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Basketball: Referee Signals

Sports >> Basketball >> Basketball Rules

There are a lot of different signals that basketball referees, also called officials, use in the game. It can get confusing. This is a list of the different basketball referee hand signals and what they mean. The specific rules below are described in more detail on other pages (see links at bottom of page).

Referee Basketball
Violations Signals

Basketball traveling violaton referee signal
Walking or traveling
(not bouncing the ball while walking)

Basketball double dribble violaton referee signal
Illegal or double dribble

Carrying or palming signal
Carrying or Palming the ball

Over and back signal
Over and back (half-court violation)

Five second violation signal
Five second violation

basketball official signal for 10 seconds
Ten seconds (taking more than 10 seconds to get the ball over half court)

referee kicking signal for basketball
Kicking (intentionally kicking the ball)

basketball three second signal
Three seconds (offensive player is in the lane or key for more than 3 seconds)

Referee Basketball Foul Signals

Hand check foul
Hand check

Holding foul

Blocking signal

Pushing foul

Charging foul signal in basketball
Charging or player control foul

Intentional Foul signal
Intentional foul

Technical Foul
Technical foul or "T" (generally for misconduct or unsportsmanlike behavior)

Other Referee Signals

Basketball jump ball
Jump Ball

30 second time out
30 second time out

Three point shot attempt
Three point attempt

Three point shot made
Three point score

Official no score signal in basketball
No Score

Start clock signal
Start clock

Stop clock signal
Stop clock

Note on Basketball Referees

Keep in mind that the referees are there to make the game better. Without officials the game would be no fun at all and they are doing the best they can. They WILL make mistakes. Basketball is a difficult game to referee. That's just how it is. Getting angry, yelling at the ref, and throwing a fit does no good and will not help you or your team. Just keep playing and listen to the refs regardless of whether you agree with the call or not. Move on to the next play. They are doing the best they can and are trying to make the game enjoyable for all.

* referee signal pictures from the NFHS

More Basketball Links:

Basketball Rules
Referee Signals
Personal Fouls
Foul Penalties
Non-Foul Rule Violations
The Clock and Timing
Basketball Court
Player Positions
Point Guard
Shooting Guard
Small Forward
Power Forward
Basketball Strategy
Individual Defense
Team Defense
Offensive Plays

Individual Drills
Team Drills
Fun Basketball Games
Basketball Glossary

Michael Jordan
Kobe Bryant
LeBron James
Chris Paul
Kevin Durant

Basketball Leagues
National Basketball Association (NBA)
List of NBA Teams
College Basketball

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