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Referee FAQs

What is the GF Hoops Youth Referee Program?

The GF Hoops Youth Referee Program employs the youth of our community to officiate House League games in grades 2 – 12 during our winter season, according to their experience and tenure within the program.  We recognize that this may be the first job for many of our referees and we recognize the important role we play in this life-event. We invest a lot of time to properly train our referees to be successful in this role and support is provided throughout the entire season.  First year referees will always work alongside experienced referees as they learn to officiate games.  This job provides so many important life skills to youth in our community.  Not only will they learn how to manage and officiate a basketball game, they will learn how to successfully manage their time, communicate with management, participate in feedback and evaluation sessions and navigate challenging situations such as a request from a coach to clarify a rule, a comment from a player or spectator, or other game interruptions.  Referees are enthusiastically supported by the GF Hoops Board of Directors and we take pride in nurturing their growth, development and confidence, both on and off the court.  

How does my child register to be a referee?

Individuals in 7th – 10th grades are eligible to register to become a first-year referee in our program.  Registration opens each year in mid-August and closes in mid-September.  Please visit our website,, for the registration link. 

How many new referees are accepted each year?

Typically, 20-25 applicants are accepted into our first-year referee training program.  Priority is given to applicants who have regularly participated in GF Hoops activities.  Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status approximately one week prior to the first tryout training session.  After the first 3 tryout training sessions, those selected to continue with the program will participate in 2 additional training sessions.

What training is required to become a referee?

GF Hoops provides our referees with pre-season on-court training as well as in-season mentoring and training.


  • Pre-season floor training occurs in September/October of each year and are mandatory for first and second year referees.  Typically, training sessions will be conducted on Saturday or Sunday mornings and occasionally, a few weekday sessions may be offered.  The training sessions will be listed in the registration link.  New applicants are required to select their training dates during registration.
  • Third year+ referees will be given the opportunity to attend desk referee training where they will learn how to manage the clock and book for games.  Occasionally, some first and second year referees may be invited to attend desk referee training if the need exists.


• Local area gyms.


  • All new referees must attend five complete pre-season on-court training sessions conducted mainly on Saturday or Sunday mornings.  A few sessions may be offered on a weekday evening in September/October. Failure to complete five complete on-court training sessions will disqualify an applicant from officiating games for the upcoming basketball season.

Five Training Sessions are broken down as follows:

1. Basic Training, First Level (2 hrs)-  3 date/time options offered, attend 1 

  • Covers floor positioning, hand signals and whistle work
  • Cuts are made after Basic Training First Level Sessions are complete

2. Basic Training, Second Level (90 min)l-  4 date/time options offered, attend 2

  • Refs will actively work the floor by calling scrimmages while being shadowed and guided by trainer referees
  • Final cuts will be made after Basic Training Second Level Session are complete

3. Intermediate Training (90 min)- 5 date/time options offered, attend 2

  • Refs will continue to work the floor by calling scrimmages, but more independently as trainer refs will fill a supervisory role only
  • New referees must take two on-line, open-book exams to test their knowledge of hand signals, floor positioning, and rules and earn a passing grade of 75%.

  • Upon successful completion of the on-court training sessions and online examinations, first year referees will be required to attend one 60-minute training session to learn how to use the online referee system.

  • First year referees are assigned at least one to two games per weekend in the regular 12-week house league season.

  • Starting salary is $15 per game.

  • Referees will be provided verbal and written feedback throughout the season and a formal, written evaluation at the culmination of the regular season.

  • First year referees are typically assigned 3rd and 4th grade girls and boys basketball games to officiate as the speed and physicality of these games tends to be better suited for new referees.

  • Ideally, new referees will have flexibility in their weekend schedules to be able to work the game times assigned to these grades. Unfortunately, these game days/times will not be arranged and communicated until late October when player registration closes as game schedules are contingent upon a variety of factors including the number of teams formed in each grade, gym permits assigned to us by the county and other factors.

  • If you are considering becoming a referee in our program but have limited availability to work on the weekends, it may be difficult to assign games to you, so please consider your other commitments before registering. We do not expect a new referee to have their entire weekend open and available. We do recognize that there will be weekends when conflicts exist and individuals will not be available to work.

  • Most games for 3rd and 4th grade teams are played on Saturdays 8am – 5pm and Sundays 11am – 5pm. Typically, there are 10-12 games in these age groups each weekend with two first-year referees  assigned to officiate in addition to having experienced referees on the court to provide mentoring and feedback.

  • Referees must read and familiarize themselves with the GF Hoops house league rules (12 page online document) and hand signals handout (one page).

  • Knowledge of the basic rules of the game is expected; however, clarification will be provided on commonly misunderstood rules during training sessions.

  • GF Hoops provides the referees with a whistle and handouts at the start of training. Once all training sessions and exam requirements have been met, referees will be provided an official referee jersey.


• During each training session, new referees will take turns participating as either

(1) a floor referee managing and calling the scrimmage while working alongside an experienced referee or

(2) a player in the scrimmage.

  • Sessions are structured in this manner to simulate a real game so new referees become trained on proper floor positioning and hand signals, obtain clarification on the rules of the game and learn tips and tricks to be a successful game official.

  • Various game situations will be implemented so new referees gain experience managing these events including tip-offs to start the game, free throws, inbounding the ball from various spots on the court, etc.

  • When playing in the scrimmage, players are encouraged to intentionally make mistakes such as travelling violations, back court violations, throwing the ball out of bounds, fouls, etc. so that new referees gain experience at employing their whistles and making loud, confident calls. Note: this usually creates fantastic entertainment and good laughs for everyone involved!

  • Each training session has a capacity limit so that new referees are able to obtain ample opportunities to officiate during the scrimmages while working alongside an experienced referee who will be providing training and feedback.

  • First year referees repeatedly describe these training sessions as a fun learning environment!


Great Falls Basketball
PO Box 1091 
Great Falls, Virginia 22066

Email: [email protected]

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