What They All Imply (With Pictures)


Referees play a big function in a basketball recreation.

Basketball referee alerts assist to inform the gang, scorer’s desk, coaches, and gamers what is occurring on the ground.

However watching the sport might get complicated in case you don’t know what the referee alerts imply.

On this submit, we check out the entire completely different alerts referees make all through a basketball recreation and clarify what they imply.

25 Basketball Referee Alerts

Violation Alerts:

When a violation happens, you’ll at all times hear the referee blow their whistle and lift an open hand within the air earlier than signalling the violation.

The open hand within the air alerts a useless ball.

The referee then offers their sign, after which the ball is taken out of bounds to renew play.

1. Touring

Basketball Referee Signals Traveling

When a participant illegally strikes one or each of their toes, a touring violation is known as.

The referee will put each arms in entrance of their face and transfer them in a circle to sign a touring.

2. Double Dribble

Basketball Referee Signals Illegal Dribble Double Dribble

A double dribble happens when a participant dribbles the ball, picks it up, after which dribbles once more.

The referee places each of their fingers in entrance of them with their palms down, then alternates transferring them up and right down to sign a double dribble has occurred.

3. Carrying the Basketball

Basketball Referee Signals Carrying the ball

A carrying violation is known as when a participant is dribbling the basketball and places their hand below it, then continues dribbling.

To sign a carry, the official will use one in all their fingers and flip it over from palm as much as palm down a number of occasions.

4. 3-Second Violation

Basketball Referee Signals Three Seconds

Gamers are solely allowed 3 seconds within the paint — a 12×16 toes space closest to the basket.

If a participant is within the paint for greater than 3 seconds, the referee will name a 3-second violation.

The referee will take three fingers, level them down at their aspect, after which swipe their hand forwards and backwards to sign this violation.

5. 5-Second Violation

Basketball Referee Signals Five Seconds

A crew has 5 seconds to throw the ball inbounds when they’re taking it out.

In the event that they take longer than 5 seconds, the referee will name a 5-second violation.

This can be a easy sign, because the referee will use one in all their fingers and put 5 fingers within the air.

6. 8-Second Violation

Basketball Referee Signals for Eight Second Violation

When a crew has the ball within the backcourt, they’ve 8 seconds to get the ball throughout the half-court line.

In the event that they take longer than the allotted 8 seconds, the referee calls a 8-second violation.

(many youthful leagues use 10 seconds as a substitute of 8)

The referee alerts this violation by placing eight fingers within the air.

7. 24-Second Violation

Basketball Referee Signals for Twenty Four Seconds Shot Clock Violation

If enjoying in a league that makes use of a shot clock, groups can have 24 seconds to take a shot on every possession (some leagues use longer shot clocks).

If a crew fails to shoot inside this time, the referee will name a 24-second violation.

The referee will use one handed to faucet the highest of their shoulder on the identical arm.

8. Over-and-Again (Backcourt Violation)

Basketball Referee Signals Illegal Over and Back

When a crew possesses the basketball within the entrance court docket, then a participant with the ball goes into the backcourt with out the protection touching it, an over-and-back violation happens.

The referee will place their hand out with their palm down and transfer it forwards and backwards back and forth like their hand goes over a line.

That is to sign {that a} participant went over the half court docket line and an over-and-back occurred.

9. Kicking

Basketball Referee Signals Kicking

In basketball, a participant might not deliberately kick the basketball.

In the event that they do, the official will blow their whistle.

To sign a kick occurred, the referee will level at their foot.

10. Out of Bounds

Basketball Referee Signals Out of Bounds

The ball is out of bounds when it touches a line that outlines the court docket or wherever outdoors of these strains.

It’s also out of bounds if it touches a participant who’s standing outdoors or on a line.

When the ball goes out of bounds, a referee will sign whose ball it’s by pointing towards the basket of the crew that can take possession.

11. Soar Ball

Basketball Referee Signals Jump Ball

When gamers from each groups possess the basketball, a leap ball is known as.

The referee will give two thumbs up above their head to sign {that a} leap ball has been referred to as.

Fouling Alerts:

When a foul happens, the very first thing a referee will do is blow their whistle and place a closed hand within the air.

The closed hand implies that a foul has occurred, which is completely different from the open hand, which alerts a violation.

After the foul happens, the official will sign what sort of foul it was.

They may even go to the scorer’s desk and inform the scorekeeper who the foul was on, and likewise do the sign for the kind of foul.

12. Blocking Foul

Basketball Referee Signals Blocking

When a defensive participant doesn’t have a authorized guarding place and impedes the dribbler’s progress, a blocking foul happens.

The referee’s sign for blocking is putting each fingers on their hips.

13. Charging Foul

Basketball Referee Signals for Charging

If the defensive participant is in a authorized guarding place and the offensive participant knocks them off of their spot, a charging foul is known as.

That is additionally referred to as a player-control foul.

When the referee alerts a charging foul, they make a fist with one hand and “punch” the open palm of their different hand.

14. Hand-Checking Foul

Basketball Referee Signals for Hand-checking foul

Defensive gamers usually are not allowed to restrict a ball-handler’s skill to maneuver with their fingers.

If the defender does restrict the motion with their fingers, a hand-checking foul is known as.

For this sign, the referee will chop one hand throughout the other wrist.

15. Holding Foul

Basketball Referee Signals Holding

In basketball, you aren’t allowed to seize one other participant by the jersey or any of their physique components.

If this occurs, a holding foul is known as.

The ref’s sign for a holding foul is making a fist level with one hand, holding that arm out, after which “grabbing” the wrist with their different hand.

16. Pushing Foul

Basketball Referee Signals Pushing

Gamers usually are not capable of push their opponents in basketball.

If a ref sees a push, they are going to name a foul.

These fouls occur rather a lot when two gamers are going after the identical rebound.

In truth, when an ‘over the again’ foul happens, you’ll sometimes see the referee name it a push.

The sign for pushing is placing two arms out and making a pushing movement with the fingers.

17. Elbow Foul

Basketball Referee Signals Excessive Swinging of Elbows

If a participant will get aggressive with their elbows and connects with an opponent, a foul will probably be referred to as.

Generally these fouls might be deemed flagrant and can lead to two photographs and the ball for the crew that obtained hit by the elbow.

The official will sign one of these foul by swinging their elbow.

18. Intentional Foul

Basketball Referee Signals for Double Foul

Over the course of the sport, fouls occur unintentionally quite a few occasions.

Nonetheless, if the referee thinks a foul was completed purposely or with malicious intent, they will name an intentional foul.

An intentional foul ends in two photographs for the offensive crew and the ball.

The sign for an intentional foul is placing each arms within the air and making an ‘X’ with them.

19. Technical Foul

Basketball Referee Signals Technical Foul

If referees really feel like a coach or a participant is just not conducting themselves correctly or having unsportsmanlike habits, they will name a technical foul.

This foul additionally ends in two photographs, plus the basketball.

The sign for a technical foul is taking each fingers and making the letter ‘T’ with them.


Different Hand Alerts to Know:

Generally referees will make alerts that don’t point out a violation or a foul has occurred.

These alerts might be discovered beneath.

20. Substitution

Basketball Referee Signals for Substitution

When groups desires to trade an on-court participant with somebody on the bench, the coach asks for a substitution.

On the subsequent useless ball, the referee alerts the substitution by making an “X” with their arms.

21. Begin the Clock

Basketball Referee Signals Time In

In basketball, there are a number of useless balls the place the clock is stopped.

The clock doesn’t begin once more till a participant on the ground touches it.

As a substitute of the timekeeper making a judgment of when to cease the clock, they search for a referee sign to begin. The ref can have their hand within the air till it’s time to begin the clock.

As soon as that point has come, the referee will drop their arm down and the time will begin.

22. Three-Level Try

Basketball Referee Signals Three Points Attempt

When a participant makes an attempt a three-pointer, the referee has a sign to indicate that.

They are going to put one arm straight up within the air to sign a three-point shot is being tried.

23. Three-Level Make

Basketball Referee Signals Successful Three Point Shot

If the three-point try is made, the official has one other sign for that.

They are going to take each of their arms and place them straight into the air.

24. No Basket

Basketball Referee Signals No Basket Cancel Score

Generally photographs are taken which can be instantly after a foul is known as or the time has expired.

The official will sign the shot doesn’t depend by waving and crossing their arms out in entrance of them.

25. Timeout

Basketball Referee Signals for Charged Full and 30 Second Timeout

The opposite sort of timeout is a full timeout.

The sign for that is to stay each arms straight out to the aspect with fists being made.


As you may see, there are numerous basketball referee alerts in a recreation.

It is essential for referees, coaches, gamers, and followers to know every of them.

The following time you go to a recreation, watch how the referees use completely different hand alerts all through the course of the sport.