I have decided to include this section as I have been getting several questions about the rules of basketball. After reading messages posted on forums around the world, it seems that many, many people ask the same questions. Therefore, I hope that this FAQ will help people that have common questions. I will also post any questions that are a little bit different.
If you have any questions regarding the rules of basketball – please email me by clicking here. If your question is not related to the FIBA (international) rules, it might take a little bit longer to get a reply. However, I promise that all questions will be answered, both personally, and by posting the question and answer on this page.

Also, if you disagree with my interpretation of the rules for any of the answers that I have given – please email me with your opinion. One of the major reasons I designed this site was to educate referees and this includes myself – so if I’m wrong – tell me (nicely!).

Ben Hughes asked: Is the hand still considered part of the ball? A little birdie told me that this rule had changed.

Answer: Well, yes and no. In the most recent rule changes, the specific comment that the hand was part of the ball (when in contact with the ball) was removed. However, after a great deal of complaints, questions and other comments, the official interpretation of the rules has been to re-introduce the idea that the hand is part of the ball. Having said that, the official word from FIBA is that if the referee has any doubt as to where the contact occurred (i.e. on the hand in contact with the ball versus say, the wrist) the referee must call a foul.
In other words, yes the hand is still part of the ball, but the official must be certain that the contact by the defender was on the part of the players hand which was in contact with the ball. If there is any uncertainty – FOUL!
From Simon Dunn: Where do you find a written rule about defensive players (not being able to draw charges) under the basket?

Answer: Simon – this is a popular misconception. There is no rule in FIBA that prevents a player from drawing a charge if he is standing under the basket. However, this rule does exist in the NBA (and I think in the NBL as well). It is accepted at this level that the defensive player has not been placed at a disadvantage as there is no rebound to contest, hence, generally the foul is called if the basket is unsuccessful. (Thanks to irunlikeagirl for his input).
Another one from Simon Dunn: Who ensures that the game starts at the correct time? And what can be done if a game is found to have started earlier than the scheduled time?

Answer: Simon, this is a bit of an awkward situation. Officially, the referees are responsible for the commencement of the game at the appropriate time. However, since referees are not permitted to wear a watch, most refs leave it up to the score bench to verify the correct time.
Having said that, if I was running a game and I went to call 3 minutes before the start of the game and one coach had not arrived I would check that the time was correct.
Once the game has been started there is no provision for a restart once the coach has arrived, even if it is found that the game began ahead of time. The only option left to the coach, would be to instruct his captain to make an official protest at the end of the game (I would suggest this, regardless of the result).
Grant Gabriel had this question on his referee’s exam: A-4 is fouled in the act of shooting by B-4 and then before the release of the ball on the “try” is also fouled by B-5. B-5’s foul is unsportsmanlike. The ball goes in the basket. The official counts the field goal, awards A-4 with one shot, awards team A with two shots, and then begins play with a team A throw-in at centre. Is the official correct?

Answer: If an unsportsmanlike foul is committed on a shooting player, and the basket is successful, the team that is fouled (in this case A) only gets 1 free throw, plus possession. Having said that, in this case, as the player shooting the ball (A-4) was fouled before the unsportsmanlike, I agree that the correct penalty would be:
1 shot for the personal foul, and then 2 shots for the unsportsmanlike, followed by an inbound at the halfway line by team A.
John asked: A player touches the ball, then she goes out of bounds (the ball remains inbounds). She returns to inbounds with both feet, no one else has touched the ball – can she now pick up or touch the ball, or must someone else touch it first?

Answer: It depends on if she left the confines of the court intentionally to gain an advantage, of whether it was accidental.
For instance, Red 4 is dribbling the ball up court, and Blue 5 sets to take the charge on the sideline. If Red 4 bounces the ball around Blue 5 (inbounds side) and the runs around Red 4 (going out of bounds) then this is illegal – by the rules it is a technical foul, if it happens I usually call a violation and warning the first time, subsequent infractions get technical fouls.

However, if Red 4 is dribbling the ball, trips and falls out of bounds (the ball remaining in play) and then recovers her feet and regains the ball – this is completely legal.

By the way, it actually makes no difference as to whether the player grounds both feet, or one, so long as contact has been made with the court she can touch the ball.

Jason Nix asked: If a player is dribbling and falls down, but maintains his dribble throughout, is this travelling? If a player is on the court flat on his back, sits up and begins to dribble, may he stand up while dribbling? If a player is dribbling the ball continuously, can he jump in the air so long as he keeps dribbling?

Answer: Yes. Yes. And Yes. If a player is dribbling – it is impossible for them to travel. So, as long as a player is dribbling they can jump, lie down, sit down, stand on their head etc.
Ian Cardwell asked: Hi – hope this isn’t too ignorant a question. I’ve been checking the rules following an incident on the weekend and can’t find it addressed. Following a time-out, one side walks back onto court with 6 players. Other side has end-ball to re-start game but before game can re-start, supporters from offending team notice and attract everybody’s attention. Sixth player gets called back (game still hasn’t restarted) and referee after some thought signals a tech-foul on offending coach, resulting in one-shot (successful) and possession.

Answer: Firstly I would say that this is an example of poor game management. A good referee always counts the players back onto the court after timeouts and at the start of each period. This would prevent any such incident arising.
If somehow 6 players do get on the court, I personally would not tech the coach if play had not started, however as soon as the ball is inbounded, then it has to be a technical foul. My reasoning is that if the ball is not inbounds, then there has been no advantage gained.
The awarding of a technical foul is correct – it is covered by the section that deals with substitutions. However, this should have been a technical foul on the coach – resulting in 2 free throws and possession – not one free throw and possession, which is the penalty for personal technical fouls.
Bill Langston wanted to know: A player goes up for a shot under the basket. The defensive player pins the ball in the hands of the offensive while they are both in the air with out fouling. The offensive player then drops the ball before coming back to the court, picks the ball up and makes a basket. What is the call?

Answer: If the ball is knocked out of the offensive players hands while they are in mid air, then they regain control once they have landed, this is legal.
If the ball is dislodged whilst in the air, the player regains control (while in the air) and lands, it is a travel.
If the offensive player returns to the ground, holding the ball, and the ball has never left his hands, one of two things are possible. 1) if the defensive player has only one hand on the ball, it is a travel.
2) if the defensive player has both hands on the ball it is a jump ball (or go to the arrow if playing AP – ie NFHS or NCAA rules).
Douglas Benton asked: What is the hand signal for a disqualification foul and what usually is the reason for a disqualification foul to be called?

Answer: The hand signal for a disqualifying foul is both arms straight up, hands made into fists. Although, most often the signal is not actually made, as it usually only occurs in a heated moment. The reasons for a disqualifying foul are any of the following:
– Repeated technical fouls (eg constantly swearing)
– Attempting to strike/punch/kick a player/official/spectator
– Striking, punching, kicking, fighting, intentionally throwing the ball in a dangerous manner, at a player, official, team follower, fan.
– Constant or extreme unsportsmanlike behaviour
– “Tunneling” – intentional moving under a player whilst in the air – this is an automatic disqualifying foul.

Basketball History

Basketball History

If you have any funny stories, jokes, quotes or any amusing anecdotes about refereeing please email me them and I will include them here.
One of the funniest things that ever happened to me was while refereeing a Manly Under 18 Women’s game at Beacon Hill High School in 1995. I was wearing black track pants with press studs down the sides. Play changed direction suddenly, my thumb got caught in the side of the pants as I changed direction, and I ripped my pants open, with them falling to the ground! I was left standing in front of the visiting teams bench with my pants around my ankles wearing nothing but a pair of jocks!

Why did the chicken cross the road?
It heard that the referees were calling fouls.
Some of my favourite quotes: “How long, how long, how long?” (and the obvious answer – “oh, about 8 inches”) “1.2.3…c’mon three seconds” (when will players & coaches realise that it is 3 seconds not onetwothree?)

Possibly the funniest thing I have ever seen on a basketball court was a few years ago, when I refereed a State League Women’s game at St Pious. My partner (a senior, experienced referee) called a pushing foul on a player, and approached the bench to make his signal. He called the number, and then indicated the “pushing” hand signal to one side of his body. Little did he realise that a player was standing next to him at the time. As he extended his arms for the call, his hands made perfect contact with the young ladies breasts! I have never seen a referee so speechless before, it took quite a while for everyone to regain their composure. (The morale – look, before you make a signal – I have also seen players punched by over zealous offensive foul calls!)

My younger brother played reps for Manly for several years. In an Under 18’s game he was elbowed in the head, which opened a gash above his eye, requiring several stitches. The call: head butting the other players elbow! (What are some referees thinking?)

Recently I was refereeing an Open Men’s Division 2 game at MWBA, when a player was hit hard on the hand while attempting a three point shot. After I called “play” the player turned to me screaming for the foul. As we made our way up the court, I said “he got you on the hand” to which the player responded “Yeah … the hand’s part of the ball!” “Exactly” I said and turned away – I never did figure out what the player was arguing about!
The following is my personal opinion of what it takes to be a good referee. It should not be taken as gospel, and certain aspects may not suit everybody’s style of refereeing. It is what I have learnt from my own experience, from talking to my peers, and most importantly, by watching referees that are better than me, and learning by example. I cannot stress this enough – the next time you watch a high level game (i.e. NBA, NBL, Olympics, etc) watch the referees even if only for a quarter. Ignore their mechanics as it will probably be different to the level that you referee at, but pay attention to what they call, how they call it, and why they call it.

Anyway, below is a list of the qualities that I believe makes a good referee as well as a short explanation of why it is important, and how to improve that quality in your game.

Professionalism: To me, this is the most important factor of all. A senior referee once told me “if you look the part – players will believe that you know what you are doing” and this is very true. Professionalism means several things; uniform, not shooting around during timeouts, half time etc, being on time and most importantly, treating the players, coaches and spectators with respect, no matter what happens. The game is there for them – not you!

Consistency: There is nothing worse than a referee that calls one thing at one end, but not at the other. Equally, there must be enough communication between referees to ensure that both officials are calling the same things. This goes back to the importance of a pre-game conference.

Confidence: This cannot be taught, but is vital to being a good referee. If you are hesitant with your call, and blow the whistle softly, no-one will believe that you are positive that you have made the correct call. If you can “sell” a call to a player with a strong whistle and firm, accurate signals, even the most doubting player will walk away thinking “hmm, well maybe I did do that”. Obviously this is something that will come with practice, but it also requires that you have faith in your own ability.

Communication: This plays a major part in refereeing (and life in general). Communicate with your partner throughout the game, verbally, using body language and by making eye contact. Try and talk players through situations that don’t require a whistle – for example some comments that I use frequently are: “hands off the cutter”, “drop the arm”, “play on”, “he was straight up!” etc. However, you need to learn when to make the call, and you must be sure not to talk too much – the whistle is there for a reason! Remember treat the players with respect, never swear at or physically touch a player, regardless of the situation.

Know the Rules: It is not necessary that you can quote every article of the rules by number, but you must have a sound knowledge of the rules. Almost as importantly, you must have an understanding of the spirit of the rules. That is, you have to be able to adjust your refereeing to the level of the competition that you are refereeing. For example, if you are doing the Gold Medal game of the 2004 Olympics, you will (hopeful) run it differently to the first round of the local under 12’s miniball!

Fitness: Although you don’t have to be Superman (or woman), you must be able to at least keep up with the play. Make sure you stretch before the game, and train during the season to maintain (and improve) your overall fitness.

Be Human!: Referees are allowed to smile! Also, I have found that making the occasional joke can quickly diffuse a difficult situation. This is especially useful if you already know the people involved well. Warning: You need to be positive that your comment will not inflame the situation further, and you must be careful not to use any defamatory, discriminatory or obscene language.

Welcome to World Beach Basketball


See Catalog for Beach Basketball Goal Systems, Game Gear, Hats, T Shirts, Collared Logo Shirts, Beach Basketball Earthwear & Beach Basketball Rule Books

Beach Basketball is an exciting, non-stop action game played in the sand, by HOOPSTERS of all ages. The game was born more than four decades ago on the physical education fields of Gulf Shores School. This modified version of basketball, invented by Philip Bryant, has grown from a tremendously effective skill improvement game to a very popular, widespread competitive sport.

For the past 20 years, the World Beach Basketball Association© has developed a grassroots player interest, resulting in game play in 15 of the WBBA 36 worldwide regions. The WBBA Upper Caribbean Region, with commissioner Mickey Muñoz, was selected “2009 WBBA Region of the Year” for their efforts in administration of tournaments for Beach Basketball players. The 2011 Beach Basketball 18th Annual World Championships will be hosted by the WBBA in Gulf Shores, Alabama, the birthplace of Beach Basketball. Presently, seven WBBA World Regions are hosting upcoming tournaments.

HOOPSTERS of all ages are getting into the game…former Harlem Globe Trotter Ed Hicks (second from left) along with 1999 “Commissioner of the Year” Frank Bisesi (third from left) regularly participate on the sandy shores of Lake Erie.

If you are a coach looking for another game to add to your sports curriculum, Beach Basketball may be just the game. Beach Basketball® is the perfect game for boys and girls either young or old. Whether you have a beautiful beach or a gymnasium, the game is adaptable to either court. An Official Rule Book is available for $2.95, please send your request and either a Purchase Order # or your charge account information to: World Beach Basketball Association and the “Official Rules and Regulations”©will be mailed to you.
Beach Basketball and related indices are registered trademarks and copyrighted products of Beach Basketball USA., Inc., and cannot be used in any form without written permission.

Be part of the action! It’s hot, fast & fun.

Scott Defalco of Team Third Coast (spotting up for shot) along with team mates Kurt Soderman (dishing) & Andrew Beyer won “The Breaks” 1st game.

The Boy Scouts of America has launched its Soccer and Scouting program as an outreach to Hispanic youth and families. Soccer and Scouting will teach soccer skills and provide exciting competition, and at the same time boys will be Cub Scouts and learn the life-long values taught in the Scouting program. All of the materials will be published in English and Spanish.

Our national Soccer and Scouting program is an outgrowth of trial programs initiated in Orange County, California; Mt. Prospect, Illinois; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Athens, Georgia; and tested in Denver, Colorado. In all of those locations, Hispanic youth joined Scouting in order to play the game with the their friends, and they learned once they were involved that Cub Scouting is fun and good for them.

Parents also get involved in our Soccer and Scouting program, as parent helpers, and as soccer coaches. Like Cub Scouting everywhere, most of the involved adults are the parents of the boys benefiting from it. In the case of Soccer and Scouting, the practices and games are usually family events, fun for everyone, and everyone learns a better way of life through Scouting.

It’s fair to say that Duane was born holding a basketball. His father, Peter, was selected to the German National Basketball Youth Squad in the early 1960’s before he moved to Australia. Duane began playing at an early age and has been a member of Manly Warringah Basketball Association (MWBA) since 1986, through which he completed his first referee’s course at age 11. Duane’s younger brother, Cameron, has represented Manly Warringah as a junior and in their Youth League team. He also played basketball for Lismore’s State League team, and for the Southern Cross University team.

Now 29, Duane has played, coached and refereed at representative level, participating in the Sydney Junior Championships (as a player, coach and referee) as well as what was known as the “Metro Cup” (as a referee) in the early 1990’s. He also represented Beacon Hill High School (as a player) both in the Sydney Schools competition along with the Shell Cup between 1989 and 1993.

Duane recently moved to Tweed Heads and has become involved with basketball there. He is now looking after the representative referees for the Tweed Coast Slammers. Along with basketball, Duane’s interests include computers, playing sport and riding his motorbike.

If you would like to contact Duane