding a basketball in front of a crowd

Every NBA game is a high-stakes spectacle, and at the heart of it all are the referees, who hold the power of the whistle. If you’ve ever dreamed of being a part of that elite group, guiding the flow of the game, and ensuring fair play, this blog is your quintessential guide. We’re diving into how to become an NBA referee, how long the journey might take, and what you can expect in terms of salary.

Table of Contents

  • Do NBA Referees Do?
  • Steps to Become an NBA Referee: Detailed Guide

Eligibility Requirements

Pathways to the nba, how long does it take to become an nba referee, nba referee salary, faqs on becoming an nba referee.

  • Where to Find a Sports Job

What Do NBA Referees Do?

NBA referees are more than rule enforcers; they are the custodians of fair play and safety on the basketball court, juggling a multitude of duties during each game. NBA referees:

  • Participate in pre-game briefings with crew chiefs, statisticians, and timers.
  • Responsible for calling fouls, violations, and ensuring that players and coaches adhere strictly to the game rules.
  • Make quick, accurate decisions under high-pressure situations.
  • Conflict resolution and de-escalation techniques.
  • Use hand signals and verbal cues to communicate decisions clearly and effectively.
  • Responsible for administering and enforcing special rules during overtime periods.
  • During free throws, they are responsible for positioning players correctly and ensuring no violations occur.
  • Monitor game tempo and ensure it aligns with the league standards.
  • Ensure safety by identifying potential hazards on the court, such as moisture or obstacles
  • Review video footage during the game for critical decisions. This is particularly important for calls that are subject to review.
  • Coordinate with fellow referees during the game to discuss calls and maintain a consistent standard of officiating.
  • Required to fill out extensive post-game reports that detail any incidents, challenges, or special situations encountered during the game.
  • Engage in continuous education and training even in the off-season.
  • Must keep up-to-date with the NBA’s official rulebook .

9 Steps to Become an NBA Referee

NBA referee with a whistle

Are you curious about how to become an NBA referee? Here’s a step-by-step roadmap to guide you through the rigorous but rewarding process.

Step 1: Master the Fundamentals of Basketball

Before even stepping onto the court, familiarize yourself with the official NBA rulebook and FIBA (International Basketball Federation) guidelines . Watch games to understand how rules are applied in real-time scenarios. It might also help to take courses in sports management or kinesiology.

Step 2: Gain Initial Experience

The journey starts at the grassroots. Volunteer to referee at local schools, YMCAs, or community centers. Document your experience meticulously, as you’ll need a detailed resume to move to higher levels. In some states, high school-level referees must register with organizations like the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

Step 3: Join a Referee Association

Look for established refereeing organizations, such as the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials (IAABO) or local referee chapters. Membership often includes training material, workshops, and job boards.

Step 4: Acquire Certification

Certifications vary by state and level. For high school games, you often need to pass an NFHS exam. At the collegiate level, certifications from organizations like the Collegiate Officiating Consortium or the NCAA are more appropriate. These tests usually comprise a written rulebook exam and on-court evaluations.

Step 5: Move Up to the Collegiate or International Level

Breaking into the collegiate level often requires networking and gaining a reputation as a reliable referee. Many referees start by officiating at Division III games before moving on to Division I contests. If you aim for international games, getting certified by FIBA is a necessity.

Step 6: Get Scouted

As you accumulate experience, you might catch the eye of NBA scouts , especially if you’re officiating at high-profile college tournaments like March Madness or international competitions. Networking at industry events can also put you on the radar.

Step 7: Undergo Rigorous Assessment

Prepare for a meticulous vetting process, which includes comprehensive background checks, psychological evaluations, and even simulations using Virtual Reality (VR) to gauge your decision-making abilities under pressure.

Step 8: Attend NBA Officiating Camps

If selected, you’ll be invited to an NBA Officiating Camp, where you’ll undergo further training and assessment. These camps are often preceded by mandatory seminars on topics ranging from game management to dealing with public scrutiny.

Step 9: Secure a Contract and Begin Your Career

Upon successful completion of all assessments and training camps, you’ll receive a provisional contract to referee NBA games. Early assignments usually involve lower-stakes games, and you’ll undergo continuous assessments for your first few seasons.

By following these enhanced steps, packed with actionable insights and specific details, you’ll arm yourself with the vital know-how to navigate the intricate pathway of how to become an NBA referee. Every step is a building block towards achieving your dream, and while the journey is challenging, the rewards are truly monumental.

In this section, we outline the crucial eligibility requirements you need to meet on your journey to learn how to become an NBA referee.

Education and Basic Skills

Wooden block that says eligibility

To be considered for the role of an NBA referee, a high school diploma or GED is the minimum educational requirement. Yet, a college degree can enhance your candidacy, especially in disciplines like sports management , kinesiology , physical education, or law. Some referees even pursue specialized courses or certifications in sports officiating to elevate their knowledge base.

Communication skills are indispensable, including clear verbal communication and a mastery of the non-verbal cues, such as hand signals, that referees use to maintain order on the court. A deep understanding of the game is a given; you’ll need to be an encyclopedia of basketball rules, both according to the NBA and FIBA guidelines. The significance of this knowledge can’t be overstated; it sets the foundation for every call you make or dispute you’ll settle.

Equally important is physical stamina. Remember, NBA games are high-octane affairs where you’ll often be running several miles. Cardiovascular health, agility, and a general level of fitness are critical—your physical condition should be robust enough to withstand the rigors of the game.

Age and Experience

When it comes to age, the NBA does not set specific barriers. However, this should not be mistaken for leniency; candidates need to be in excellent physical shape to meet the high-intensity demands of professional basketball. In terms of experience, the expectations are stringent: a minimum of 5-7 years of high-level basketball officiating is a prerequisite. This typically involves work at the collegiate or even international levels.

The career path to the NBA often shows a clear progression: starting with high school or community games, then moving up to collegiate officiating, and eventually breaking into semi-professional or even international leagues. Your reputation precedes you in this industry. Excellent officiating in high-profile settings, such as NCAA tournaments or international competitions, can get you noticed and bring you one step closer to the NBA.

Navigating the journey to become an NBA referee is as strategic and demanding as the game of basketball itself. Let’s break down the essential pathways that prospective referees should consider to ascend to the pinnacle of professional basketball officiating.

Local Officiating

Starting your career at the grassroots level is more than a humble beginning; it’s a practical necessity. Local community leagues, YMCA games, and high school events offer invaluable hands-on experience. At this stage, you’ll not only familiarize yourself with the fundamental rules but also develop essential soft skills like crowd management and game-flow understanding. Some states even offer specific certification programs for high school-level officiating, serving as your initial foray into formalized training.

Join a Referee Association

Getting affiliated with a referee association isn’t just a box to tick off; it’s a pivotal career move. Local or national associations like the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials (IAABO) or the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) provide targeted training programs, up-to-date rulebooks, and educational seminars. They also offer the invaluable benefit of networking opportunities, often connecting you with more experienced referees who can mentor you. Additionally, they provide a platform for you to secure more advanced officiating assignments, which is a key factor in climbing the officiating ladder.

Work Your Way Up

As you navigate the path to becoming an NBA referee, advancing through the officiating ranks is a crucial part of the journey that demands both skill and tactical planning. After mastering high school-level games, the next logical step is collegiate-level basketball. Officiating in NCAA games improves your skills and significantly elevates your visibility in the scouting community. Subsequently, international events or the NBA’s own developmental league, commonly known as the G League” href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>G League , become the stages where you can truly shine. Strong recommendations from peers and superiors are often essential to get assignments at these levels, so cultivating a reputation for professionalism and competence is crucial.

Assessments and Scouting

The assessment phase is a high-stakes period where years of hard work are scrutinized. Referees are typically required to undergo regular evaluations, often supported by video analysis technology. NBA referee stats such as correct call percentage, player interaction, and game management skills are meticulously examined. If you’re exceptional, you’ll grab the attention of NBA scouts who are perpetually searching for the next great referee. These scouts attend top-level collegiate games, international events, and G League matches, making them the arenas where you should aim to exhibit your finest officiating.

Timeline going year by year

When considering how to become an NBA referee, keep in mind that most aspiring referees need approximately a decade of high-level experience to be seriously considered for the NBA. This 10-year journey involves much more than just officiating games; it encompasses a wide range of experiences, from rule studies and professional development seminars to mentorship programs and ongoing performance assessments. This is a decade defined not merely by time but by the strategic accumulation of expertise.

The 10-year journey to become an NBA referee is usually divided into distinct phases:

  • Years 1-3 : Local officiating to gain foundational experience.
  • Years 4-6 : Officiating at the high school and early collegiate levels, often involving state-level certifications.
  • Years 7-9 : Advanced collegiate officiating, potentially leading to international assignments.
  • Year 10 and beyond : Finally knocking on the doors of the NBA, often after a stint in the G League or international leagues.

Even after you’ve entered the NBA’s scouting radar, the journey is far from over. The league conducts annual assessments to measure your readiness for the highest level of basketball officiating. While the 10-year average stands as a general benchmark, there are exceptional cases where referees make it to the NBA in a shorter timeframe.

Among the burning questions when exploring how to become an NBA referee is the subject of salary—let’s dive into what you can expect to earn.

Graph of NBA referee salary by career level

Starting your career as an NBA referee comes with a reasonable financial package. Entry-level referees can expect to earn around $150,000 annually. It’s a solid foundation that reflects the demanding nature of the job.

But don’t think that’s the ceiling. Experience pays—literally. Seasoned referees with several years on the court can pull in upwards of $550,000 per year. These top-tier earnings often come from officiating in high-stakes games like playoffs and finals.

Additional financial perks sweeten the deal. NBA referees receive travel allowances , making those constant trips more manageable. And given that you’ll be on the road extensively, these allowances can add up.

Beyond the paycheck and the travel, there’s also a focus on long-term security. A comprehensive medical, dental, and vision insurance package provides peace of mind. Retirement plans are often part of the package, ensuring financial stability long after you’ve blown your last whistle.

Performance-based bonuses are part of the equation, too. Exceptional officiating, especially in critical games, can net you extra income. It’s the NBA’s way of recognizing and rewarding top talent.

How does NBA refereeing stack up against other sports? Well, it fares pretty well. NHL referees earn between $165,000 and $360,000, while top MLB umpires can make up to $450,000. In this competitive landscape, the NBA shines as one of the more lucrative options.

Explore these FAQs to get answers to your burning questions on how to become an NBA referee.

Do I Need to Be Physically Fit to Start My Journey?

Absolutely. Physical fitness isn’t just a requirement; it’s a necessity. The game demands running, positioning, and quick reflexes. Don’t wait—incorporate a fitness regimen into your daily routine now. The fitter you are, the better you’ll perform.

How Do I Build a Portfolio or Resume as a Referee?

Start by documenting every game you officiate, complete with references and any notable incidents or decisions. Consider creating a digital portfolio that includes video highlights of your officiating skills. Building a strong portfolio isn’t just an option; it’s a strategic necessity for advancing your career.

Is Language Proficiency Important in International Games?

Indeed, language skills can significantly bolster your qualifications as you navigate how to become an NBA referee, especially if you aim to officiate in international tournaments. Being multilingual aids in more effective communication and could distinguish you from other candidates. If international games are in your future, consider taking a language course.

Are There Opportunities for Women in NBA Officiating?

Absolutely. The NBA is increasingly inclusive, and there are already women referees in the league. If you’re a woman aspiring to break into NBA officiating, don’t hesitate—your talent and skills are what truly matter.

Can I Maintain a Full-Time Job While Training to Be a Referee?

Yes, many aspiring referees balance a full-time job with their officiating ambitions initially. However, as you progress to higher levels requiring more time and commitment, you’ll need to evaluate your priorities. If you’re juggling multiple responsibilities, start by officiating weekend or evening games to build your skills without compromising your job.

Where to Find a Sports Jobs

Becoming an NBA referee is not for the faint-hearted. The path is long, arduous, and filled with challenges. So, how do you become become an NBA referee? It requires immense dedication, an unerring eye for detail, and an indefatigable spirit. However, the rewards—both financial and intrinsic—are immeasurable. You have the chance to be part of basketball history, to step onto the court with some of the greatest athletes in the world, and to earn a respectable salary while doing it.

Ready to translate your passion for sports into a fulfilling career, potentially an NBA job ? Don’t just dream—act. Unlock a free membership with Jobs in Sports, your one-stop portal for exclusive sports job listings , industry insights, and networking opportunities that can propel you not just onto the court but into the diverse universe of sports careers. The game is on, and it’s your move.

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nba referees assignments

NBA Official

2019-20 nba referees by the numbers.

NEW YORK, Oct. 22, 2019 – Seventy referees will make up the NBA officiating staff for the 2019-20 season.   Below are some numbers and tidbits pertaining to this season’s NBA officials.

On The Court

  • 3,690 – The 70 NBA officials will be called on to fill 3,690 referee assignments during the regular season.
  • 34 – Ken Mauer is entering his 34 th season as an NBA referee, the most for any current official.
  • 80 – 56 of the 70 referees ( 80 %) have worked in the NBA G League.
  • 41/28 – 41 of the 70 referees (59%) have 10 or more years of officiating experience, while 28 of the 70 (40%) have 15 or more years of officiating experience.
  • 34 – 24 of the 70 referees ( 34 %) have WNBA officiating experience.

Off The Court

  • 75,000 – NBA officials who cover 60 or more games during the regular season will fly approximately 75,000 miles.
  • 1989 – Joe Borgia, Senior Vice President, Referee Operations, was part of the officiating crew for the longest modern-day game when the Seattle SuperSonics and the Milwaukee Bucks went to five overtimes on Nov. 9, 1989 .  He also worked the highest-scoring game in history (Detroit Pistons 186, Denver Nuggets 184) on Dec. 13, 1983.
  • 1977 – Ken Mauer earned 1977 All-Big Ten honors for the University of Minnesota’s baseball team, helping lead the Golden Gophers to the College World Series alongside Baseball Hall of Famer Paul Molitor.
  • 36 – Brent Barnaky, who wears No. 36 , served as a civil trial lawyer before becoming an NBA official.
  • 25 – Monty McCutchen, Vice President, Head of Referee Development and Training, spent 25 years as an NBA referee.
  • 20 – George Toliver, Associate Vice President, Referee Operations, is the father of three-time WNBA All-Star and two-time WNBA champion Kristi Toliver, who wears No. 20 for the Washington Mystics.
  • 19 – Jason Phillips is the new Replay Center Operations Principal after spending 19 years as an NBA official.
  • 13 – Referee Jacyn Goble previously worked for 13 years as a police officer for the Miami-Dade Police Department.
  • 12 – Referee Leroy Richardson spent 12 years in the United States Navy, serving as a surface warfare specialist and underwater sea surveillance specialist.   Other officials who have served in the U.S. military include Matt Boland (Connecticut National Guard) and Rodney Mott (U.S. Navy).
  • Bennie Adams (Southern University)
  • Tony Brown (Clark Atlanta University)
  • Sean Corbin (Coppin State University)
  • Courtney Kirkland (Southern University)
  • Karl Lane (Philander Smith University)
  • Eric Lewis (Bethune Cookman University)
  • Matt Myers (Hampton University)
  • CJ Washington (Southern University)
  • Tom Washington (Norfolk State University)
  • 8 – Referee Haywoode Workman played eight seasons in the NBA.
  • 6 – Referee Leon Wood played six seasons in the NBA.
  • 4 – Four referees were born outside of the U.S.: Marat Kogut (Kiev, Ukraine), Gediminas Petraitis (Kaunas, Lithuania), Evan Scott (Taejon, South Korea) and Mousa Dagher (Homs, Syria).
  • 3 to 4 – An NBA official runs an average of 3 to 4 miles during a game.
  • 3 – Referee Development Performance Advisor Joe Crawford, who was an NBA referee for 39 years, is one of three members of his family to serve as an official.  His late father, Shag, and his brother, Jerry, were both longtime Major League Baseball umpires.
  • 3 – This year’s officiating staff features three second-generation NBA referees: James Capers (James Capers, Sr.), JB DeRosa (Joe DeRosa) and Brian Forte (Joe Forte).


Who refs the nba’s referees, the league uses an advanced analytical system to monitor and grade its officials..

By Ben Dowsett

Filed under NBA

Published Feb. 22, 2022



The concept of constant evolution in sports isn’t exclusive to athletes and tactics. It’s central to the men and women who officiate the games as well.

Referee mechanics — where to stand, how to move, who makes which calls — weren’t taught uniformly in the NBA until the early 1980s , over 30 years into the league’s existence. The use of VCRs and videotapes for referee training wouldn’t begin in earnest until a few years later. The NBA didn’t even begin using three officials in its games full-time until 1988 .

As the world around it has modernized, though, so has the NBA. Today’s league officiating department relies more than ever on a well-known sports buzzword: Analytics.

Every single call made by NBA referees — and many of those not made — is graded by impartial observers, then inputted into a vast database including every official in the league. This data is used in ongoing referee training and development, and it helps in determining ref promotions and playoff assignments. Teams are even given partial access to and are allowed to make some inquiries into specific calls.

This is no mom-and-pop setup. It’s a full-fledged operation involving more than two dozen full-time staffers, from former NBA officials to outside consultants and quantitative analysts. It’s also a realm into which the public has had very little window, even as analytics and technology have become larger and larger parts of the league’s officiating department in recent years.

FiveThirtyEight spoke with more than 25 people across the NBA, from league staffers in charge of data collection and use to front-office executives, to understand exactly how this referee-grading and analytics program works. 

Many an NBA fan recognizes Secaucus, New Jersey, as home to the league’s Replay Center, but that’s just one small piece of league and referee operations taking place there. Secaucus is also the NBA’s hub for its referee review and grading program, which employs a staff of over 25 people in various roles.

A key figure here is Steven Angel, one of the NBA’s longest-tenured employees at nearly 14 years. Angel was part of a consulting firm that helped redesign the league’s referee data in the early 2000s when David Stern was commissioner; he was eventually brought on full-time as part of the officiating department, now occupying the role of senior vice president of game analytics and strategy.

When Angel started working with the league, the sophistication of referee reviews and grading systems matched the limited technology that was available. Around the turn of the millennium, the NBA started assigning observers to attend games in-person in their geographical area, then return home and break the same game down again via DVR later that night. Angel, with his consulting background, noticed potential problems with training and arena biases, and the system was brought entirely in-house in 2013.

When the NBA brass decided to begin sharing referee game grades and reports with individual franchises in 2015, they quickly realized that many teams were focused on different call and play types than the league’s own referee advisers — understandable given that teams have their own interests at heart, while advisers are focused on leaguewide referee performance. Standardizing these definitions across the board became a major piece of Angel’s department, one that persists to this day under the title of “Rules Clarity Project.”

Those involved work directly with the NBA’s competition committee — which comprises a group of owners, general managers, coaches, referees and players — plus representatives from all 30 teams and the referee’s union. Angel sums up the aim of this project simply: “What actually constitutes an error? The game is one long non-call, except when the whistle is blowing,” Angel told FiveThirtyEight. “Can we agree on what constitutes a foul?”

Angel’s team also handles the realm of integrity. It looks for any and all possible indicators of bias, whether conscious or subconscious. The name “ Donaghy ” is rarely uttered in league circles today, but there’s an obvious desire to protect against even the suggestion of impropriety — especially given the NBA’s own stated interest in the arena of sports gambling.

“We monitor gambling lines in Las Vegas,” Angel said. “We look to see if there’s any indication of manipulation or bias. That is hopefully a big, big waste of time, but we are still diligent in that effort.”

The biggest element Angel oversees, though, is the NBA’s staff of dedicated referee reviewers.

While certain roles in the league’s officiating department are held by former referees, game reviewers are not — again, the goal here is limiting any potential for bias. Rather, Angel and his staff look for “basketball-centric individuals” who have coached or played at some level and have a strong baseline of knowledge but don’t have specific connections with NBA franchises.

In the early years of this program, applicants for game reviewer jobs were given tests on their basketball acumen. Quickly, though, the league realized those tests were asking the wrong questions.

“We believe we can teach what [reviewers] need to look at,” Angel said. “What we need to find in them is the ability to sit and focus for long periods of time.”

Reviewing NBA referees is an arduous, painstaking task. Doing the job correctly might require watching the same three-second play clip over a dozen times at numerous angles. A single game review takes between six and eight hours, per multiple members of the department. Dedication and focus are just as important as actual basketball knowledge.

The interview process today is more focused on these sorts of skills. These are prestigious roles: The NBA’s staff of game reviewers numbers 15 at most, including 10 standard reviewers, three senior reviewers and a couple of specialized roles (such as one reviewer dedicated solely to gambling lines and related integrity concepts).

Game reviewers are trained on three specific components of the job:

  • How to grade plays: What constitutes an infraction vs. what doesn’t? Which types of plays need to be included on game reports?
  • Which ref is responsible: Reviewers grade whether an infraction took place, but also which referee on the floor was responsible for making (or not making) that call. This involves a detailed knowledge of NBA referee mechanics for each of the three positions an official occupies on the floor ( lead, slot and trail ).
  • Use of the Game Review System technology.

The Game Review System, or GRS, is the technological foundation of modern NBA referee grading, one designed in-house and updated several times since the mid-2000s. The goal is to present reviewers with a standardized dashboard they access via computer, with processes that can be applied as evenly as possible to every single NBA game.

Again, there’s major emphasis here on which plays are included. The league could demand reviewers break down every single dribble in each game, labeling “no infraction” each time a player successfully moved without traveling; while that might allow the NBA to claim 99.99 percent accuracy on all call types, it wouldn’t be a feasible use of reviewer time — and the resulting data would be almost useless.

Instead, reviewers get a major assist here from modern technology: Second Spectrum camera tracking, which is present in all 29 NBA arenas, is integrated into GRS. This data is used to “pre-tag” various common events in a basketball game, such as shots, passes, drives, screens and dribble initiations. Instead of manually combing through every second of game action, hemming and hawing on which plays to cover and which to leave alone, reviewers have a standardized shorthand they can lean on.

Generally speaking, reviewers can categorize — or “tag” — a play in one of four ways:

  • Infraction: An infraction of NBA rules clearly took place on the play in question.
  • No Infraction: An infraction of NBA rules clearly did not take place.
  • Potential Infraction: The call was not clear or conclusive. Two sub-categories, “Leaning Infraction” and “Leaning No Infraction,” are included in these “judgment calls” to make eventual datasets more robust.
  • Enhanced Review: A conclusive decision on a call could have been reached only using enhanced video review and could not have been reasonably seen by a referee in real time. For instance, the league won’t punish a referee for missing a travel on a play in which slow-motion video revealed that a player lifted his pivot foot milliseconds before the ball left his hand for a dribble.

Reviewers have access to a minimum of nine broadcast angles for every play, plus often several additional views — and a full suite of video enhancement options at their disposal. In addition to entering one of those four tags for each play, reviewers also use video to determine which referee on the court should have been responsible. (Tracking technology also often plays a role in this task.)

nba referees assignments

A collaborative spirit is encouraged. Reviewers are in the same physical location in Secaucus and often canvass one another or senior staffers on tough plays. (COVID-19 protocols have interrupted parts of this in-person coordination over the past two seasons.)

After six to eight hours, a reviewer will have analyzed a single NBA game and all possible infractions within it. This process will often then be repeated by a senior reviewer on the staff; hundreds of NBA games each season each get 12 to 16 hours of review.

Each call and non-call will be automatically assigned to the referees who worked that game and compared to the reviewers’ tags. (It’s important to note, again, that reviewers are evaluating infractions , not referees themselves. Their job is to focus solely on the players on the court and whether rules were broken during the course of play; to avoid bias as much as possible, resulting grades are assigned to officials later and by other league staff.) This allows for corresponding accuracy to be determined. From here, this data will become part of each official’s existing record. Leaguewide, this dataset is massive: A single season will include around 500,000 refereeing data points, per Evan Wasch, the NBA’s executive vice president of basketball strategy and analytics.

Wasch oversees Angel’s department, which includes a group of data scientists whose role involves combing through this data in excruciating detail. They’re looking for trends across individual refs and and throughout the staff, among players and teams, and even within betting patterns. Wasch’s team will then work with other key NBA officials — including Monty McCutchen, senior vice president for referee development and training, and Mark Wunderlich, vice president of referee operations — on what they find.

This data analysis will often have a direct effect on ongoing referee training. For example, as the game has undergone a spacing revolution in the last decade, officiating analysts began noticing related positioning issues.

“[As] the game became more perimeter-oriented, we found that we were seeing errors in different places on the floor,” Wasch tells FiveThirtyEight. “Which in turn led us to work with Monty and Mark Wunderlich and his staff to rethink referee mechanics to make sure referees were in the right position to pick up plays.”

Again, collaboration is key. Wasch and his staff are regularly embedded in meetings and training sessions with Wunderlich’s group. If data can identify or strengthen an important training area for a single ref, a group of refs or even every ref in the league, all the better.

And they even review their own reviewers! Data is kept on how often senior review staff is forced to overrule an improper tag from an initial review upon their second pass; Angel and his staff address any error trends that show up here. If the issues persist, a reviewer might have to find a new job.

Coming Wednesday: How the ref-grading data is used by the league and its teams.

CORRECTION (Feb. 22, 2022, 3:27 p.m.): An earlier version of this article incorrectly characterized the department within the NBA that handles game analytics. It includes a group of data scientists who sift through the ref data looking for trends.

Ben Dowsett is a writer and videographer based in Salt Lake City. His past NBA work can be found at ESPN, GQ, The Athletic and elsewhere. @Ben_Dowsett

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Scott Wall has officiated 1,401 regular-season games and 14 playoff games in 27 seasons as an NBA staff official.  

Wall considers his most memorable NBA assignment to be the 2012 NBA All-Star Game in Orlando.

He has four years of officiating experience with USA Basketball, four years in the collegiate ranks in the ACC, Ohio Valley and Atlantic Sun conferences, and five years at the high school level in Kansas and Alabama.

Wall volunteers with Georgianna United Methodist Church in Merritt Island, Fla., on local mission programs.  

His father, Bill, is a former USA Basketball Director. His mother, Patricia, is a former Southeastern Conference Associate Commissioner.  

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Lakers vs Thunder Odds, Picks, and Predictions Tonight: OKC Brings the Fight at Home

On this page.

The Lakers are at a rest disadvantage tonight against a young, hungry team with legs for days. Read on to see if our NBA picks think they can keep up against the Thunder.

nba referees assignments

The Los Angeles Lakers got themselves back on track with a win over the Detroit Pistons Wednesday night.

Now, they’ll try to shake their struggles playing on consecutive days, as they visit the Oklahoma City Thunder as seven-point NBA odds road dogs.

OKC has had a day to stew, after dropping their last two against a pair of heavies in Philadelphia and Minnesota.

Check my free NBA picks and predictions for this battle of West playoff squads on Thursday, November 30.

Lakers vs Thunder odds

Lakers vs thunder predictions.

After getting trounced 138-94 by the Philadelphia 76ers, the Lakers responded in kind, doling out a 133-107 whipping on the Detroit Pistons, sending them to their 15th straight loss.

Their stop in OKC will mark L.A.’s fourth set of back-to-backs on the year, and the Lakers have struggled in the back end of that combo, going just 1-2, including two straight losses.

That includes a 125-110 blowout loss in SacTo as 1.5-point favorites, and 104-101 L to the Mavericks as 1-point underdogs. 

About the only thing good about the results are that they’ve been a good team to bet against, going a league-worst 0-3-0 mark against the spread, tied with Utah for the worst mark, and one of five teams with yet to cover in that sample.

In fact, the Lakers are a dismal 1-4-0 ATS playing at a rest disadvantage.

This could be a problem against a Thunder team that ranks as the sixth-highest scoring team in the league at 118.1 points per game, and leads the NBA in 3-point shooting at a 40.3% clip. They’re also the third-youngest team in the association and play at the eight-fastest pace.

They should be surly after dropping a close 127-123 decision to the 76ers, before last game’s 106-103 L to the West-leading Timberwolves.

The Thunder are also undefeated on the year with a rest advantage, going 2-0-1 ATS, one of four teams yet to take an L in that scenario.

Until the Lakers prove they can succeed on zero days’ rest, let’s stick with a Thunder side that does not want to drop a third straight to a team with a winning record.

My best bet : Thunder -5.5 ( -110 at DraftKings )

Lakers vs Thunder same-game parlay

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Thunder -5.5 LeBron James Over 24.5 points Over 232.5 points

You’d think LeBron James — as the NBA’s oldest player and still L.A.’s most important — would struggle in these back-to-back scenarios, but he’s been the team’s leading scorer in the last two losses.

LBJ put up 26 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists in the loss to the Mavs, shooting 47.4% from the field, including a 4-for-9 mark from distance, one of his better showings from 3-point range this season.

Against the Kings, James doled out a triple-double, with 28 points, 10 rebounds, and 12 assists, while shooting an impressive 9-for-15 from the floor.

James has had great success against the Thunder of late, averaging 30 points per game in the last five head-to-head meetings, and passing the 24.5 scoring line set for Wednesday in every one of those contests.

If you’re willing to take it up a level, feel free to take James on his 39.5 total on points-rebounds-assists, which he’s topped in four of his last five Thunder matchups.

For now, I’ll happily take the points and exit stage left, thanks.

Let’s wrap it up with the total, set at 229 points. The Over in Lakers’ games has gone 9-8-0, including three straight Overs.

Meanwhile, OKC has a 7-11-0 O/U record, but it’s crossed its total four times in the last six.

These teams have lit up the scoreboard in their head-to-heads in Oklahoma City. Five of the last six games between the Lakers and Thunder at Paycom Center have gone Over.

Learn how to bet a same-game parlay with these helpful tips and strategies.

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Lakers vs Thunder spread and Over/Under analysis

The Lakers’ inconsistency has been … consistent. They’ve alternated spread wins and losses in each of their last 10, the latest a win, covering the 7.5-point line against the Pistons.

Meanwhile, the Thunder are a crisp 4-0-1 ATS as betting favorites at home. OKC is only one of seven teams in the NBA to boast a success rate in this scenario at 80% or higher.

If we’re talking totals, the line has been remarkably consistent at 227.5, and the only fluctuation we’ve seen across the books is the bump up of an extra half-point.

As an underdog, the Over has hit in four of seven L.A. starts. OKC has seen the Over hit in four of eight matchups when they’re the betting favorite.

Lakers vs Thunder betting trend to know

The Lakers have won five of their last six road games against the Thunder.  Find more NBA betting trends for Lakers vs. Thunder.

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NFL Referee Assignments Week 13: Refs Assigned for Sunday and Monday Games

Posted: December 3, 2023 | Last updated: December 3, 2023

Every week, we see at least one referee and his crew with a week off, but as the bye weeks return, that number will grow to four. However, that still means we have 13 other crews working this week, so let’s look at the Week 13 NFL referee assignments.

NFL Referee Assignments for Week 13

All times Eastern and game day Sunday unless stated otherwise. All penalty stat information is courtesy of .

Denver Broncos at Houston Texans | 1:00 p.m.

Shawn Smith

Los Angeles Chargers at New England Patriots | 1:00 p.m.

Bill Vinovich

Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints | 1:00 p.m.

Clay Martin

Atlanta Falcons at New York Jets | 1:00 p.m.

Ron Torbert

Arizona Cardinals at Pittsburgh Steelers | 1:00 p.m.

Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans| 1:00 p.m.

Craig Wrolstad

Miami Dolphins at Washington Commanders | 1:00 p.m.

Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers | 4:05 p.m.

Brad Rogers

Cleveland Browns at Los Angeles Rams | 4:25 p.m.

John Hussey

San Francisco 49ers at Philadelphia Eagles | 4:25 p.m.

Kansas City Chiefs at Green Bay Packers | 8:20 p.m.

Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars | 8:15 p.m. (Monday)

Scott Novak

The big matchup of the weekend is the Philadelphia Eagles hosting the San Francisco 49ers, which Alex Kemp’s crew is assigned. Philadelphia’s last three home opponents have been called for 31 total penalties, while the Eagles have only seen 14 total flags against them. Meanwhile, the 49ers have been called for over seven penalties per road game this season.

Kemp’s crew has called two more penalties per game against the road team in 11 games this season. They have the highest differential between road and home penalty calls.

MORE: NFL Prime-Time Games 2023

On Monday, we could see a game with a low number of penalties called. The Cincinnati Bengals and Jacksonville Jaguars have the two lowest number of penalties called against them this season. Cincinnati has had six penalties or fewer against them in nine of 11 games, while Jacksonville has only one game with more than six infractions called against them this season. Scott Novak’s crew has called the 11th fewest penalties of the 17 crews.

Each season, officials are assigned to referees from the NFL’s officiating roster . You can see the full crews for the 2023 season in our handy guide.

Want to predict the rest of the 2023 season with our FREE NFL Playoff Predictor ? Looking for the most up-to-date NFL standings ? What about a breakdown of team depth charts or the NFL schedule ? Pro Football Network has you covered with that and more! 

Houston Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans argues with the referee Clay Martin and back judge Greg Wilson on a pass interference call as the Texans play the Jacksonville Jaguars in the second half at NRG Stadium.

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Professional Referee Organization ®

MLS Assignments: MLS Cup Playoffs – Conference Finals

The assignments for the Conference Finals of the 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs:

FC Cincinnati vs Columbus Crew TQL Stadium (6PM ET) REF: Allen Chapman AR1: Corey Parker AR2: Nick Uranga 4TH: Rosendo Mendoza VAR: Younes Marrakchi AVAR: Eric Weisbrod

Los Angeles FC vs Houston Dynamo BMO Stadium (9:30PM ET) REF: Victor Rivas AR1: Logan Brown AR2: Micheal Barwegen 4TH: Ismail Elfath VAR: Drew Fischer AVAR: Peter Balciunas

  • Latest international assignments for PRO officials [Updated 11/29]
  • VAR a Fondo: MLS Cup Playoffs – Semifinales de Conferencia

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    NBA officials Curtis Blair, Tyler Ford, Mark Lindsay, Ed Malloy, Ben Taylor and Sean Wright have been assigned as alternates for the 2022 NBA Finals. Individual game assignments for referees are ...

  9. NBA announces officials for 2023 NBA Finals

    Bill Kennedy (5th) Zach Zarba (10th) Foster has officiated 23 NBA Finals games, followed by Davis with 18, and Brothers at 15. NBA officials Tyler Ford and Ben Taylor have been assigned as ...

  10. Is Scott Foster reffing today? Full list, schedule of referee ...

    NBA referee assignments today. Here is the full list of assignments for Tuesday night's playoff games: Game: Time (ET) Crew Chief: Referee: Umpire: Hawks vs. Celtics: 7 p.m. James Williams:

  11. NBA Finals referee assignments: Zach Zarba to lead officiating crew in

    The NBA has announced its officiating crew for Game 6 of the 2022 NBA Finals. Led by chief Zach Zarba, the three-person crew also features veteran NBA officials, David Guthrie and John Goble.

  12. NBA Finals referee assignments: James Capers to lead officiating crew

    The NBA has announced its officiating crew for Game 4 of the 2022 NBA Finals. Led by chief James Capers, the three-person crew also features veteran NBA officials, Kane Fitzgerald and Eric Lewis.

  13. NBA Promotes Four Referees to 2022-23 Officiating Staff

    NEW YORK, Oct. 13, 2022 - NBA G League referees Cheryl Flores, Robert Hussey, Matt Kallio and Dannica Mosher have been promoted to full-time NBA staff officials for the 2022-23 season, it was announced today by Monty McCutchen, NBA Senior Vice President, Head of Referee Development and Training. "Cheryl, Robert, Matt and Danica have demonstrated the ability and professionalism required to ...

  14. 2021-22 NBA Referees

    2021-22 NBA Referees. 2020-21 Season 2022-23 Season. Referee data is available for the 1988-89 through 2023-24 seasons. Some stats are relative to league average ( + ⇒ above average, − ⇒ below average ). Personal fouls include all fouls, not just fouls called by this referee.

  15. Referees Intae Hwang and Sha'Rae Mitchell Named NBA Staff Officials

    The California native also has five years of officiating experience in college basketball, with assignments in the Pac-12, West Coast, Big Sky and Western Athletic conferences. The 2023-24 NBA regular season will tip off on Tuesday, Oct. 24 with a doubleheader on TNT as the defending NBA champion Denver Nuggets host the Los Angeles Lakers (7:30 ...

  16. NBA Official

    Clippers' Paul George Fined. November 16, 2023. NEW YORK, Nov. 16, 2023 - LA Clippers forward Paul George has been fined $35,000 for public criticism of the officiating, it was announced today by Joe Dumars, Executive Vice President, Head of Basketball Operations.…. Read More.

  17. Intae Hwang, Sha'Rae Mitchell named NBA staff officials

    October 10, 2023 10:21 AM. Intae Hwang (left) and Sha'Rae Mitchell are joining the NBA referee ranks for 2023-24. NEW YORK — NBA G League referees Intae Hwang and Sha'Rae Mitchell have been ...

  18. NBA Referees Directory

    Binge play every Immaculate Grid game with the archive mode and put your basketball knowledge to the test. NBA Referees Directory Referee data is available for the 1988-89 through 2023-24 seasons.

  19. How To Become An NBA Referee: Steps, Salary, & More

    To be considered for the role of an NBA referee, a high school diploma or GED is the minimum educational requirement. Yet, a college degree can enhance your candidacy, especially in disciplines like sports management, kinesiology, physical education, or law.Some referees even pursue specialized courses or certifications in sports officiating to elevate their knowledge base.

  20. 2019-20 NBA Referees By The Numbers

    NEW YORK, Oct. 22, 2019 - Seventy referees will make up the NBA officiating staff for the 2019-20 season. Below are some numbers and tidbits pertaining to this season's NBA officials. On The Court. 3,690 - The 70 NBA officials will be called on to fill 3,690 referee assignments during the regular season. 34 - Ken Mauer is entering his 34 th season as an NBA referee, the most for any ...

  21. Who Refs The NBA's Referees?

    This data is used in ongoing referee training and development, and it helps in determining ref promotions and playoff assignments. Teams are even given partial access to and are allowed to make ...

  22. Scott Wall

    OFFICIAL #31. Scott Wall has officiated 1,401 regular-season games and 14 playoff games in 27 seasons as an NBA staff official. Wall considers his most memorable NBA assignment to be the 2012 NBA All-Star Game in Orlando. He has four years of officiating experience with USA Basketball, four years in the collegiate ranks in the ACC, Ohio Valley ...

  23. Lakers vs Thunder Picks, Predictions & Odds Tonight

    Lakers vs Thunder same-game parlay. Thunder -5.5. LeBron James Over 24.5 points. Over 232.5 points. +525 at DraftKings. You'd think LeBron James — as the NBA's oldest player and still L.A ...

  24. NFL Referee Assignments Week 13: Refs Assigned for Sunday and ...

    NFL Referee Assignments for Week 13. All times Eastern and game day Sunday unless stated otherwise. All penalty stat information is courtesy of Denver Broncos at Houston Texans ...

  25. These Democrats could be contenders for their party's ...

    Biden campaign officials have begun planning extensive travel assignments for everyone on the 2028 list and beyond, both to more formally co-opt their ambitions and to help build out a less ...

  26. MLS Assignments: MLS Cup Playoffs

    PRO media November 29, 2023 MLS. The assignments for the Conference Finals of the 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs: 12/02/23. FC Cincinnati vs Columbus Crew. TQL Stadium (6PM ET) REF: Allen Chapman. AR1: Corey Parker. AR2: Nick Uranga. 4TH: Rosendo Mendoza.