There’s an incredibly good news for, young referees! Old international whistleblowers will no longer be entitled to hold your place in FIBA for eternity. We’ll make you comprehend easier how to become a FIBA referee.

FIBA license used to be a status. Now it’s more of a recognition of good performance because they give you the license for only two years!

In the regulations that just become applicable, FIBA has turned everything upside down.

Learn and experiment

In a good way–maybe my fellow referees already having a FIBA license don’t agree–so chances just got better for you to become an international referee soon.

Or sooner, at least!

The new regulations push referees–yes, even international ones–to focus more on training and development.

The regulations–in a nutshell

Your National Federation already received the number of FIBA referees they can nominate.

The number of licenses

is a result of the following criteria:

  • the position of the national member federation in the FIBA World Rankings
  • the category/group of FIBA members to which the national member federation belongs *
  • the number of nominations of FIBA referees from said federation in FIBA National Teams Competitions during the preceding two years.

* The FIBA List of national member federations per category is based on the status of basketball in a given country, the assessment of national member federations and the potential for growth. National member federations are assessed by FIBA experts and the List is then approved by the FIBA Governance Commission

There are three different licenses

Olegs Latisevs, FIBA refereeBlack license means you can officiate anything from the final of the Olympics to youth tournaments.

White license means that you officiate only youth tournaments, basically.

And the made up the Green license that is to promote women referees. Women can get black or white license as well. The Green one is like a potential license, if my position is correct, they can officiate senior women’s games and even some sub-regional senior men.

And the nominees are…

there. Waiting in line to do the tests FIBA needs to give us the license.

The licensing period starts on 1 September 2017 and expires on 31 August 2019. National federations may submit the forms until 31 March, results come on 15 June.

Eligibility for a license

Luigi Lamonica, FIBA refereeYou need to pass rules test, English test, physical test, and medical test, each approved by FIBA. And maybe some more that the international federation may make up in the future.

To get a nomination, you must come from a country where the national federation doesn’t organise a sufficiently competitive championship.

Also, candidates must have officiated at least two years in the highest level of the domestic championship. For female referees, it is enough to have blown the whistle in the highest level senior women national championship.

As of your age, you have to be over 25 and below 35, if you are a first-time candidate, or you are turning 50 before the licensing period starts.

Even if all these conditions are met, FIBA can still turn you down, so…

Train your mind, stay fit, and go to a camp where the instructors are recognised by FIBA.

Or at least, this should definitely be part of the steps you must take to become a FIBA referee.

Referees may lose their license when these are met

  • referees loses domestic highest level qualification
  • repeated refusal of nominations
  • poor performance
  • injury

My friend, I hope you will soon read your name on the licensed FIBA referee’s list!

If you want to be a FIBA referee, feel free to share this article!

About Peter

Peter Papp is an enthusiastic supporter of open-minded referees, international basketball referee (FIBA) and NLP Master Practitioner. Peter is the founder of


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